Letter: CUL Or.1080 J80

Letter CUL Or.1080 J80



Verso: Letter from a father, unknown location, to his son Baqāʾ, in Fustat. The letter was sent to the shop of Meshullam/Musallam to be held for the addressee. In Judaeo-Arabic. Dating: ca. 12th century. Written on the back of an Arabic petition to a high Fatimid official; Goitein suggests that the sender of the Judaeo-Arabic letter could have been an official in the same office (hence with access to this scrap paper). The father has sent 20 dirhams with Abū l-ʿAlāʾ, of which 11 dirhams are for the capitation tax and the remainder for his wife ("bayt"). He exhorts his son to behave well (ḥusn al-ʿishra) with the latter's mother, wife, and siblings. He alludes to various sorts of grief and illness affecting both the family members and himself. (Information in part from CUDL and Goitein's index card.) ASE

CUL Or.1080 J80 1v



Alan Elbaum, unpublished editions (n.p., 2023).
  1. בר
  2. אעלם ולדי ואעז אלכלק עלי וענדי אטאל אללה בקאך
  3. ואדאם עזך וסעאדתך וסלאמתך ען חאל סלאמה
  4. ועאפייה ושוק אליך שדיד גמע אללה בינני(!) עלי
  5. אסר חאל ואנעם באל אנה ולי אלאגאבה
  6. ברחמתה אן שא אללה ואלדי תריד עלמה יאולדי
  7. אני קד רסלת לך עלי יד אלשיך /א/בי אלעלא ורק כ
  8. דרהם מנהא לך פי מענא אלגאלייה יא דרהם
  9. ולפאצל ללבית ולא תסאל יאולדי מא אנא פיה
  10. מן אלתעב אלעציים אלגאייה ואלכוף אלכביר אללה
  11. אלדי אבלא יעאפי ואמא אנת פטייב נפסך
  12. . מ . . אוגבה אללה [. . . . .] פאדא רצית חכמה
  13. אגאתך ופרג ענך קריב לאן כדא קיל קרוב ייי לכל
  14. קראוו(!) ואת דכי רוח יושיע רבות רעות צדיק
  15. ומכולם יצילאנו(!) ייי ומא תחתאג וצייה פי
  16. חסן אלעשרה מע ואלדתך ומן ענדך ואכותך
  17. פאנת תשרף אנה פי צאיקתהם צגארין מהמומין
  18. אללה יפרג כרבהם וכרבני(!) בחסן עאקבה
  19. קראת עליך אלסלאם ועלי ואלדתך אתם אלסלאם
  20. ועלי מן ענדך וכאלהם אתם אלסלאם ועמאתך
  21. ועמומתך אתם אלסלאם ועלי מן סאל [ענא א]פצל
  22. סלאם ושלמכם ושלום כל הנלוים אליכם יגדל
  23. לעד נצח סלה ישע יק[רב]


Geoffrey Khan, Arabic Legal and Administrative Documents in the Cambridge Genizah Collections (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).

CUL Or.1080 J80 1r


Recto, address:

  1. יצל אלי מצר חמאהא אללה
  2. דכאן אלשיך מסלם יתפצל יוצלה
  3. לולדי בקא מן ואלדה
  4. לא עדמה
  1. The slave

  2. Manṣūr ibn Zakī al-Dawla,

  3. one of the archers under the commander of his

  4. auspicious horse guard.

  5. In the name of God, the merciful and compassionate.

  6. The slave of the lofty, mighty, victorious presence, the defender, the sword of the religion, the power of the Muslims,

  7. the support of the commander of the faithful, may God establish his glory, support the strength of his rule and destroy his enemy and opponent,

  8. (the slave) reports to his eminence that he travelled with Badr, one of the horsemen of his son,

  9. the ’amīr, the defender, Tāj al-Ma‘ālī - may God, the exalted, grant him success - on an errand concerning a decree,

  10. carrying two dinars wages. The [ Ba]dr, and he received the wages in his hands. The slave

  11. and the aforementioned man came to the camp and the slave spent the night with the archers, his companions,

  12. while the aforementioned Badr spent the night with his companions. The next morning the slave looked for him

  13. and discovered that he had decamped with the two dīnārs of wages, which he had taken. A tarsīm was instituted

  14. against the slave on account of the two dinars that Badr took. The tarsīm

  15. against him has been in force for a month. He humbly requests that his affair be looked into,

  16. for the sake of God, (and) that he be released. To him belongs his prosperous resolution regarding this,

  17. if God wills.

  18. Praise be to God alone and his blessings be upon our lord Muhammad and save him.


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