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Changing landscapes of the hebrew rhymed prose narrative

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Chapter Summary

The development of the Hebrew rhymed prose narrative in Christian Iberia entailed an expansion of ecological settings referred to in Hebrew writing. Although the manmade hortus conclusus of the Andalusian tradition continued to be evoked, we also find landscapes unshaped by human hands, such as grassy pastoral settings where animals graze, and springs and broad rivers beside which lovers stroll and amuse themselves. The landscapes encountered signify a world in cultural transition as Hebrew authors come to identify less exclusively with Islamic culture and begin to synthesize elements of Arabic and Christian European traditions. This is witnessed not only in the ecological settings that authors mention in passing but also in the landscapes that they actively idealize. The literary and cultural environment of thirteenth-century Christian Iberia was extremely complex. Hebrew authors remained avid readers of Arabic literature while new literary currents were reaching them from the Christian north.

Keywords: Arabic literature; Christian; Christian Iberia; Hebrew authors; Hebrew rhymed prose narrative

10.1163/ej.9789004169319.i-300.21
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004169319.i-300.21
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