Publications

2002
A Handbook of Early Middle Arabic
Blau, Joshua. A Handbook of Early Middle Arabic. Jerusalem: The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation, 2002.

In the present Handbook of Early Middle Arabic, Professor Joshua Blau of  the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the undisputed dean of the study of Middle Arabic, presents a reliable and up-to-date survey, comprehensive yet concise, of the whole field.

The Handbook contains a grammatical outline of Middle Arabic structure, annotated examples of the main Middle Arabic varieties and a glossary of all words occurring in the book.

An important feature of the book is the variety of texts presented. These cover (a) Muslim, (b) Christian and (c) Jewish Middle Arabic, each represented by typical or noteworthy examples, some of them published here for the first time. Particularly significant are the Jewish texts, Rabbanite and Karaite, which have been transmitted in different orthographical modes. Standard Judaeo-Arabic orthography is represented by samples from Saadia Gaon, Qirqisānī and David b. Abraham al-Fāsī. Linguistically more revealing are Judaeo-Arabic writings in the earlier phonetic orthography; these are exemplified in the Handbook by selected texts on papyrus, by specimens of a translation of Halakhot Pesuqot and a translation of the Biblical  book of Proverbs. In the Appendix, two examples of vocalized Middle Arabic are given: one written in Coptic characters, the other a Judaeo-Arabic letter from the Cairo Geniza.

Professor Blau's Handbook will enable all Arabists to gain immediate access to the world of Middle Arabic, guided in their journey by the leading authority in the field.  On the one hand, scholars familiar only with the classical, literary tongue will be able to see in what directions the language subsequently developed; on the other hand, Arabic dialectologists will be afforded a valuable glimpse into the history of modern colloquial forms. The Handbook will thus be a valuable tool for all who are concerned with the history of the Arabic tongue.

An important feature of the book is the variety of texts presented. These cover (a) Muslim, (b)  Christian and  (c) Jewish  Middle  Arabic,  each  represented by typical or noteworthy examples, some of them published  here for  the first time. Particularly significant are the Jewish texts, Rabbanite and Karaite, which have been transmitted in different orthographical modes. Standard Judaeo-Arabic orthography is represented by samples from Saadia Gaon, Qirqisānī and David b. Abraham al-Fāsī. Linguistically more revealing are Judaeo-Arabic writings in the earlier phonetic orthography; these are exemplified in the Handbook  by selected texts on papyrus, by specimens of a translation  of Halakhot Pesuqot and a translation of the Biblical  book of Proverbs. In the Appendix, two examples of vocalized Middle Arabic are given: one written in Coptic characters, the other a Judaeo-Arabic letter from the Cairo Geniza.

 

1985
Judaeo-Arabic Literature: Selected Texts
Judaeo-Arabic Literature: Selected Texts. Jerusalem: The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation, 1985.

This anthology is designed as an introduction to the study of Judaeo-Arabic from the cultural, philosophical and linguistic point of view. Judaeo-Arabic texts are written in Middle Arabic, a language which includes Classical Arabic, Neo-Arabic and pseudo-correct elements. For students of Arabic linguistics, it is the Neo-Arabic elements in Judaeo-Arabic which are of special importance. These Neo-Arabic elements constitute the missing link between Old Arabic and the modern dialects .

The anthology includes selections from the major works written in Judaeo-Arabic, such as the Arabic translation of the Old Testament by Saadya Gaon. Karaite literature is represented by passages from Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb b. Isḥāq al-Qirqisānī, from the lexicographical work by David b. Abraham al-Fāsī and from the Commentary on the book of Job by Yefet b. ʿAlī. Maimonides is represented, among other works, by selections from The Guide of the Perplexed. A chapter from Judah ha-Levi’s Kuzari is also included. All selections are in the Hebrew script and are provided with a critical apparatus and references to J. Blau’s Grammar of Mediaeval Judaeo-Arabic.

 

1979
Studia Orientalia Memoriae D. Z. Baneth Dedicata
Kister, Meir Jacob, and Shaul Shaked. Studia Orientalia Memoriae D. Z. Baneth Dedicata. Edited by Joshua Blau and Shlomo Pines. Jerusalem: The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation, 1979.

חקרי מזרח לזכר ד"צ בנעט

 

Prof. David Hartwig (Zvi) Baneth (1893-1973) was a prominent scholar in Jewish Studies and Medieval Islamic Philosophy. Prof. Baneth taught at the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (since 1936) and laid the groundwork for the study of Judeo-Arabic, which was continued by his student, Prof. Joshua Blau. Prof. Baneth studied the religious thought of Jewish and Muslim scholars like Yehuda ha-Levi, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Bahya ibn Paquda, and Maimonides.