This wide-ranging anthology brings to English-language readers for the first time the riches of the Judeo-Persian literary tradition. The collection represents a variety of writings produced by the Jewish community of Iran—perhaps the oldest continuous Diaspora community in the world. Vera Basch Moreen has gathered texts written between the eighth and nineteenth centuries, including fragments of early documents, verse renditions of biblical books, prayers, religious poetry, secular poetry, commentaries, and historical chronicles. Most of the translations have been made by Moreen specifically for this anthology. Extensive notes accompany each selection to clarify its meaning in Jewish and Islamic history and legend.
Judeo-Persian texts, written in classical Persian but using the Hebrew alphabet, reflect profound Muslim influences as well as the extent of original thought and expression among Jewish-Persian writers. This welcome anthology of their literature provides access to a deeper understanding of the Jewish Diaspora experience, the Persian literary tradition, and Jewish and Islamic history.
Vera Basch Moreen has taught Jewish and Islamic subjects at several colleges and universities, and currently teaches at Swarthmore College. She is the author of Miniature Paintings in Judeo-Persian Manuscripts and Iranian Jewry During the Afghan Invasion.
Selected as a finalist for the 2000 National Jewish Book Awards in the category of Sephardic Studies
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