In examining two Judaeo-Arabic adaptations of Qiṣṣat al-ğumğuma ‘The Story of the Skull’ (Cairo JC 104 and CUL T-S 37.39) alongside two Muslim Middle Arabic versions (CUL Qq. 173 and BnF Arabe 3655) from the Ottoman period, this paper explores the extent of linguistic similarities and divergences on the level of adverbial subordination, and the means through which these are expressed. It questions the long-established methodological boundaries imposed on the study of Middle Arabic, in which linguistic features of confessional varieties are generally examined in relation to Classical Arabic grammatical rules and modern spoken dialects, rather than other contemporaneous denominational varieties of written Arabic.
In this article, I analyze a short segment of al-Maqrīzī’s account of Jews and Judaism in his al-Ḫiṭaṭ, focusing on the technique that al-Maqrīzī used in compiling it by comparing his account with sources on which he drew (sometimes verbatim). It is found that al-Maqrīzī copied from K. al-Taʾrīḫ, a seven-chapter chronicle in Judaeo-Arabic, and then inserted complementary material from Ibn Ḫaldūn’s K. al-ʿIbar and al-Ǧāḥiẓ’s K. al-Bayān wa-l-tabyīn, and may also have intertwined material from Biblical sources.
This paper was written to commemorate the scholar of the Hebrew Bible and the philologist Bruno Chiesa (1949–2015) at the conference on “The Arabic Literary Genizot beyond Denominational Borders” (held at IAS, Princeton, NJ April 20–21, 2017). During his career, Chiesa edited various Judeo-Arabic documentary sources, especially some missing works by al-Qirqisānī (active 1oth century), and investigated the Geniza works as part of his studies on the historical philology of the Hebrew Bible. In the last years of his life, Chiesa has been involved in the cataloguing of the Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts held at the National Library of Turin and in the studying of the documents preserved in the archive of Paul E. Kahle of the University of Turin.
This article concerns a textual corpus of nine manuscripts written in Early Judeo-Persian. These manuscripts, which are preserved in the British Library and in the National Library of Russia, contain various exegetical works copied by the same group of scribes during the eleventh-twelfth centuries. This article attempts to demonstrate that these manuscripts were also composed in the same possibly-Karaite intellectual milieu, and not merely copied by the same scribes, using two criteria: similar exegetical explanations of the same biblical passages and the employment of Karaite-Hebrew terminology. Furthermore, the examination of these criteria reveals yet another common feature—the manuscripts’ affinity to the works of the tenth-century Karaite scholar Yefet ben ʿEli, which suggests either reliance on Karaite exegetical works written in Judeo-Arabic or a shared background.
The present article reports the discovery of a previously unknown ninth-century Arabic paraphrase of Dionysius the Areopagite and demonstrates that this paraphrase was accessible to al-Ġazālī (and, probably, to other authors, notably the Brethren of Purity). It also proves that this paraphrase was produced by the same translator as the Doxography of Pseudo-Ammonius. The doctrinal content of the Arabic Dionysian paraphrase is then analyzed in relation to Arabic Neoplatonic texts as well as al-Ġazālī’s writings. The influence of Gregory of Nyssa and John of Damascus on some Arabic philosophical texts (notably al-Kindī’s Book of Definitions) is also considered. The origin of “Interpositional Neoplatonism” (i.e., the kind of Neoplatonism that interposes an intermediate hypostasis between the First Principle and the Intellect) is examined. The Appendix discusses the relationship between the Doxography of Pseudo-Ammonius and Hippolytus of Rome’s Refutatio omnium haeresium.
This paper presents several rather unexpected manuscripts that have been discovered in the Firkovitch collections. These collections, which are preserved in the National Library of Russia, are best known for Hebrew, Karaite, Samaritan, and Judeo-Arabic manuscripts, and have attracted the interest of specialists in Middle-Eastern languages and cultures. It is generally not known that they also contain manuscripts written in a western language. In the course of my research on the collections, however, I have come across approximately twenty manuscripts in Judeo-Spanish.
The fragments published here consist of a pupil’s exercise sheets. The contents are alphabet exercises as well as repetitive phrases from hymnals. As such, the material sheds light on the pedagogical environment of the Syriac settlement in Early Modern Egypt and helps us connect the received liturgical tradition of the Syriac Orthodox Church with the middle of the second millennium.
A scholar known as “Mubārakshāh” features in sources from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as a teacher of a number of prominent early Ottoman scholars, and of the influential Persian scholar al-Sayyid al-Sharīf al-Jurjānī (d. 816/1413). According to these sources, Mubārakshāh taught in Cairo in the mid- to late fourteenth century. Yet, despite the large number of Mamluk historical works covering this period, the precise identity of this scholar has so far proven elusive. The present article reviews the evidence and makes an identification that, though circumstantial, may be more satisfying than those that have been offered so far. It suggests that “Mubārakshāh” was a nickname, and that he can plausibly be identified with Maḥmūd b. Quṭlūshāh al-Sarāʾī, who taught in Cairo from 1358 until his death in 1373.