An Aramaic Bill of Sale for the Enslaved Nubian Woman Open image in new window
This essay analyzes a bill of sale for the enslaved Nubian woman Open image in new window . In Cairo during the year 1108 CE, the Jewish woman Sitt al-Aqrān sold Open image in new window to another Jew, Sitt al-Munā, who was the widow of the prominent Geniza merchant Nahray b. Open image in new window . Bills of sale are the most common form of Geniza evidence for the history of slavery and the slave trade. While scribes composed most bills of sale in Judeo-Arabic, the majority of this document is in Aramaic. This scribe’s use of Aramaic legal formulas reflects his reliance on a (defective) copy of the Babylonian Talmud and on a manual of gaonic legal formularies compiled by Hai Gaon, the head of the Pumbedita yeshiva.
KeywordsSlavery Slave trade Cairo Geniza Sefer ha-sheṭarot Hai Gaon
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