رسالة: T-S 13J14.14

رسالة T-S 13J14.14



Complaint of a ḍāmin (tax farmer) in al-Minya about competitors from Tyre, submitted to the Nagid Mevorakh around 1096–97 (Goitein, perhaps on the basis of Mevorakh's titles). The petition is written in careful, square script, but is full of idiosyncratic spellings and uses of Judaeo-Arabic, which obscure the meaning somewhat. The writer claimed to have received his appointment as tax-farmer from Badr al-Jamālī, referred to in the petition as Dhū Riʾāsatayn, "the man with the two commands," since he was wazīr al-sayf wa-l-qalam, vizier of the sword and the pen," i.e., chief commander as well as head of the civil administration. The group of competitors from Tyre are called the Banū Ḥujayla and they've outbid the petitioner. (For the use of the verb zāda as 'to outbid' in the context of tax-farming, see the parallel in DK 236 = PGPID 6573, r19.) (Information in part from Med. Soc. 2:361, 605–6; Cohen, Jewish Self-Government, 149; Med. Soc., 5:367) EMS/MR

T-S 13J14.14 1r


النصوص المفرّغة

S. D. Goitein, unpublished editions.


  1. בשמך רחמנא
  2. אללה תעלא ישמע מן אלעבד מא ידעי לחצרה אדנינו
  3. כגק מר ור מבורך אלוף הבינות חכאם(!) השיבה(!)
  4. סנהדרה רבא עוז בית ישראל שר השרים נגיד
  5. הנגידים ירום הודו וגדאל(!) כבודו בן כגק מר ו[ר
  6. סעדיה הרופא החוסיד(!) בדורו זצל ויחיה שני השרים
  7. הנכבודי(!) ברוש(!) ובתחילה כגק מר ור אלריס אבו אלביאן
  8. משה ואחיה אלריס אבו אלברכאת ומא ללעבד לסאן
  9. אן יודי אלדעא ואלשכר עלי בעץ אנעאם אנע<א>ם חצרתה
  10. עלי עבדהא וקע/ו/די בינידי(!) אולאדי לם אששתת(! = אתשתת?) מן אללה
  11. ומן בעץ אנעאמה עלי וקד צח ענד גמיע אלתגאר
  12. ואלדי יטלבו אלצמאן וקופה לעבדה ואשתמאלה(!) עלי ואמתנ[אעה?
  13. עני גיר אקואם יקאל להם בני חגילה מן אהל צור ומ[עהם
  14. אלפושיע(!) וקד אצגרו אלעבד ממא יטעמהם אלשוחד לעהם(!)
  15. ינצרו עני וכל מא אזת פי כראמתהם קד טמעו פי
  16. וקד תוגהו בני חגילה ידכרו אנהם יזידו עלי פי אלדיואן
  17. ויקול אן מעהם אלשופיט סואר ואלקרא בן אלבירותי ואן
  18. אלדכירה ובן אבי סאמה יענו בהם כדא יקולו ומצו אלי

Recto, right margin

  1. אלצמאן אלדי פי
  2. אלמניה אלדי אנא צאמן
  3. מנהם וזאדו עלי ולם
  4. יקבלו אלזאיד וקאלו לה[ם
  5. האדא צאמן מן
  6. דו אלריאסתין תלאת
  7. סנין וקד ב[קי לה]
  8. סנה ונצף מא נק[בל
  9. עליה זאיד חתא יתם צמאנ[ה]
  10. ושבועה לולא מא עלי
  11. ללמעאמלין מן אלדין
  12. מא אתעבת סר
  13. אדנינו ירום הודו

Recto, top margin

  1. ואלעבד מנתצר מן אללה
  2. ומן חצרתה אלמרותה
  3. וכלאצי מן אהלא אלקום
  4. אלמודין לי פאן תחבס
  5. עלי האדי אלסנה ואלנצף בלא
  6. זיאדה פמן אללה ומן חצרתה
  7. ואן יתם להם עלי אלזיאדה פאלעבד
  8. יקבלהא למא עלי מן אדין(!)
  9. ללתגאר והם יקתלוני וארגו
  10. מן אללה אן סעאדתה תשמלני
  11. כמא שמלתני פי אלאול ופי
  12. אלאבד אמן יה(!) רצון


Alan Elbaum and Marina Rustow, unpublished editions (n.p., 2022).


  1. In your name, merciful one.
  2. May God the exalted listen to what his servant implores of his excellency our lord,
  3. his honor, greatness and holiness, our master and teacher Mevorakh, sagacious leader, sage of the yeshiva, 
  4. grand counsel, strength of the house of Israel, prince of princes, nagid
  5. of nagids, may his glory be exalted and his honor be magnified, son of his honor, greatness and holiness our master and [teacher]
  6. Saʿadya the physician, pious one of his generation, may the memory of the righteous be a blessing, and may the two honored princes live,
  7. especially his honor, greatness and holiness, our master and teacher the rayyis Abū l-Bayān
  8. Moshe, and may the rayyis Abū l-Barakāt (also) live. The servant has no tongue
  9. to convey supplication and thanks for (even) some of the benefactions that his excellency has bestowed
  10. upon his servant and for the fact that I am sitting among my children (and) have not been scattered: (this is) from God
  11. and among the benefactions he has granted me. Valid (i.e., known) among all the traders
  12. and those who seek tax farms is his standing for his slave and his protection of me and granting bene[factions
  13. to me, except among the group called the Banū Ḥujayla from Tyre. A[mong them]
  14. there is a sinner. They hold the slave in contempt, since they enjoy bribery, may they be cursed.
  15. They are scrutinizing me; everything I could add to their rank, they covet in me.
  16. The Banū Ḥujayla have started mentioning that they are outbidding me in the dīwān,
  17. and saying that they have a judge with them who is a cavalryman and a Qaraite, Ibn al-Bayrūtī, and that 
  18. al-Dhukhayra and Ibn Abī Sāma look after them. So they say. They went to

Recto, right margin

  1. the tax-farm that is in
  2. Minya, of which I am the tax-farmer
  3. rather than them. They outbid me, but (the supervisors in the dīwān) didn't
  4. accept their bid and said to them: 
  5. "This tax-farmer (the petitioner) (received his appointment) from 
  6. Dhū al-Riʾāsatayn for three
  7. years, and h[e has]
  8. one and a half remaining. Let us not accept 
  9. a greater offer until he finishes (the term of his) tax-farm
  10. and oath." Were it not for the fact that I don't
  11. owe the fiscal officials (al-muʿāmilīn) any debts,
  12. I wouldn't have troubled the prince
  13. our lord, may his glory be exalted.

Recto, top margin

  1. The servant awaits his recompense
  2. from God and from his excellency,
  3. and my redemption from the people of this group,
  4. who are ruining me. If they keep 
  5. from me this year and a half without
  6. surplus, then (I will be dependent) on God and his excellency.
  7. And if they succeed in outbidding me, then the slave
  8. will accept it, since I owe debts
  9. to the traders, and they are killing me. I beg
  10. God and his grace to bestow upon me,
  11. as he has bestowed on me before and
  12. forever. Amen, may it be His will.

T-S 13J14.14 1v


Verso, address

  1. לחצרה אדנינו //גק מר ור// שר השרים נגיד הנגידים                 עבדהא אלא.[
  2. ירום הודו יגדאל (!) כבודו

Verso, address

  1. To his excellency our lord, his greatness and holiness, our master and teacher, prince of princes, nagid of nagids,
  2. may his glory be exalted and his honor magnified
  3. His servant the ... [
بيان أذونات الصورة
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