Jews, Christians and Muslims in Medieval and Early Modern Times: A Festschrift in Honor of Mark R. Cohen

Publication Year



Editors: Arnold E. Franklin, Ph.D. 2001; Roxani Eleni Margariti, Ph.D. 2002; Uriel Simonsohn, Ph.D. 2008; and Marina Rustow, Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East.

"This volume brings together articles on the cultural, religious, social and commercial interactions among Jews, Christians and Muslims in the medieval and early modern periods. Written by leading scholars in Jewish studies, Islamic studies, medieval history and social and economic history, the contributions to this volume reflect the profound influence on these fields of the volume’s honoree, Professor Mark R. Cohen.

Scholars and students interested in the history of interreligious encounters in pre-modern times will find this volume of indispensible value. The book will especially appeal to those who seek to delve into the literary, legal, and social manifestations of such encounters."



Notes on contributors


Preface Avrom Udovitch

Introduction Arnold E. Franklin, Roxani Eleni Margariti, Marina Rustow, and Uriel Simonsohn

The Bibliography of Mark R. Cohen

I. Community
How Mediterranean Was Goitein’s Mediterranean Society? Norman A. Stillman

Aṣḥābunā al-tujjār—Our Associates, the Merchants: Non-Jewish Business Partners of the Cairo Geniza’s India Traders Roxani Eleni Margariti

Pilgrimage and Charity in the Geniza Society Miriam Frenkel

Poor Relief in Ottoman Jewish Communities Yaron Ayalon

“What Sort of Sermon is This?”: Leadership, Resistance and Gender in a Communal Conflict Oded Zinger

Why Did Medieval Northern French Jewry (Ṣarfat) Disappear? Ivan G. Marcus

II. Conversion
Are Geonic Responsa a Reliable Source for the Study of Jewish Conversion to Islam? A Comparative Analysis of Legal Sources Uriel Simonsohn

What’s in a Name? ʿAbd Allāh b. Isḥāq ibn al-Shanāʿa al-Muslimānī al-Isrāʾīlī and Conversion to Islam in Medieval Cordoba David J. Wasserstein

Jews among the Grandees of Ottoman Egypt Jane Hathaway

Remembrance and Oblivion of Religious Persecutions: On Sanctifying the Name of God (Qiddush ha-Shem) in Christian and Islamic Countries during the Middle Ages Menahem Ben-Sasson

III. Law and Society
The Muḥammadan Stipulations: Dhimmī Versions of the Pact of ʿUmar  Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman

Jews in Sharīʿa Courts: A Family Dispute from the Cairo Geniza Jessica M. Marglin

Perception of Piracy in Islamic Sharīʿa Hassan S. Khalilieh

Jew and Serf in Medieval France Revisited William Chester Jordan

Cleanliness and Convivencia: Jewish Bathing Culture in Medieval Spain Olivia Remie Constable

IV. Letter Writing and Diplomatics
Friendship and Hierarchy: Rhetorical Stances in Geniza Mercantile Letters Jessica L. Goldberg

More than Words on a Page: Letters as Substitutes for an Absent Writer Arnold E. Franklin

The Diplomatics of Leadership: Administrative Documents in Hebrew Script from the Geniza Marina Rustow

Financial Troubles: A Mamluk Petition Petra M. Sijpesteijn

V. Hebrew and Judaeo-Arabic Literature
“ʾAz milifnei vereishit”: The Suffering Messiah in the Seventh Century Martha Himmelfarb

A Panegyric Qaṣīda by Judah Halevi, Its Antecedent by Solomon Ibn Gabirol, and Its Afterlife Raymond P. Scheindlin

Hebrew Vestiges in Saʿadya’s Tafsīr Sasson Somekh

Epilogue Natalie Zemon Davis




“In a period marked by an inflation of proliferating Festschriften, it is a pleasure to read a book of quality articles clearly focused on the research areas of a very worthy scholar. Mark R. Cohen, who taught for forty years at Princeton University, pursued innovative investigations of Jewish-Islamic relations in the realms of both economics and politics in light of findings from the Cairo Geniza, a Jewish repository of hundreds of thousands of medieval literary and documentary texts.” —Daniel J. Lasker, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Renaissance Quarterly 68, no. 2 (Summer 2015): 706–8.

Series Title
Christians and Jews in Muslim societies
Series Volume
Leiden and Boston