A leaf from the Samaritan Pentateuch [probably Nablus, 12th century], framed and glazed
Leaf from the Samaritan Pentateuch
[probably Nablus, early 12th century]
single leaf, 240 x 200mm., containing the end of Genesis (50:7b-26), written in ink on vellum, blind-ruled, 25 lines of text on recto, 17 lines on verso with a decorative line under the text to indicate the end of the book, the text in a square script justified on both sides, framed and glazed to show both sides of the leaf, slightly frayed at edges
The scriptures of the Samaritans consist only of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, i.e. the Pentateuch, or Torah, and their script is thought to be one of the earliest forms of writing. Leaves were often brought back from a visit to the Holy Land as a religious souvenir, as the inscription on the frame indicates.
This manuscript leaf is very similar to Cambridge MS Add 1846, dated Nablus, early twelfth century, and considered one of the earliest manuscripts of the Samaritan Pentateuch.
"Given me on 28th of Nov. 1876 by the Rev.d H.L. Puxley, Vicar of Kimbolton. He was a great traveller. He spent a month at Nablous & made a warm friend of the Samaritan High Priest, who, on his departure, presented him with two leaves of an ancient copy of the Samaritan Pentateuch. W.M.P.", label pasted to frame; Professor Aileen Guilding, Professor of Biblical History and Literature at the University of Sheffield from 1959 to 1965; thence by descent
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