Letter: T-S Misc.22.310

Letter T-S Misc.22.310



"Although the majority of the material preserved in the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection comes from the periods of Fatimid and Ayyubid rule in Egypt, it is not unusual to come across much earlier or much later material. The fragment T-S Misc.22.310, that was brought to my attention by my collegue Dr Amir Ashur, belongs clearly to the latter group: at the bottom of f. 2v it bears the date August 10th 1865 together with the signature of the petitioner, an Italian subject, Jacub Dayyan. The fragment is a large paper bifolium and each of its leaves was folded in two on its width, thus dividing the writable surface into eight columns. Four columns are filled with the Italian text of the petition in a large, elegant and very slanted handwriting, which is easily legible; one and a half columns contain Arabic text, written in a seemingly clear – yet actually quite impenetrable – script, which appears to be an abridged version of the Italian document. The petition is addressed to the Illustrissimo Signor Cavaliere Licurgo Macciò Regio Console d’Italia in Cairo, the Royal Italian consul in Cairo, and it deals with a private matter, the subtraction, detention and exploitation of a pair of cows belonging to the petitioner, Jacub Dayyan, by an administrator of His Excellence Ibrahim Bey." Gabriele Ferrario, Fragment of the Month, March 2011.