• Hebrew Printing and Printers’ Colophons in the Cairo Genizah: Networking Book Trade in Europe and the Ottoman Empire

    Nick Posegay (see profile)
    Digital Middle East & Islamic Studies, Hebrew Bible / Old Testament, Islamicate Studies, Ottoman and Turkish Studies, Ottoman Jewish Studies
    Printing, Printing presses, Judaism--Medieval and early modern period, Bible. Old Testament, Hebrew language, Hebrew literature, Cairo Genizah, Genizah, Turkey, Jews
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    hebrew, judaism, Printing presses, early modern, Early modern European history, egyptian history
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    The Cairo Genizah is famous as a source of manuscripts for the study of the medieval Mediterranean world, especially Jewish communities during the High Middle Ages. However, among the hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern manuscript fragments in Genizah collections are more than 12,000 moveable-type printed items, most of which come from Europe. They are the remnants of a significant trade in Hebrew-script books that crossed the Mediterranean in the centuries following Gutenberg’s printing press. This corpus is severely understudied, with few previous surveys of printed Genizah material and no systematic cataloguing data currently available to organise it. This article takes several steps to rectify this situation by examining 57 printers’ colophons in Genizah collections. The resulting analysis allows a preliminary reconstruction of the European and Ottoman networks through which Cairene Jews obtained Hebrew books between 1500 and 1900. This paper also serves as an introduction to Hebrew printing for Cairo Genizah scholars and an introduction to the Cairo Genizah for specialists in Hebrew printing.
    Chapter from the book Literary Snippets: Colophons Across Space and Time (eds. George Anton Kiraz and Sabine Schmidtke). Full book download from this link: https://www.gorgiaspress.com/images/uploaded/Gorgias%20Open%20Repository/978-1-4632-4400-2_QAOK.pdf
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    Last Updated:
    4 months ago


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