Letter: T-S 10J18.10

Letter T-S 10J18.10



Letter from a trader in India to his cousin, who was also his brother-in-law, in Egypt. The writer had apparently been in India and for some time, and complains that he hadn’t heard from his relatives in Egypt, rebuking the addressee for failing to send news of his aunt, Umm Mufaḍḍal, of the addressee's mother, of Umm Saʿīd, or of Iftikhār, or news about who died and who is still alive. He also rebukes him for failing to send condolences on the death of his mother. He is also angry at Mufaḍḍal, apparently another cousin, the son of a different aunt of the writer, for his behavior after the sender lost 4,000 mithqāls. The letter demonstrates the tension between the writer’s belief in the legitimacy of his extended family’s claim on his resources, on the one hand, and his anger at their irresponsible conduct. While the writer is quite angry at the addressee, he nevertheless asks him to send his middle son to him to marry the writer’s daughter, who was there in India with him; he implies that this arrangement is preferable to him because it would preserve his daughter’s dotal property within his natal family. Between the lines, he specifies that he wants the older of the middle sons, the one with the “healthy” eye, presumably a euphemism for a diseased eye. He then discusses various business transactions, many involving stationery and garments. Also mentions Naṣr, who is in a ḥajj caravan; and sends regards to the addressee's children; Abū ʿImrān and his children; Abū ʿImrān and Ghulayb; Abū l-Munā (and congratulations on his safe return from al-Jāwa, probably meaning Southeast Asia broadly); and Munajjā. The fragment ends with the sender cursing the Aleppan (al-Ḥalabī) who made off with everyone's qumāsh. (Information from CUDL, from Goitein, Med. Soc., 3:35, from Krakowski, “Female Adolescence,” 166n20, from Marina Rustow and from Alan Elbaum)

T-S 10J18.10 1r




T-S 10J18.10 1v

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