Letter: Moss. IIIa,11

Letter Moss. IIIa,11


Input date

In PGP since 2017


Letter from Yaʿaqov b. Salmān al-Ḥarīrī, in Alexandria, to his mother and father, in Qayrawān. Dating: ca. 1050 CE. The address bears the name of the writer's father Salmān b. Ibrāhīm, whom Yaʿaqov addresses at the end of the letter, but he addresses his mother for the bulk of the letter. The writer expresses his disappointment in the Maghrebis in Egypt, who did not assist him as he expected when he was newly arrived in Fustat and very ill for one month. He recovered and is now healthier than ever. When he returned to Abū l-Faraj Ibn ʿAllān who had previously promised to employ him, he found that Abū l-Faraj had lost his mother and his sister, "and was too preoccupied for me" (ishtaghala ʿannī). Yaʿaqov set out on his own and started to trade flaxes. He is planning to travel to the north, perhaps to al-Lādhiqiyya (a plan he carried out: see CUL Or.1080 J17, which he wrote from Tripoli, and T-S 8J19.27, which he wrote from Ramla). But he will wait in Alexandria until he learns what his family thinks of this plan, and he will follow their counsel. The end of the letter has the curious line, "Abū Yaḥyā is well, in complete health, and aṣḥābunā are in complete health, no one died except Abū l-Khayr b. Barukh in Tinnīs" (verso, lines 22–23)—which, along with the illness of Yaʿaqov and the deaths in Abū l-Faraj's family, suggests that there was then an epidemic. Information from Gil, Kingdom, Vol. 4, #661. See also ENA 2738.34, a very similar letter which Yaʿaqov wrote at the same time and addressed to his sister. VMR. ASE.

Moss. IIIa,11 1r



Moss. IIIa,11 1v

Image Permissions Statement
  • Moss. IIIa,11: Provided by Cambridge University Library. Zooming image © Cambridge University Library, All rights reserved. This image may be used in accord with fair use and fair dealing provisions, including teaching and research. If you wish to reproduce it within publications or on the public web, please contact genizah@lib.cam.ac.uk.