Page 121 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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DAVID/A DECADE OF RESEARCH ON MEDIEVAL HEBREW LITERATURE
109
sc r ip t fo u n d at the C am b r idge U n ive rs ity L ib ra ry are
accompanied by a scientific apparatus, explanations and notes.
The volume contains also appendices and indexes.
The importance of these poems consists in the fact that they
cast light on one of the most interesting and vital stages in the
history of eastern piyyut (liturgical poetry) and also help in un­
derstanding the evolution and development of the various stages
of Spanish piyyut. In addition to offering information about the
anonymous author and the liturgy of his time, these poems pre­
sent data on the work of an early paytan, Simon bar Megas ha-
Kohen and the triennial cycle of the reading of the Torah as it
was actually practiced during his time in his Palestinian locale.
Y. David,
Shirei Nahum
(The poems of Nahum, Jerusalem,
Akhsav, 1974). Nahum ben Yaakov ha-Maaravi belonged to the
Spanish-Jewish cultural sphere and was active in southern Spain.
The scholars are divided concerning his origin. Some hold that
he was born in Spain, while others consider Fez to be his birth­
place. The time of his poetic activity is thought to be around the
year 1200.
The poet lived during one of the stormiest periods of medieval
Jewish history, probably during 1165-1244 at the latest. The
various epoch-making events that took place during this time
found artistic expression in his poetry. Nahum ben Yaakov was a
profound scholar who was well versed in Hebrew and Arabic and
was a talented translator and poet (he translated the
Iggeret
Teiman
written by Maimonides in 1172, and rendered into He­
brew
Sefer ha-yerushot
and
Shelosh esreh middot
by Saadiah Gaon, as
well as
Seferyetsirah
by the physician Isaac Israeli). His poetic leg­
acy consists of fifteen poems, including three religious poems
and two dealing with contemporary events. The editor based his
edition on thirty-five manuscripts and nineteen printed sources.
The poems are all explained and they have been issued together
with variants and an afterword.
H. Brody, and H. Schirmann,
Shelomo Ibn Gabirol: shirei ha-hol
(Solomon Ibn Gabirol: secular poems. Jerusalem, Schocken In­
stitute for Jewish Research of the Jewish Theological Seminary of
America, 1974).
Out of the five hundred poems known to be by Ibn Gabirol,
276 secular poems (including twenty-six of doubtful authorship)
were gathered in this critical edition by Brody (1868-1942) and
Schirmann, with the participation of Israel Ben-David. After a