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Translation And The Comprehensibility Of Early Piyyut

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the formal properties of piyyut and the problems they present for a translator. Joseph Yahalom, who more than any single scholar, has been instrumental in opening up the rich world of the poetry of the ancient synagogue to historians of religion and culture in late antiquity and in integrating it into the picture of the ancient Mediterranean. The parallelism is a heritage from biblical poetry and also exists in the statutory liturgy of a century or two earlier. It is decided to print the poetic figures, the kinnuyim, in half-bold type and then print the terms to which they refer in a column in half-bold to the side of the page. The words of late antique poets were meant to dazzle the ears and minds of the listeners and did this by reflecting the light of the culture in which they were set.

Keywords: Joseph Yahalom; kinnuyim; late antiquity; Mediterranean; Piyyut; scholar; synagogue; translator



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