Letter: CUL Or.1080 J75

Letter CUL Or.1080 J75


Input date

In PGP since 2017


Letter in Judaeo-Arabic, with the address in Arabic script. The handwriting is very likely that of Mūsā b. Yaʿqūb/Moshe b. Yaʿaqov writing from somewhere in the Levant in the 1050s CE to an addressee in Fustat. Compare the documents edited in Gil, Palestine, vol. 3, #514–#517, all of which are addressed to Dāʾūd b. Shaʿya (and two of which also suffer from a milder version of the wet-ink problem). The distinctive feature of the present letter is that the ink was still wet when it was folded/pleated, so almost all of the text is obscured by mirror-image imprints of other lines. (Goitein glanced at it and wrote, "Letter in Hebrew characters on which decorative patterns were printed. (?)") Probably most of it will be illegible until someone devises a clever way to subtract the reflected text. Some of the phrases that can be read are as follows: "... selling the pepper of my master the elder, and I did not know the intention of my master the elder, and Ibn Hillel already received his share... in Damascus and the letter arrived... the caravan already departed from [...]... from Tyre to Egypt... it is not concealed from my master that... 200... if my master the elder has bought some merchandise, its price returned... what he collected from the comb traders (? al-mashshāṭiyyīn) and the Sindis (?! אלסינדיין - this would be exciting but is probably wrong)... (verso) ... in Damascus it is 2/3 dinars per qintar... Damascus... this week... the rosewater... the caravan from Damascus...[skipping to the end]... may your peace increase... if you see fit to write and for the agent to pay for the [...] and charge you(?) for it... writing harshly(?)... for he will come around by being gentle (ʿalā l-mulāṭafa)..." ASE