Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries Blog //Talking the Talk: 19th Century Fragment
Blog //Talking the Talk: 19th Century Fragment

In this series we honor the contributions made on the Zooniverse Talk boards for our project, Scribes of the Cairo Geniza . Talk is a way for citizen scientists on Zooniverse to converse with one another and experts on the different material they are working on, ask questions, and explore new insights. Each week we will feature a talk conversation that we love. Thanks for the participation #genizascribes!

@judaicadh: Looks like a table, with #hebrewscript writing and #Arabicscript numerals. But I am not an expert in this @mrustow @odedzinger

@citsci-rancho: You might also check with @js613 , who has translated the dates on several highly similar pages: subjects 12498839, 12498828, and 12499254. js613 has also provided very informative comments on those subjects, for which I am most grateful.

I have collected about thirty of these probable #ledger pages. On subjects 12499254 and 12499255 there are seals and Arabic script as well as the semi-cursive Hebrew script and #math in eastern Arabic numerals, which appear on all of the pages.
I’d like to learn more about these materials, and will appreciate any further information.

@mrustow: No one has worked on these. They’re 18th or 19th century accounts. Richard Goldthwaite wrote a fantastic book on 15th century Florentine account books, and I’m sure something similar could be done with these. So I really encourage you to pursue them. On this one, I see two different inks and possibly handwritings.

@js613: Thanks for bringing this to my attention, @citsci-rancho . As @mrustow has mentioned, there are two inks, but it is not certain that they are necessarily different hands. The browned ink is Sephardic semi-cursive script Hebrew; the text is names of people and dates of passing. I’m not at all sure about the black ink.

The top left of the recto is dated סוכות שנת התקסה (Sukot in the year 5565, Sept. 1804). In the middle right of the leaf, under the black text/numbers?, is חיים חיון, נפטר יום ה’, ח’/8 אייר שנת התקסד (Hayim Hivan, passed Thursday, 8 Iyar in the year 5564 [19 April 1804]). Beneath him is listed דוד מיכאל נפטר יום ו’, י”ו אייר שנת התקסד (David Mikhael passed on Friday, 16 Iyar in the year 5564 [27 April 1804]. To the left of Hayim is listed the name of a woman (based on the feminine form of the verb “passing/dying”) who passed 22(?) Adar 1. I’m not certain what the 2 characters/digits with a line above them are, nor can I make out the text in the left margin. I’m thinking that the text is #judeo-arabic and the characters with lines above them are eastern Arabic numbers. To the left of David Mikhael, left of the bottom block of black characters, is listed the name of a woman who passed יום ב’, ט’ תמוז שנת התקסד (Monday, 9 of Tamuz in the year 5564 [18 June 1804]). Beneath her is listed ה’ר/ד’ר משא פתרו?, נפטר 19 אייר (R’ or Dr. Musa Fitro?, passed 19 Iyar). Last is written יום א’, ?תמוז נפטרת סירייה?, on Sunday, ? of the month Tamuz passed a woman with the name Siryyah?.

The top of the recto is dated פסח שנת התקסה, Pesah in the year 5565 (March-April 1804). Not sure about the rest of the text, but the characters under the lines appear to be eastern Arabic numerals.

Sorry I can’t be of much more help. I can say that typically names and death dates were kept in a person’s religious books (books of liturgy/scripture), less likely in a #ledger. Not sure about the rest of the figures, though.

@citsci-rancho: Thank you so much for all this further information. With so much math, these pages seemed likely to be parts of a ledger, but the text which you have translated makes me wonder if that is the best term.

Given what you have been able to translate of the content, perhaps the ledger tag is not the one to use if I come across yet more of these pages? If it isn’t, what would you recommend? Is there a better hashtag for this material?

Also, I now have collected about 30 of these pages. Please let me know if there is anything I should do to make this group of related pages more useful/accessible for study in the future.

And thank you again for your informative comments! I greatly appreciate it.

Check out the full discussion on the talk boards here.

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Exported from Medium on April 14, 2020.

Cite this post: admin. “Talking the Talk: 19th Century Fragment”. Published February 05, 2019. https://judaicadh.github.io//blog/2019-02-05-talking-the-talk/. Accessed on .