Paraliterary text: T-S NS J479

Paraliterary text T-S NS J479



Both sides of this folio are filled with miscellaneous jottings mainly in Judaeo-Arabic written in an idiosyncratic (unique?) cipher. Dating: no earlier than mid-13th century, based on handwriting and formularies used, plus the citation of a poem by al-Būṣīrī (dates: 1213–95). There are also two lines from the opening of a petition written in Arabic script, a few scattered words in Arabic script, and a single word(?) written in Hebrew script (כסתבאן). The text is written higgledy piggledy in various directions, and some Hebrew letters are represented by more than one glyph—perhaps the scribe was using these pages to develop the cipher. The contents include: (1) the alphabet written several times, both right to left and left to right; (2) the scribe's signature several times, al-faqīr Isḥāq al-yahūdī; (3) two verses from Qaṣīdat al-Burda by al-Būṣīrī (أمِنْ تذَكُّرِ جيرانٍ بذي سلمِ); (4) some legal jargon (jarā dhālika fī ākhir jumādā al-thāmī(!) sanat ar[...]; (5) and two pornographic sections, one of which ends "all this is lies" (כל הדה כדב). ASE