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Binding Accounts: A Leger of a Jewish Pawn Broker from 14th Century Southern France (MS Krakow, BJ Przyb/163/92)

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Chapter Summary

The systematic search for Hebrew fragments preserved in book bindings in various European archives and libraries has recently led to the discovery of a new range of writings. This chapter focuses on one of the three fragmentary account books. It examines evidence used to try and identify with precision the place of the money lender's activities. The binding in which the fragments that concern were incorporated was made following a well know technique applied in North Africa, Spain, Southern France and Italy, whereby recycled folios of paper manuscripts are glued together in order to produce cardboard for hard book covers. The Hebrew fragments were used together with non Jewish fragments, some of them pertaining to the papal curia in Avignon. The Hebrew fragments discovered in the binding belong to four different original codicological units, and certainly to four different palaeographical units.

Keywords: account books; binding accounts; Codicology; European archives; Hebrew fragments; Jewish fragments; palaeographical units



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