The first discovery of Judaeo-Syriac: T-S K14.22
By Siam Bhayro (with the assistance of Ben Outhwaite)
The presence in the Cairo Genizah of manuscripts written in Syriac has been known since the earliest days of Genizah research, with the sisters Agnes Lewis and Margaret Gibson publishing some of the first discoveries in their book, ‘Palestinian Syriac texts from palimpsest fragments in the Taylor-Schechter Collection’ (Cambridge 1900). As the title indicated, Syriac had found its way into the synagogue storeroom as the undertext of palimpsests, the parchment having been reused to write piyyuṭim, the Palestinian Talmud and other rabbinic works.
T-S K14.22, a small parchment leaf, is not among their Syriac fragments, and righty so, since it is not in the Syriac script. The great scholar of Genizah medicine Haskell Isaacs originally catalogued it in his ‘Medical and Para-Medical Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections’, describing it as materia medica in Aramaic – a list of medicinal substances. And so it is. But when I examined the text, I read this phrase with great interest:
ואף השא או חביבן כתבינן סדרא דתלת עשר דאיתיו מים אתותא
‘And also now, O our beloved, we write the thirteenth chapter, which is the letter mem.’
Etc. Follow the doings at the Unit on Facebook. There’s always something interesting going on.
There’s a new blog (website, webpage, resource, whatever) called 4Gospels: The Less Sensational Site (a name I just love). It is
… a site run by scholars and postgraduate students based mainly in Cambridge, England, providing accessible information on the 4 Gospels in the New Testament as well as many other writings which are or have been called gospels.
I’m adding a link to the ‘Useful Sites’ section of the navigation panel. It’s really a nice resource. With thanks to Michael ‘the Aussie with the red hair’ Bird for mentioning it on the Facebook.
At 3:30 in the afternoon…. It’s dark early here.
A quick note- I have every intention of blogging/tweeting SOTS 2013 next week in Cambridge and I’ll be using the hashtag #sots2013. All of this is, of course, contingent on whether or not Fitzwilliam has wifi and I can manage to use it properly. A couple of fairly large contingencies really. At Durham a couple of years ago (oh Durham, you did try my soul) internet access was absolutely impossible. D.V., Cambridge will be better.
So, if you don’t hear from me, blame the interweb. If you do, blame yourself (I, as always, shall remain blameless and perfect, upright and eschewing evil).
- Alban Books at SOTS Winter Meeting (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
Today the Genizah Unit at Cambridge writes on their facebook page-
The recent upload of Mosseri Genizah material on the Cambridge Digital Library includes Mos.I.40, a manuscript that N. Wieder believed showed a clear link between Karaism and the Dead Sea sect, through its use of the term עדת בני צדוק.
This has piqued my interest and I’m wondering 1) what the DSS experts think of Wieder’s suggestion and 2) what, if he’s right, that implies for Scrolls research.
From Elaine Reid-
Alban Books will have a book display at the forthcoming SOTS Winter Meeting in Cambridge this January. If there are any of our books, which you can view at our new website www.albanbooks.com, that you would like us to bring with us please just let me know and I’ll add them to my list.
The Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge announces-
A workshop on codicology next July in Berlin. To be taught by leading experts Profs Judith Olszowy-Schlanger and Malachi Beit-Arié. For those who would like to attend note this important (and, for me, welcome) fact: ‘Der Workshop findet in englischer Sprache statt.’ For more information, see the website: http://www.ihiw.de/w/scriptorium/hebrew-manuscripts-studies-an-introduction/
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SOTS Winter 2013 Meeting
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
2-4 January, 2013
under the presidency of Dr Eryl W. Davies
Printable version of the SOTS programme
The booking form for the SOTS Winter meeting
Location and Directions to Fitzwilliam College
The venue for all sessions is Fitzwilliam College, Storeys Way, Cambridge, CB3 0DG. Publishers are invited to display books for sale during the Meeting. Members who have had books published recently are also invited to display copies.
WEDNESDAY 2nd JANUARY
(2.00 p.m.) [Committee Meeting]
4.30 p.m. Registration
6.00 p.m. Reception 6.45 p.m. Dinner
8.15 p.m. Presidential Address: Dr Eryl W. Davies (Bangor) “Ideology and Constructions of the ‘History of Israel’”
THURSDAY 3rd JANUARY
8.00 a.m. Breakfast
9.15 a.m. Dr Janet Tollington (Cambridge) “Reading Ruth in Dialogue with Torah”
10.00 a.m. Dr Jenni Williams (Oxford) “Childlessness in the Hebrew Bible”
10.45 a.m. Coffee
11.15 a.m. Dr David Tollerton (Bangor) “Job the Irrelevant? Responding to Rejections of Job’s Usefulness for Post-Holocaust Thought”
12.00 noon Dr Helen Leneman (Bethesda) “Musical Paths to Experiencing Job”
12.45 p.m. Lunch
2.30 p.m. Seminars: EITHER “Creating dynamic Powerpoint presentations” (Ms Elizabeth Harper, Cambridge) OR “Accessing and using downloadable resources” (Dr David Instone-Brewer, Cambridge)
3.30 p.m. SOTS Wiki seminar (Dr James Aitken, Cambridge, and Dr Stuart Weeks, Durham)
4.30 p.m. Tea
5.00 p.m. Professor John Healey (Manchester) “Aspects of Late Aramaic Epigraphy and Law”
6.00 p.m. Reception, sponsored by Koninklijke Brill NV, Publishers
6.45 p.m. Dinner
8.15 p.m. Professor John Barton (Oxford) “Ethical Digests”
FRIDAY 4th JANUARY
8.00 a.m. Breakfast
9.15 a.m. Dr Katharine Dell (Cambridge) “Reject or retrieve? Feminist Readings of Ecclesiastes 7:23-9”
10.00 a.m. Dr Mary Mills (Liverpool) “City-space and Cosmic Determinism in texts from the Minor Prophets”
10.45 a.m. Coffee
11.15 a.m. Professor Ronald Clements (Cambridge) “Solomon and the Regulation of Kingship in Deut.17.14-19”
12.00 noon Business Meeting (Members only)
1.00 p.m. Lunch, followed by departure
Those four British schools took four of the 6 top places in worldwide University rankings in a study just released and reported by the BBC-
Cambridge – top last year – was second in the QS World University Rankings, which are based on a number of areas. UCL, Oxford and Imperial took fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively, with the US’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology top and Harvard third.
Really, congratulations to all. That’s really quite an impressive achievement.
The Genizah Unit remarks, in a toss off aside, this tantalizing tidbit:
Further to the forthcoming Digital Library update, a sneak preview of the Cambridge Mishnah.
What’s that mean? Are they publishing a new edition of the Mishnah based on manuscripts in their possession? What’s going on? I’m intrigued. Someone tell us what’s going on at Cambridge!