Journal Article

A Judaeo‐Arabic Fragment of A Samaritan Chronicle from the Cairo Geniza

Friedrich Niessen

in Journal of Semitic Studies

Published on behalf of University of Manchester

Volume 47, issue 2, pages 215-236
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 0022-4480
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1477-8556 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jss/47.2.215
A Judaeo‐Arabic Fragment of A Samaritan Chronicle from the Cairo Geniza

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The Shobakh legend, which relates the war of Joshua, son of Nun, against Shobakh, the king of Armenia, is preserved in most of the Samaritan chronicles in a shorter or more elaborate version, written in Samaritan Hebrew or Arabic. The Geniza fragment is the first known Judaeo‐Arabic text of the legend, including some lines of Joshua's letter to his opponent before the ongoing battle. It shows a literary correspondence to the Arabic chronicle ‘Liber Josuae’ and the Hebrew chronicles JR(G)1168 and JR(G)1167 and throws light on some obscure formulations preserved in the versions. The somewhat unexpected presence of a Samaritan document in the Geniza of the rabbanite Ben‐Ezra synagogue of Old‐Cairo may indicate that the Shobakh legend — which had its own ‘Traditionsgeschichte’ before being integrated into the Samaritan chronicles — was popular among both Jewish and Samaritan communities and knowledge of it was more widespread than hitherto recognised.

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Subjects: Middle Eastern History ; Middle Eastern Languages ; Literary Studies - World ; Biblical Studies

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