A Typology of Mishnaic Forms

Moshe Simon-Shoshan

in Stories of the Law

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199773732
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933129 | DOI:
A Typology of Mishnaic Forms

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Chapter three applies the categories and methods for defining the relative narrativity of text to the Mishnah. It presents a catalog of forms used by the Mishnah to formulate legal rules and principles, evaluating form and sub-form in terms of its narrativity. The forms with the lowest levels of narrativity are apodictic formulations, followed by casuistic formulations. The highest level of narrative belong to legal stories. Most of the stories in the Mishnah are part of the broader category of ma‘asim, stories which involve an event or action which has halakhic significance. These stories further break down into three sub-genres: exempla, case stories and etiological stories. The chapter ultimately demonstrates that with regard to narrativity, the Mishnah is highly heterogeneous text, in which texts with different levels of narrativity are regularly juxtaposed.

Keywords: apodictic; casuistic; ma‘asim; case stories; exempla; etiological stories

Chapter.  11713 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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