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The Voice of the Poor in the Middle Ages
Author: Mark R. Cohen

ISBN: 9780691092713
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 11 September 2005
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.3
Description:


They are voices that have been silent for centuries: those of captives and refugees, widows and orphans, the blind and infirm, and the underclass of the "working poor." Now, for the first time, the voices of the poor in the Middle Ages come to life in this moving book by historian Mark Cohen. A companion to Cohen's other volume, "Poverty and Charity in the Jewish Community of Medieval Egypt," the book presents more than ninety letters, alms lists, donor lists, and other related documents from the Geniza, a hidden chamber for discarded papers, situated inside a wall in a Cairo synagogue. Cohen has translated these documents, providing the historical context for each.

In the past, most of what we knew of the poor in the Middle Ages came from records and observations compiled by their literate social superiors, from tax collectors to the inquisitor's clerk, from criminal judges to the benefactors of the helpless, from makers of Islamic "waqf" deeds to authors of Arabic chronicles, and in Judaism, from Rabbis who wrote responsa to compilers of Jewish-law codes.

What distinguishes this book is that it...

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