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The research history of the baghdadi-jewish poet ElʿAzar Ha-Bavli (thirteenth century)

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Chapter Summary

El'azar ha-Bavli's oeuvre has been known since the early twentieth century, but only recently has he received full scholarly attention. The collection of El'azar's poetry is impressive and contains more than four hundred secular compositions with a striking preponderance of panegyrics, laments, homonymic poems, epigrams, and about fifty religious hymns giving specific evidence of El'azar's spirituality and pietism. Considering that he lived in thirteenth-century Baghdad, it is no wonder that El'azar was as much at home in Arabic as he was in Hebrew. To judge from El'azar's bilingualism, we may assume that both Hebrew and Arabic were suitable media for both secular and (para-) liturgical purposes. Modern scholarly research has devoted much attention to the achievements of the Hebrew poets of the Andalusian tradition, and that is why the later period has been somewhat neglected.

Keywords: Andalusian tradition; Arabic; Baghdad; El'azar ha-Bavli; Hebrew



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