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Targum Layouts in Ashkenazi Manuscripts. Preliminary Methodological Observations

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Chapter Summary

This chapter studies on Targum layouts per geocultural area by making a case study on Ashkenaz, and in so doing to make visible the underlying methodological problems of qualitative and quantitative approaches. Specific observations on dated Ashkenazi Targum manuscripts are presented and compared with available quantitative data. The chapter begins inquiry with Targum layouts in fourteen dated Ashkenazi manuscripts, which serves to indicate how complex these layouts could be. The small corpus has been chosen according to three criteria: palaeographical data that allow us to differentiate between French and German scripts up until the middle of the fourteenth century, when the expulsions from Northern France forced the Jews to emigrate, making palaeographical differentiation much less clear after 1350; an even distribution over the period from the end of the twelfth century to the middle of the fifteenth century; and variation of the layouts.

Keywords: Ashkenazi Targum manuscripts; French scripts; German scripts; Northern France



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