Legal document: T-S Ar.29.49

Legal document T-S Ar.29.49



Court records. The first record is in the hand of Ḥalfon b. Menashshe. It begins on verso and continues onto the right-hand page of recto. Berakhot b. ʿAmram ha-Kohen (known from T-S 12.607), the agent of Sitt al-Fakhr bt. ʿAmram ha-Levi, sues ʿEli b. Eliyya he-Ḥaver (known from T-S 16.151 and T-S 16.43) concerning a prior purchase of a female slave. Sitt al-Fakhr had bought the enslaved woman from ʿEli's wife Khulla bt. Yosef ha-Kohen for a sum of 10 dinars. She later became aware of 'defects' which had not been disclosed at the time of purchase (as opposed to the defect in the woman's eye, which had been disclosed). When ʿEli and his wife Khulla are asked, ʿEli claims that Sitt al-Fakhr never even bought this enslaved woman, and that in fact the buyer was Sitt al-Fakhr's husband, Abū l-Faraj Yeshuʿa b. Yoshiyya (known from documents including ENA 4020.8, T-S 10J5.14, T-S 13J2.21, T-S 13J2.25, T-S 16.21, and T-S AS 145.79). The court asks to see the bill of sale. ʿEli and his wife bring the requested document, which doesn't mention Yeshuʿa anywhere and shows that the sale was conducted between the two women. The court then asks Berakhot if he inquired from his wife about whether she accepted "al-dukhūl taḥt al-ʿuyūb" (referring to blanket acceptance of all defects, even those not specified?), and he says that she says that she did not accept this condition. Rather, she heard from her own 'sitt' (her mother?) and from the female broker (al-dallāla) that this enslaved woman only had [...] defect and no more. There is a small gap here. When it resumes on recto, it mentions the date 6 Ḥeshvan 1446 Seleucid = 25 October 1134 CE. ʿEli continues to claim that neither he nor his wife had any dealings with Sitt al-Fakhr but only with her husband Yeshuʿa, that the one who received the money was the broker who was mediating between them (alladhī kānat safīra baynahumā), that the payment was made by Yeshuʿa, that they did not enumerate (? יעדדו) the defects but rather this was an 'absolute' (muṭlaq) 'bayʿ jalb,' and that at the time of sale there was also a legal acquisition made from Yeshuʿa in which he acknowledged that he was the buyer rather than his wife, and that he was the guarantor (ḍāmin al-darak) for the sale. The record ends here, written 'on that exact date' (apparently the date mentioned above), and signed by Ḥalfon b. Menashshe ha-Levi, Yosef b. Yefet ha-Levi, and Natan b. Shelomo ha-Kohen. The second record is on the lefthand page of recto, written at 180 degrees to the facing record. This is in the hand of a different scribe (probably also known), and it concerns the same case: "the female slave who was sold to the wife of Yeshuʿa." It is a testimony from the witnesses who were present at the time when the wife of ʿEli (= Khulla) sold the enslaved woman. Meshullam ha-Talmid states that he is completely confident that he 'acquired' from 'her husband' (=Yeshuʿa) that he was the guarantor for the sale. But a few days later, Yeshuʿa then denied that he was the guarantor (in accordance with what was written in the deed of sale). The other witness (in addition to Meshullam) was also asked about the guarantee (i.e., whether Yeshuʿa was the guarantor or not), and he also said 'yes... and the husband of the seller (=ʿEli) did not require that of him, and when we went, the wife of Yeshuʿa (=Sitt al-Fakhr) was not present, and we did not witness anything concerning her." The page ends here, and there are no signatures; the record may have originally continued onto a different page.