Letter: DK 228.3 (alt: 228/B, XIX)

Letter DK 228.3 (alt: 228/B, XIX)

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In PGP since 2017

Description

Fragment of a large letter in Judaeo-Arabic. Referring inter alia to a Nile voyage in the entourage of al-Malik al-Afḍal (1095–1121). Excerpts from recto: "...send it with whomever is available, and I will pay him the price of two nights of [...].... The only reason I did not send the saddle and the reins was fear that you would not be happy with that... I hired a donkey (with) a driver from Qalyūb nearly to Shaṭnūf, to the place of the noble barges (al-ʿushāriyāt //al-saʿīda//), and we went down and stayed several days, and we encountered terrible frights on the Nile. When we arrived in Manūf, the king (al-mālik) //may God make his reign eternal// embarked, along with my master (mawlāya) as well as my master Abū l-Mufaḍḍal, and they traveled to al-Maḥalla. I stayed in the barge, and a murshid(?) stayed with me, and there was nobody to send a letter with, which is the reason for the cutting off of my letters. The day that my master arrived from al-Maḥalla, I wrote a letter and sent it with Salāma al-Shīrajī, and it was concise... because I did not have enough time...." The continuation of recto deals with trade in clothing and textiles. The letter resumes on verso as follows: "We entered Alexandria.... Abū l-Mufaḍḍal took back (? istaʿāra) his seal/decree (?? sijill) and gave me a female donkey and informed me what happened with the Frankish female slave...." Then mentions purple cloth (urjuwān) and the merchant Abū l-Afrāḥ. In a postscript, "I was informed about the deliverance of Abu Saʿīd's wife, praise be to God for this. As to the girl's death, nothing can be done about it. May God soon give them a male child instead. Congratulate them all on her deliverance" (Med Soc III, p. 228 note 26). ASE. NB: Goitein's attached transcription belongs to another fragment.