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By Adele Berlin

This quantity makes to be had in English for the 1st time an exceptionally vital crew of medieval and Renaissance texts on biblical poetry. The publication comprises excerpts from seventeen Judaeo-Arabic and Hebrew texts and contains the paintings of famous figures similar to Judah Halevi, Moshe ibn Ezra, Don lsaac Abravanel, and Azariah de' Rossi, in addition to lesser-known works that exhibit a wealthy yet overlooked culture of serious debate on biblical poetics. The writings awarded right here date from the 9th to the 17th centuries and have been produced in 3 of the most facilities of Jewish tradition: Spain, Provence, and Italy. a few are excerpts from biblical commentaries, whereas others are present in historic, philosophical, grammatical, and literary treatises.

The booklet is split into components. half I contains a longer essay on medieval and Renaissance perspectives of biblical poetry and rhetoric that highlights the most traces of ancient improvement and indicates appropriate connections with sleek examine on biblical poetry. all the translated excerpts partially ll is preceded by way of a quick biographical be aware at the writer, an summary of the paintings from which the excerpt is taken, and a precis of the excerpt. Bibliographical references are given for every textual content, and there's an in depth bibliography and a word list of significant phrases and concepts.

For literary students, this e-book presents a win-
dow onto medieval and Renaissance Jewish literary
theory, and for college students of the Bible it provides a massive bankruptcy within the heritage of biblical interpretation.

ADELE BERLlN is Professor of Hebrew within the division of Hebrew and East Asian Languages and Literatures on the collage of Maryland. Her prior books contain Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative and The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism.

Indiana reports in Biblical Literature
Herbert Marks and Robert Polzin, editors

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Extra resources for Biblical Poetry Through Medieval Jewish Eyes (Indiana Studies in Biblical Literature)

Example text

It offers no definition of poetry and no list of poetic devices. Although it does employ terms, such as ir and maal, that appear to designate literary genres, the Bible provides little clarification concerning these genres. It is left to the readers to discern what they represent. In order to do so, readers call upon their own experience and training in the literature of their time. In the case of medieval and Renaissance Jewish scholars, this meant calling upon Arabic literary theory, itself influenced to an extent by Greek literary theory twice removed, 1 and later upon the neoclassical theory of the Renaissance.

Their poets strode in the footsteps of Moses, David, and Solomon. Thus we see that attitudes toward the Hebrew language, the Bible, and poetry were intimately intertwined, and were part of a complex cultural awareness. They could not help but influence the study of biblical poetry. < previous page page_29 If you like this book, buy it! next page > < previous page page_30 next page > Page 30 4 Medieval and Renaissance Views of Biblical Poetry Medieval and Renaissance discussions of biblical poetry arose in a variety of contexts.

Indeed, Saadia may be seen as the earliest and perhaps most brilliant example of the beneficial effect that 'Arabiyya had on Jewish intellectual development, and on the role that the Bible assumed in that development. The irony of the situation and its outcome is captured by Gerson Cohen: The fascinating feature of Arab influence on the Jews was not in the use of Arabic, in the cultivation of the sciences, or in the rise of religious skepticism. Paradoxically, the profoundest form of Arabization of the Jewish intelligentsia was betrayed in the flowering of Hebrewgrammar, poetry, and, above all, neoclassicism.

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