Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Publication of new manuscripts catalogue

Although few in number, the College's Hebrew manuscripts are outstanding in rarity and value. At the core of the collection are the seven Biblical manuscripts given to Corpus by John Claymond, each of which features an interlinear translation. Jewish and Christian scribes produced such texts in a collaborative effort during the mid-thirteenth century to provide tools for non-Jews to learn Hebrew. In addition the collection contains a near complete copy of Rashi’s biblical commentaries, and an Ashkenazi prayer book. In the latter, the owner, a Jew from Spain living in England, recorded different debts owed to him by a variety of Christian dignitaries around the year 1200. He did this in Judaeo-Arabic (i.e. Arabic written in Hebrew letters), and this document is the only one of its kind; no other texts are known to have been written in this language during the entire Middle Ages in the British Isles. Taken together, the Corpus collection forms one of the most important collections of Anglo-Jewish manuscripts in the world.

Edited by Peter E. Pormann, the catalogue complements recently published volumes on the College's Western and Greek manuscripts, and is published by Boydell & Brewer

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