Probably Byzantine, 10th c.


Ben Ezra Synagogue, Fostat, Egypt. Taken to Cambridge by S. Schechter, 1896–97


The manuscript contains a palimpsest fragment. The upper text is from an early manuscript of the Palestinian Talmud. The lower text is from a Hebrew–Greek glossary of the bible. The preserved portion of the glossary relates to the Books of Exodus, Isaiah and Jeremiah.


A bifolio from a medium-sized informal codex. Both lower and upper texts cover rectos and versos of the two preserved folios. One folio measures 255 mm x 195 mm. The parchment (probably sheep) is of mediocre quality and bears traces of water-damage, especiall in the area of external margins. There is a clear distinction between hair and flesh sides.


The Hebrew entries of the bilingual glossary are written in Hebrew characters, while their Greek translations are in a form of Greek majuscule found in other manuscripts written by Greek-speaking Jews.The type of the script of the upper text suggests a relatively early dating, perhaps tenth century. The morphology of some of the letters of the upper script has affinities with the Hebrew lower script. However, the lower script is less sharp, the letters are less narrow, and the bases are less slanted. The fact that the script of the lower text has some affinities with the type of the upper script suggests that the lower script is not very much older. An approximate date of 900 CE or slightly before is probably justified. The Greek glosses are written in a majuscule script. The script of the glossary is informal and does not adhere to any majuscule canons. It is not a standardized bookhand, making parallels difficult to find.


Tchernetska, Natalie, Judith Olszowy-Schlanger, Nicholas de Lange, An early Hebrew-Greek biblical glossary from the Cairo Genizah, Revue des études juives, 2007, 166, 91–128.