Legal document: T-S 8J6.9

Legal document T-S 8J6.9


Legal document regulating the share of profit and loss to a traveling party of four to Syria after one of them is prevented from traveling by illness. Dated 1542 of the Seleucid Era (= 1231 CE). Unsigned form of a commenda agreement between four parties (Abū Sa‘d b. Ibrahīm al-Ṣabbāgh, Abū Manṣūr b. al-Sūkkari, Suleymān b. ‘Imrān al-Ṣabbāgh and Futūḥ b. Abū al-‘Izz al-Ṣabbāgh), all of whom are to travel to al-Shām to trade. Tthe scribal notes were likely composed quickly, with the intention of subsequently filling in these details when the fuller agreement was written. The amount of the partners’ investment is specified only for Abū Sa‘d b. Ibrahīm al-Ṣabbāgh, who lays out 82 and 11/12ths dinars. Prior to departure, Abū Sa‘d fell ill and was unable to travel. Generally, this situation might require the ill (active) partner to be demoted to an investor; the division of profits here may reflect such a restructuring. The three active partners are allocated 13/24ths of profits while Abū Sa‘d is allocated 11/24ths, while losses are split evenly. The additional twelfth of the profit is allocated to the partners as "wages for their work and maintenance". Separately, Abū Sa‘d places 19 dinars in a commenda with Suleyman b. ‘Imrān with a similar division of profits and losses. It is unclear why Abū Sa‘d places the bulk of his investment with the three partners and then an additional investment with only Suleyman. (Information from Lieberman, "A Partnership Culture", 182-183)

T-S 8J6.9 1v



S. D. Goitein, unpublished editions.
  1. למא לאן פי אלעשר אלאול מן חדש אב יהפך אבלו לששון דשנת אלפא
  2. וחמש מאה וארבעין ותרתין שנין לשטרות בפסטאט מצרים דעל
  3. נילוס נהרא מותבה רשותיה דאדוננו נגידנו אברהם הרב המובה/ק/
  4. דגל הרבנים יחיד הדור ופלאו הנגיד הגדול ירום הודו ויגדל לנצח כבודו
  5. חצר אלינא כגק' מרנ ורבנ שלמה הלוי החכם והנבון הסופר המהיר גבור בחכמתו
  6. שתורתו אומנותו ירים השם מעלתו סט בן כגק מרנו ורבנו שמואל //הלוי// הדיין
  7. המשכיל החכם המופלא בית דין הגון זצל וקאל לנא אשהדו עלי ואקנו מני קנין שלם
  8. בלשון מעכשיו אן לאלשיך (!) אבי סעד כגק' מרנא ורבנא סעדיה הבחור היקר
  9. סט בן כגק' מרנא ורבנא אברהם הזקן היקר נע מן אלדראהם אלתי הי נקד מצר
  10. מאיתי [..........] אקום לה בהא דפעה ואחדה פי סלך סיון דשנת אלפא
  11. וחמש מאה //וארבעין// ותלת שנין לשטרות בגיר מטל ולא מדאפעה פאקנינא נחן אלשהוד
  12. אלואצעין כטוטנא באכרה במא יאת (צ"ל: יאתי) ביאנה פיה מן מרנ שלמה הלוי הנזכר
  13. אן עליה וענדה ופי דמתה ומן מאלה לאלשיך אבי סעד אלצבאג אלמדכור
  14. מן אלדראהם אלמתעאמל בהא באלדיאר אלמצריה אלתי הי נקד מצר מאיתי
  15. דרהמא וכמסה עשר דרהמא ואנה יקום לה בהא פי סלך סיון דשנת אתקמג
  16. לשטרות ואן הדא אלמבלג ענדה למ סעדיה רב אלדין חוב גמור ומלוה זקופה
  17. עליו בחייו ועל יורשיו אחריו למ סעדיה וליורשיו אחריו ואן אלאחריות פי דלך
  18. עלי מ שלמה דנן ועל יורשיו אחריו


Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman, "A Partnership Culture: Jewish Economic and Social Life Seen Through the Legal Documents of the Cairo Geniza" (PhD diss., Princeton University, 2007).


  1. On Friday, the third of Av, may God transform it into joy, of the year 1542 (of the Era) of Docume[nts,]
  2. we, the witnesses who have placed our signature at the end of this document, were present for the matter in which [we] test[ified] concerning
  3. the Elder Abū Sa‘d b. Ibrahīm al-Ṣabbāgh and the Elder Abū Manṣūr b. al-Sūkka[rī]
  4. and Suleymān b. ‘Imrān al-Ṣabbāgh and Futūḥ b. Abū al-‘Izz al-Ṣabbāgh.
  5. The Elder, the aforementioned Abū Sa‘d b. Ibrahīm, said to us, “We acknowledge before you that we, the aforementioned four of us, agree
  6. that each of us //would bring out // a certain amount and buy with it merchandise and the like, and we would travel to
  7. al-Shām. I brought out 83 dinars less two qirāṭs and they also brought out
  8. gold and we bought merchandise and the like, and we dispatched
  9. two shipments from the customs-office, I had the 83 (dinars) less two qirāṭs in the two shipments, and the rest of the shipments were theirs.
  10. As when we arranged to travel, exalted God decreed and I fell ill (and) a change in constitution came upon me,
  11. and (I) could not travel. Now, testify concerning me and perform a complete qinyan with me, that I have placed
  12. the 83 din(ars) with them as a commenda, with which they will travel to al-Shām, selling and buying, and of whatever
  13. God brings about in terms of profit, half and a twenty-fourth will be theirs, and a third and an eighth will be mine, for I have given them preference
  14. over me in the profit by a twenty-fourth //which will be// the wages for their work and maintenance. If they experience a loss,
  15. half of it will be upon me and half upon them. Similarly, I have paid to this Suleymān b. ‘Imrān 19 dina(rs)
  16. as a commenda; of whatever he achieves in terms of profit, half and a twenty-fourth will be his and
  17. half less a twenty-fourth will be mine, as I //have given him preference// by a twenty-fourth above the half, which will be
  18. the wages for his work and maintenance. Testify concerning me that I have made it possible for them to act in this
  19. commenda as they see for the good.

T-S 8J6.9 1r

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