Monday, March 27, 2017

A Geniza papyrus codex containing piyyutim

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH: T-S 6H9–21, the papyrus codex rebound (Rebecca J. W. Jefferson).
In the course of research into ancient book-binding practices and their relevance to the conservation of the sewn structures preserved in the Jacques Mosseri Genizah Collection, I rediscovered some very interesting negatives in the archives of the Library’s Imaging Services Department. The negatives—long thought lost—show the Taylor-Schechter Collection’s unique papyrus codex, T-S 6H9–21, as it was when it was first discovered, and I hope that they will prove of great interest to codicologists and historians of the early medieval book.

The late Professor Ezra Fleischer identified the fragments as a collection of liturgical poems by the Palestinian payṭan, Joseph b. Nissan of Neve Qiryatayim (a contemporary of Eleazar b. Kallir c. sixth century CE). At some point during the eighth or ninth century CE, a scribe copied Nissan’s poems out on to the papyrus leaves and the leaves were bound into a codex.

This is another old post, from July 2009. The codex would have been one of the earliest texts in the Cairo Geniza and it is a copy of late-antique liturgical poems.