List or table: T-S Ar.51.78

List or table T-S Ar.51.78



Informal note from a bookseller named Yefet to a Nasi. He is acting as a middleman and presenting a bill for approximately a dozen books bought by the Nasi from a third party ("the owner"). The total came out to 93.5 (black dirhams). Yefet has so far received 6 Kāmilī dirhams, and the owner has received 8. The addressee stated that he has paid another 3 nuqra (pure silver) dirhams to the owner (Allony et al read this as "13" nuqra dirhams). Yefet calculates that altogether these payments amount to 50 black dirhams less 1 and 1/8 dirham (= 48.875 dirhams). Kāmilī dirhams (approximately 33% silver content) were first minted in 1225 CE to replace the black dirhams previously in use (often less than 33% silver content). As the black dirhams were taken out of circulation, their appearance in this document is likely as a unit of account. It is hard to make the figures add up. If we assume that the Kāmilī dirhams contained 33% silver and the nuqra dirhams 100% silver, then the black dirham mentioned here has to be ~16% silver. Regardless, the sum which remains to be paid is 44 + 1/2 + 1/8 = 44.625 dirhams. (Information in part from Allony et al, The Jewish Library, pp. 218–19.)

T-S Ar.51.78 recto



Nehemia Allony, The Jewish Library in the Middle Ages: Book Lists from the Cairo Geniza‎ (in Hebrew) (Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East, 2006).
  1. ענד סידנא אלנשיא ירום הודו ויגדל כבודו אלחאוי
  2. גזאין כ וכתאב אלמחאצרה יו וכראריס כתיר מגמע/ה/
  3. מן פנון כתירה י ואללגה ד ותנחומא ח ומשנה כא
  4. וכתאב אלארשאד א ונצף וספר תלים שרח ג ומדרש
  5. השכם י גמלה דלך תלתה ותסעין ונצף
  6. קבץ מן ד{לך} אולא עלי ידי ו כאמליה ועלי יד אלמאלך ח
  7. כאמליה ודכר סידנא ירום הודו אנה דפע ללמאלך ג נקרה
  8. יכון גמלה דלך כמסין דרהם סואד תנקץ
  9. דרהם ותמן
  10. יכון אלמתבקא מד דרהם ונצף ותמן וכתב יפת עבדו