Legal document: DK 324

Legal document DK 324



Legal document in Judaeo-Arabic. Draft, with extensive corrections. In the hand of Ḥalfon b. Menashshe ha-Levi? This document is long, rich, and damaged. Dating: Perhaps early 1100s, based on the appearance of Yiṣḥaq al-Nafūsī; but see the identification tab on FGP for further possible identifications of other people mentioned. Recto is a declaration/testimony in the first person. It opens with a reference to a group of captives, perhaps in Tyre (line 3), who managed to redeem themselves. The narrator donated 20 dinars, and the freed captives were able to travel to Fustat. The original text and the corrected text contain slightly divergent stories, but it seems the narrator gave a second payment of 15 dinars and a third payment of 12 dinars to a specific man (likely Yaʿaqov) and to his mother (the scribe drew up the document with few references to the mother, then subsequently added her into the story). At this point, Sar Shalom b. Ḥiyya and Yiṣḥaq al-Nafūsī arrived in Fustat and reported that Yaʿaqov was thriving and enjoyed the favor of (had 'ittiṣāl' with) Yehosef Nagid ha-Gola. A shipment of valuable Socotrene aloe now enters the story—Yaʿaqov might have asked the narrator to sell it and send him the money because his mother needed it. The narrator might have objected, citing some terms of the 'tadhkira' that he had with him. The story becomes difficult to follow around here -- it is possible that Yaʿaqov has been embezzling the funds that everyone (the narrator, Yaḥyā ha-Zaqen al-Fāsī b. Avraham, and Yīṣḥaq al-Nafūsī b. Ḥalfon) has been sending him to support his mother (a total of 47 dinars), and now they are demanding confirmation that she has received the money and a release from further obligations. There is a note underneath in smaller text that may contain the findings of the judicial investigation: how much money Yaʿaqov's mother received, how much money Yaʿaqov still owes her, and a confirmation that he has handed over the rest. Someone (Yaʿaqov?) may be called al-Muqaddasī here. The portion of the document on verso is the confirmation that Yaʿaqov's mother has now received all the money, and therefore all parties are now released from further obligations. This reading is tentative, and the document awaits transcription and more definitive study. ASE