Legal document: T-S 8J32.3

Legal document T-S 8J32.3


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Legal document. Court record from Fustat. Dated: Tuesday, 4 Av 1473 (17 July 1162). Incomplete record of proceedings of the court of Netan’el ha-Levi (ga’on b. Moshe the sixth) concerning a silk-trading partnership between Shemu’el b. Shelomo and (Abū) Manṣūr El’azar b. Yishaq al-Dimashqī. Shemu’el b. Shelomo attests to the existence of a partnership agreement, which stipulated that profits were to be split 1/3 to 2/3, the bulk going to El’azar. This roughly corresponded with their investment in the partnership capital, Shemu’el b. Shelomo bringing 55 dinars and El’azar bringing 95. Each of the partners has the right of disposal of partnership assets. The funds are invested with local workers in various towns in the Nile Delta (Sammanūd and al-Maḥalla) as well as in longer-distance investments (such as in Tyre). The record does not discuss a dispute between the partners, but is instead largely concerned with the details of sales, investments, and profits of the partnership. Each attests to transactions and deposits; apparently, the partners did not trust one another "as two proper witnesses", and they required direct testimony of the partnership accounting. (Information from Lieberman, "A Partnership Culture," 190)

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Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman, "A Partnership Culture: Jewish Economic and Social Life Seen Through the Legal Documents of the Cairo Geniza" (PhD diss., Princeton University, 2007).


  1. On Tuesday the fourth of the month of Av
  2. 1473 (of the Era) of Documents, in Fusṭāṭ Egypt, situated on the Nile River,
  3. jurisdiction of his glorious excellency, diadem of beauty, (his) honor,
  4. greatness (and) holiness, our teacher and our master, inimitable in our generation, our prince and prince
  5. of God among us, our lord Nathaniel ha-Levi, “Israel’s chariots and horsemen,”
  6. may his name endure forever, m(aster) Samuel the Elder b. Solomon
  7. the Elder (who) r(ests in) E(den) and M(r.) Eleazar the Elder b. M(r.) Isaac the Elder (who) r(ests in) E(den), appeared before the session (of the court)
  8. of his excellency our lord, inimitable in our generation, may his name endure forever, and M(r.)
  9. Samuel advanced a claim upon M(r.) Eleazar for what was recorded as follows:
  10. M(r.) Samuel said, “I agree that  between me and between the aforementioned M(r.) Eleazar there was
  11. a partnership (shirka) in silk, its total value being one hundred and fifty dinars.
  12. I contributed fifty-five dinars from that amount, and he contributed ninety-five
  13. dinars. Together, we bought silk with the aforementioned total amount
  14. as we had agreed, namely that the profit would be split: one third for me
  15. and two thirds would be for him.” M(r.) Samuel said that his partner M(r.) Eleazar
  16. sold some of the aforementioned silk to Joseph b. al-Karrām for fifty-
  17. four dinars, and its price came to him. “I also sold
  18. some of the silk for forty-seven dinars, of which I transferred to
  19. M(r.) Eleazar twenty-seven dinars, and the remainder
  20. was twenty dinars which remained with ‘the workers’ (al-mu‘āmilīn) outside of
  21. Sammanūd.” Then he said in the very same (court) session that
  22. debts demanded his travel to the town of Tyre, and he agreed to
  23. division of the remainder of the aforementioned silk, then the two of them divided it


  1. according to its total, and each of them took his portion of the silk which
  2. was on hand.   My remaining obligation was the aforementioned twenty dinars held
  3. in al-Maḥalla. When we dispatched (a letter) for his withdrawal (of the funds) from my (account),
  4. the document of his partner M(r.) Eleazar reached him, saying that he had erred concerning the gold which
  5. was with him.     Then M(r.) Eleazar, who is the aforementioned Manṣūr al-
  6. Dimashqī, was asked about the opinion of his counterparty, and he said that
  7. the fifty dinars were collected and received in the leather bag, in which he and his partner had the right
  8. of unilateral disposition, likewise, concerning the twenty-seven dinars.
  9. He attested to splitting the (remaining) silk, and each of them
  10. took his share of the aforementioned silk into his possession, and this (statement) was
  11. (supported by) others. Then // Manṣūr said// … Samuel went to al-Maḥalla
  12. so that I would pay that which was due him exclusively, because the twenty
  13. remaining dinars had not come at the time of their payment, and he returned
  14. from al-Maḥalla and went to travel again on Sunday
  15. to al-Maḥalla //again on the day …// his exit, the leather bag disappeared
  16. and I found that they lacked sixty-six
  17. dinars.   When the court asked m(aster) Samuel regarding
  18. the twenty dinars which he said remained with the
  19. workers, //had he taken them upon himself …// and he said that he received them himself at the time of the silk distribution.
  20. In the same court session, m(aster) Samuel said
  21. that the two of them, at the time of the silk distribution, reckoned a gain
  22. of twelve dinars’ profit, and it was turned over to him along with the total
  23. of what was collected. Abū Manṣūr al-Dimashqī said in the session (of the court)

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