In this series, we take a deep dive into the Talk boards tags to look at how volunteers classify the fragments. You can read an overview of our Talk boards tags in the Sorting Phase Data review.
Volunteers have tagged 13 subjects as #medicine,using library notes and keywords from a page to make the connection to its topic. Exploring medieval medicine, history of pharmacology, and medical practice in Jewish communities, researchers and volunteers use these fragments to make connections to their own understanding of medical history. Below are three examples of #medicine subjects from the Scribes of the Cairo Geniza Talk boards.
Sometimes, magical texts are connected to the history of medicine. In our discussion of charakteres, we talked about recipes for aiding women having difficulty with delivering a child. This is another example cited by Gideon Bohak, using biblical verse in Jewish magic for medical assistance. Subject 21715402: T-S NS 322.10, Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge University Library
Subject 12511456 is one of several Arabic texts under this shelfmark with red ink and previous writings visible. At least one volunteer noted words like “urine” and “jaundice” on this page, suggesting it may be notes from a medical book. Subject 12511456: ENA 3924, Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary
Efraim Lev (University of Haifa) and Renate Smithuis (University of Manchester) provided an overview of medical and para-medical fragments in the Rylands Genizah collection in the 2013 publication, From Cairo to Manchester: Studies in the Rylands Genizah Fragments. They noted the types of medical-related documents vary widely — from books to notebooks, prescriptions to lists, letters to magical texts and amulets. This means not only do researchers find examples of practical use of these medical materials, but theory of medicine in the Mediterranean world at-large.
Subject 30742051, written in Judeo-Arabic, contains a list of medical substances and their quantities — looking for some coriander, tamarind, mercury, or arsenic? Subject 30742051:B 2913–1, B 2913–2, The University of Manchester Library
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By Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries on .
Exported from Medium on April 14, 2020.