Some New Uses of the Geniza Mercantile Letter – On the Materiality of Writing in the Indian Ocean World.

Date

2020-10-31

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

DOI

Volume Title

Publisher

Gingko Library, London.

Type

Book chapter

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This contribution centres on the materiality of writing in exchanges between the Eastern Mediterranean and India’s western seaboard in the period before 1500. More specifically it focuses on the writing supports and marking technologies used in the correspondence of Jewish sojourners from North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean residing in South Asia, as documented in twelfth century material from the Cairo Geniza. Writing materials are never simply passive carriers of a primary written meaning, rather, the materialities of writing are imbued with meaning and are themselves legible. South Asia was, and long remained, a largely paperless culture and the adaptations of North African and the Eastern Mediterranean sojourners to this environment speak powerfully of deeply held cultural ideas about writing and its functions.

Description

Keywords

Indian Ocean, Cairo Geniza, India Book, writing, writing materials, paper, ink

Citation

Lambourn, E. (2020) Some New Uses of the Geniza Mercantile Letter – On the Materiality of Writing in the Indian Ocean World. In: Gibson, M. (Ed.) Fruit of Knowledge, Wheel of Learning: Essays in Honour of Professor Robert Hillenbrand. London: Gingko Library.

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of History