State document: T-S Ar.39.64

State document T-S Ar.39.64


Letter/report from a patron of Abū Zikrī al-Ḥakīm and his father (Eliyyahu the Judge) to a superior (addressed as "al-majlis"). In Arabic script. Dating: 1218–27 CE, based on the mention of both al-Malik al-Kāmil (the Ayyubid sultan 1218–38) and al-Malik al-Muʿaẓẓam (the Ayyubid ruler of Damascus, d. 1227). This is a letter of patronage/protection/recommendation, attesting that Abū Zikrī and Eliyyahu are the loyal servants of the sender and must be assisted and protected in their purposes and must not be opposed by the dīwān of Alexandria (dīwān al-thaghr al-maḥrūs). In fact, they have already obtained orders from the dīwāns of al-Kāmil (amr al-dawāwīn al-Kāmiliyya) and royal rescripts (al-tawāqīʿ al-kāmiliyya) to this effect. There are no specifics whatsoever about the nature of the protection that should be extended. In another letter, T-S NS J29, Abū Zikrī describes to his father his efforts to obtain an "iṭlāq" (this has been understood as a disbursement of a state salary, perhaps for serving as judge in Alexandria) from al-Malik al-Kāmil, in part by cashing in the favors owed to him by mid-level amirs (סעד אלדין כוגבא is mentioned by name). This document is probably the continuation of the same story and the fruits of Abū Zikrī's efforts. The sender concludes this recommendation by saying, "Whatever good happens to them happens to me." There is a 4-line digest of the essence of the report at the top of recto for the benefit of impatient readers. ASE