Letter: T-S 12.386

Letter T-S 12.386


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Letter from Mevasser b. David, in Tinnīs, to Nahray b. Nissim, in Fustat. In Judaeo-Arabic. Dating: 22 Elul (25 August [1068 — Gil's inference]), with plentiful blessings for the Jewish new year. Mevasser inquires about previous letters and asks Nahray to pass on any news from Ifrīqiyya. It is rumored that ʿAbdallāh Ibn al-Baʿbāʿ, who became the (last) Muslim ruler of Sicily the following year, arrived in Alexandria in a ghurāb (river boat) and may have escaped. Probably this refers to his flight from the ruler of Ifrīqiyya, Tamīm b. Muʿizz. In the margin of recto, Mevasser offers an apology having to do with his correspondence, because he has an illness (tawajjuʿ), and his son and wife are sick as well, and his entire household, "may God deliver them. What will become of a small baby and his mother—may God exempt you—who do not have anyone to go in for them (from context, perhaps this should be read yadkhul rather than Gil's yattakil) or go out? Every person is occupied with himself (mashghūl bi-rūḥihi)." Gil understands Mevasser's sick family members to be not in Tinnīs with him but in al-Mahdiyya, which is currently under siege, with no ships coming and going (connecting recto, right margin, lines 4–5, with verso, lines 10–11). (Information from Gil, Kingdom, Vol. 4, # 695 and Goitein notes linked below.) ASE.

T-S 12.386 1r



T-S 12.386 1v

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