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Publication Detail
Critical method of editing used by a late medieval Ashkenazi scribe
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Sandman IM
  • Publisher:
    Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies
  • Publication date:
  • Place of publication:
    Oxford, UK
  • Pagination:
    349, 367
  • Journal:
    Journal of Jewish Studies
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Medium:
  • Country:
    United Kingdom
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Medieval Hebrew Manuscripts, Ashkenazi Manuscripts, Textual Transmission, Para-text, Critical Editing by Scribe, Abraham bar Hiyya, Abraham bar Hayya, Medieval Hebrew Science, Science in Ashkenaz
Examining the fifteenth–sixteenth-century Ashkenazi manuscript JTS 2564, a copy of Abraham Bar Ḥayya’s/Ḥiyya’s calendrical work, one is struck by the variety of para-textual elements, including symbols (dots, circles, arrows, etc.), images, letter and word sizes, text breaks and marginalia. Working inductively, particularly with comparison to other textual witnesses, I demonstrate the rules and workings of these elements, showing that the scribe used them systematically and objectively, to superimpose his insights onto the work. This innovation was in counterbalance to his faithful transmission of the main text. Thus, his copy embodies his dynamic tension between conservatism and innovation, offering a portrait of his intellectual gestalt. These findings not only enable us to differentiate between glosses by this scribe and glosses by others, but they help us gain an appreciation of the transmission of Hebrew scientific texts over time and place, expanding our understanding of Jewish intellectual history.
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