ABOUT THIS BOOK
Representing four centuries of collecting and a thousand years of Jewish history, this book brings together Hebrew manuscripts and rare books from the Bodleian Library and Oxford colleges. Highlights of the extraordinary collections include a fragment of Maimonides’ autograph draft of the Mishneh Torah, the earliest dated fragment of the Talmud, exquisitely illuminated manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, stunning festival prayer books, and one of the oldest surviving Jewish seals in England. Lavishly illustrated essays by experts in the field bring these outstanding works to life, exploring the personalities and diverse motivations of their original collectors.
Saved for posterity by religious scholarship, intellectual rivalry, and political ambition, these extraordinary collections also detail the consumption and circulation of knowledge across the centuries, forming a social and cultural history of objects moved across borders from person to person. Together, they offer a fascinating journey through Jewish intellectual and social history.