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Medieval Tunisia The Hub Of The Mediterranean

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Chapter Summary

The country known today as Tunisia is named after the city of Tunis. Its previous name was Ifriqiya, an Arabicized form of Africa, the name of the ancient Roman province occupying approximately the same territory. Tunisian merchants appear in the Cairo Geniza papers as predominant in the Mediterranean as well as in the India trades. This chapter deals exclusively with documents, i.e., legal deeds, accounts, letters, and similar writings, but not with literary creations of Tunisian Jews, many of which have been found in the Geniza. The Geniza documents handles topics such as imports and exports, prices, industry and shipping, as well as the overall situation in the country, thus throwing interesting side-lights on its economic and social life.

Keywords: Cairo Geniza documents; medieval Tunisia; Mediterranean trade

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