Letter: T-S AS 180.128

Letter T-S AS 180.128


Input date

In PGP since 2019


Family letter in Arabic, in Arabic script. There are a handful of Hebrew words, also in Arabic script. Dating: Likely 11th century, based on the reference to the Tustaris. After the opening greetings, the sender reports on somebody who was sick with fever (ḥummā) and chills (bard) for 40 days but who then improved. Mentioned next: a house, rent, a banker (al-Ṣayrafī), 2.5 dinars paid in nuqra every year, and renovations (tarammum/tarammama). In the upper margin of recto, mentions a woman planning to travel; also mentions the Tustaris (al-Dasātira) and Umm Abū l-Khayr(?). On verso the sender is talking about another woman (Umm ʿAzzūz?) and says more about the house — cleaning it and its roof (naẓẓafnā al-dār kullhā... al-saṭḥ...). There is a line that contains the Hebrew word "dreams' (الحلوموث). The letter concludes with a report on the children, who are all well. One of the female family members wishes to travel. She has been studying a tafsīr but has finished (qad faraghat). Sittūna (a female name) is studying the book of Kings. Abū Manṣu{r?} is studying the book of Samuel. Someone is studying the Torah with Shelomo Ibn al-[...]. This letter offers a rare glimpse into the religious education of girls, perhaps upper-class Qaraite girls, based on the casual reference to the Tustaris. Merits further examination. ASE