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Hebrew Fragments as a Window on Economic Activity: Holdings in the Historical Archives of Girona (Arxiu Històric de Girona)

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Chapter Summary

Hebrew manuscript fragments that were reused as bookbinding material are found in many medieval notarial protocols in the Historical Archive of Girona (Arxiu Històric de Girona, AHG), in Catalonia, Spain. This chapter analyzes these findings, with a particular focus on fragments from documents relating to the conditions of borrowing and lending. Of the nearly one thousand fragments detached from bindings in the AHG, the chapter analyzes fragments from pinqasim (records) that reflect economic life: registers kept by moneylenders, internal community records of taxes levied on the purchase and sale of goods and services, borrowing and lending; community financial records; miscellaneous private accounts (example., records of payment, receipts, documentation of work preformed, inventories kept by traders, merchants and craftsmen). The Hebrew fragments from the Historical Archive of Girona are situated in a medieval context driven by economic and societal change, namely the development of small new urban zones and emergent markets.

Keywords: Arxiu Històric de Girona (AHG); Catalonia; Hebrew fragments; moneylenders



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