S. D. GOITEIN. A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza, Vol. I: Economic. : A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab Foundations (Near Eastern Center, UCLA) (): S. D. Goitein. S. D. Goitein’s magisterial five-volume work on Jewish communities in the medieval Mediterranean world offers an unparalleled view of how people lived.

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Shelomo Dov Goitein – Wikipedia

Eduard Goitein, was born in Hungary to a long line of rabbis. He was brought up with both secular and Talmudic education.

In his father died and the family moved to Frankfurt am Mainwhere he finished high school and university. During —23 he studied Arabic and Islam at the University of Frankfurt under the guidance of the famous scholar Josef Horovitzwhile continuing his Talmudic study with a jediterranean teacher.

He left medierranean university with a dissertation on prayer in Islam. In the yearGoitein fulfilled his lifelong dream and immigrated together with Gershom Scholem sailing to Palestinewhere he stayed for thirty-four years.

In Jerusalem, he married Theresa Gottlieb —a eurhythmics teacher who composed songs and plays for children. They had three children, Ayala, Ofra, and Elon. In he moved to the United States where he felt more able to remain focused on his studies. He died on February 6,the day his last volume of the series A Mediterranean Society: In —23, Goitein attended the universities of Meidterranean and Berlin and studied Islamic history under Josef Horovitz.


In he wrote a play called Pulcellina about the blood libel killings in Blois in Inhe began his research of the language, culture and history of the Jews of Yemen.

Shelomo Dov Goitein

Inhe did research in Aden, questioning the Jews who gathered there from all parts of Societyy before being flown to Israel. Inhe served as a senior education officer in Mandatory Palestine, responsible for Jewish and Arab Schools, and published books on methods of teaching the Bible and Hebrew.

FromGoitein began his life’s work on the Cairo Geniza documents. An especially rich geniza with a large volume of correspondence was discovered in Old Cairo containing thousands of documents dating from the 9th to the 13th centuries. Since Jews began every letter or document with the words “With the help of God,” the papers reflected all aspects of everyday life in the countries of North Africa and bordering the Mediterranean.

The documents included many letters from Jewish traders en route from Tunisia and Egypt to Yemen and ultimately to India.

The papers were mostly written in Judeo-Arabic characters. After deciphering the documents, Goitein vividly reconstructed mediteeranean aspects of Jewish life in the Middle Ages, publishing them in a six-volume monumental series, A Mediterranean Society: This has thrown new light on the whole study of the Middle Ages. Goitein’s lengthy correspondence with the Nobel Prize-winning author S. Agnon was published by his daughter, Ayala Gordon, in When Goitein foitein to Jerusalem, he and Agnon became close friends.


Most of the letters are from the mids onwards, after Goitein left Israel, a move of which Agnon was highly critical. Goitein was awarded honorary degrees from many universities. He received research awards from GuggenheimHarveyand the MacArthur lifetime fellowship Two editions of his bibliographies are available: A Bibliography of the writings of Prof.

It includes among other articles an introduction by Richard Ettinghausen, as well as Goiteins own article: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

BurgkunstadtBavariaGermany. PhiladelphiaPennsylvaniaUSA. Archived from the original on American Philosophical Society Year Book Retrieved from ” https: Views Read Edit View history.

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