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FT-55907-08

Marina A. Rustow
Emory University (Atlanta, GA 30322-1018)
Patronage and Politics: Islamic Empire and the Medieval Jewish Community

Patronage and Politics is a book-length project that investigates the political culture of the Near East in the 10th-12th centuries. Based on unpublished documentary evidence from the Cairo Geniza (a medieval synagogue repository that preserved roughly three quarters of a million manuscript pages), the book asks how the advent and spread of Islamic rule contributed to Judaism's spread and survival--and how Jews preserved the archival traces of Islamic empire. I am seeking funding to conduct systematic searches of the Cambridge University Geniza collections for documents whose ultimate provenance was the Fatimid and Ayyubid chanceries. Reused chancery documents have been noted previously, and are extremely important for the history of the pre-Ottoman Near East, from which no government archives survive. But it is not widely known that hundreds survived in the Geniza. Two months should suffice for me to double the currently known corpus of such documents.

Project fields:
Near and Middle Eastern History

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2008 – 8/31/2008