Letter: T-S K25.279

Letter T-S K25.279

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Input date

In PGP since 2022

Description

Letter in Judaeo-Arabic. From the circle of the 13th-century Mosul Nasis. Extremely faded. The beginning and ending are missing. All of recto and part of verso are narrated as secondhand reports ("he said... he said... he said..."). Recto is a horrifying account of the Mongol (Tatar/תתר) invasion (cf. Bodl. MS heb. a 3/24 and T-S 20.128, belonging to the same circle of Mosul Nasis and possibly from the same sender). The Mongols entered the narrator's city on Simḥat Torah and plundered it, taking captive al-Nasi al-Fakhr, his wife Sitt al-Ruʾasāʾ, his brothers, his sister, and his 2-year-old son. Thousands of men, women, and children fled. By the time they reached Wādī ʿUmayr, the women were exhausted from carrying their children. The Mongols tore the children away—including the son of al-Fakhr and Sitt al-Ruʾasāʾ—and threw them on the ground as they cried out for their parents. When the letter resumes on verso, the sender (or the narrator of recto?) is describing his difficult economic circumstances wherever he has ended up (Syria? Bilbays? Fustat?). Everything that al-Nasi al-Fakhr had, clothing or otherwise, has been lost. Previously they were supported by the community or private donors ("kāna yaṣilunā mezonot") but now the people cannot spare any attention for them, even though they profess to love them. He mentions someone named Barakāt with the title al-Tifʾeret; a distinguished physician; and other notables who say that either the sender or the addressee should obtain a decree/rescript (tawqīʿ) and become the leader (muqaddam, ḥākim) of the community. There are a couple more faded lines, and the continuation is missing. ASE