Legal document: Bodl. MS heb. a 2/13

Legal document Bodl. MS heb. a 2/13



Recto: Legal document, probably 11th-century, attesting to the sale of half of a vineyard to a certain Sha'ul. The other half of the vineyard belongs to Yosef b. Yiṣḥaq. The vineyard abuts the public domain on three sides and the property of the Muslim Aḥmad b. מיריל (?) on the fourth side. The vineyard is located on the other side of the the river Tagus (תאגה) in the place known as ואדי לעפש (=wādī l-ʿafṣ?) in the village of אלבֿיגֿש. The bulk of the document is in Hebrew, but four lines from the bottom begins a list of all the potential defects in the vineyard in Judaeo-Arabic, which Sha'ul accepts. Goitein: "Unlike orchards, vineyards, as fields—in one document, wine- growing areas are indeed designated as "fields"—were legally the prop- erty of the government or its amirs. Therefore, a karrām, or "wine-grower," is not to be regarded as a proprietor of vineyards, but as one who leased them from the government and took care of them. Of cases like this we read in our papers, for example, about an exquisite vineyard belonging to, or being under the jurisdiction of, the governor of Alexandria, which the writer of the letter had for years tried in vain to lease. For this purpose a letter of recommendation had been sent to the governor from influential people in the capital.52 In Spain, the legal situation was different. The Hebrew documents or formularies that have reached the Geniza from there show that private persons possessed vineyards and sold or leased them at liberty. Of particular interest is one deed of sale of half a vineyard, which, after having detailed all the legal aspects of the transaction in most elaborate Hebrew, enumerates in Arabic, "in the terminology in vogue in Muslim courts," no fewer than fifteen defects and diseases that the vineyard might have and in which the buyer was prepared to acquiesce." Med Soc I, p. 123. Verso: Piyyut.

Bodl. MS heb. a 2/13 13 recto

13 recto



Bodl. MS heb. a 2/13 13 verso

13 verso
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