Life In Fragments - Stories From The Cairo Genizah

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01The Discovery2013052720140609

The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of manuscripts from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo that portrays over 800 years of community life. Rediscovered in the 19th century, this vast communal paper-bin contained hundreds upon thousands of scraps of rag-paper and parchment. It's an unedited archive of prayers, letters, poems, magical spells, alchemical recipes, children's exercise books, divorce deeds and pre-nuptial agreements that paints a lively and intimate picture of daily medieval life in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.

In this first essay, Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner of the Genizah Research Unit tells the story of the discovery of the Genizah inside the ancient and crumbling synagogue of Al-Fustat, a suburb of modern day Cairo. Featuring a legendary curse, a pair of intrepid Scottish twins, an eccentric scholar and one very generous rabbi.

Produced by Michele Banal and Miranda Hinkley.

A Nightjar production.

First broadcast in May 2013.

02Letters2013052820140610

Ben Outhwaite, Head of the Genizah Research Unit, shows how private letters between medieval merchants reveal an international trading network that united Jews, Muslims and Christians across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of manuscripts from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo that portrays over 800 years of community life. Rediscovered in the 19th century, this vast communal paper-bin contained hundreds upon thousands of scraps of rag-paper and parchment. It's an unedited archive of prayers, letters, poems, magical spells, alchemical recipes, children's exercise books, divorce deeds and pre-nuptial agreements that paints a lively and intimate picture of daily medieval life in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Produced by Michele Banal and Miranda Hinkley.

First broadcast in May 2013.

03Women2013052920140611

Melonie Schmierer-Lee of the Genizah Research Unit reveals the fortunes of women in medieval Cairo by looking at marriage and divorce deeds, as well as some incredibly detailed pre-nuptial agreements.

The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of manuscripts from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo that portrays over 800 years of community life. Rediscovered in the 19th century, this vast communal paper-bin contained hundreds upon thousands of scraps of rag-paper and parchment - an unedited archive of prayers, letters, poems, magical spells, alchemical recipes, children's exercise books, divorce deeds and pre-nuptial agreements that paints a lively and intimate picture of daily medieval life in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Produced by Michele Banal and Miranda Hinkley

First broadcast in May 2013.

04Three Lives2013053020140612

Daniel Davies of the Genizah Research Unit sheds light on three very different lives by reading the private documents of the legendary philosopher Maimonides, community leader Solomon ben Judah and Indian Ocean trader Abraham ben Yiju,

They are all from the Genizah papers. The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of manuscripts from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo that portrays over 800 years of community life. Rediscovered in the 19th century, this vast communal paper-bin contained hundreds upon thousands of scraps of rag-paper and parchment - an unedited archive of prayers, letters, poems, magical spells, alchemical recipes, children's exercise books, divorce deeds and pre-nuptial agreements that paints a lively and intimate picture of daily medieval life in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Produced by Michele Banal and Miranda Hinkley.

First broadcast in May 2013.

Daniel Davies of the Genizah Research Unit sheds light on three very different lives by reading the private documents of the legendary philosopher Maimonides, community leader Solomon ben Judah and Indian Ocean trader Abraham ben Yiju,

They are all from the Genizah papers. The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of manuscripts from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo that portrays over 800 years of community life. Rediscovered in the 19th century, this vast communal paper-bin contained hundreds upon thousands of scraps of rag-paper and parchment - an unedited archive of prayers, letters, poems, magical spells, alchemical recipes, children's exercise books, divorce deeds and pre-nuptial agreements that paints a lively and intimate picture of daily medieval life in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Produced by Michele Banal and Miranda Hinkley.

First broadcast in May 2013.

05 LASTAlchemy And Magic2013053120140613

Gabriele Ferrario of the Genizah Research Unit reveals the most secretive side of the Genizah collection: the manuscripts relating to alchemy and magic.

The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of manuscripts from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo that portrays over 800 years of community life. Rediscovered in the 19th century, this vast communal paper-bin contained hundreds upon thousands of scraps of rag-paper and parchment - an unedited archive of prayers, letters, poems, magical spells, alchemical recipes, children's exercise books, divorce deeds and pre-nuptial agreements that paints a lively and intimate picture of daily medieval life in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Produced by Michele Banal and Miranda Hinkley.

First broadcast in May 2013.

Gabriele Ferrario of the Genizah Research Unit reveals the most secretive side of the Genizah collection: the manuscripts relating to alchemy and magic.

The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of manuscripts from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo that portrays over 800 years of community life. Rediscovered in the 19th century, this vast communal paper-bin contained hundreds upon thousands of scraps of rag-paper and parchment - an unedited archive of prayers, letters, poems, magical spells, alchemical recipes, children's exercise books, divorce deeds and pre-nuptial agreements that paints a lively and intimate picture of daily medieval life in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Produced by Michele Banal and Miranda Hinkley.

First broadcast in May 2013.