Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

A Partnership Gone Bad: Business Relationships and the Evolving Law of the Cairo Geniza Period

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Abstract Economic historians, beginning with Avner Greif, have looked to business letters from the Cairo Geniza to understand how medieval merchants in the Islamic Mediterranean organized business collaboration. They have noticed the prevalence of agency relations, which followed “informal” arrangements, unlike formal partnerships, which employed written contracts. This “method” was called ṣuḥba (“companionship”) in Arabic, and it entailed reciprocal exchange of favors between business “friends.” Much attention has been given to what Greif calls “private order” enforcement of agency contracts, whereby merchants belonging to a “closed” consortium reported instances of cheating or opportunism by a fellow merchant, in place of enforcement by religious courts. However, economic historians relying on the Geniza documents have paid inadequate attention to evolving Jewish law in the Islamic milieu. The present article, focusing on a mercantile dispute, brings evidence to show that Jewish legal scholars adopted a feature of Islamic judicial practice to strengthen their role in enforcement of informal agency contracts. In his Code, the Mishneh Torah, Maimonides put the final touches on this accommodation by incorporating agency into the law pertaining to contract enforcement among partners.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation