By Adele Berlin
This quantity makes on hand in English for the 1st time a very very important workforce of medieval and Renaissance texts on biblical poetry. The booklet comprises excerpts from seventeen Judaeo-Arabic and Hebrew texts and contains the paintings of recognized figures corresponding to Judah Halevi, Moshe ibn Ezra, Don lsaac Abravanel, and Azariah de' Rossi, in addition to lesser-known works that exhibit a wealthy yet overlooked culture of severe debate on biblical poetics. The writings provided the following date from the 9th to the 17th centuries and have been produced in 3 of the most facilities of Jewish tradition: Spain, Provence, and Italy. a few are excerpts from biblical commentaries, whereas others are present in historic, philosophical, grammatical, and literary treatises.
The publication is split into elements. half I contains a longer essay on medieval and Renaissance perspectives of biblical poetry and rhetoric that highlights the most traces of historic improvement and indicates suitable connections with smooth learn on biblical poetry. all the translated excerpts partly ll is preceded by way of a short biographical notice at the writer, an overview of the paintings from which the excerpt is taken, and a precis of the excerpt. Bibliographical references are given for every textual content, and there's an intensive bibliography and a word list of vital phrases and concepts.
For literary students, this e-book presents a win-
dow onto medieval and Renaissance Jewish literary
theory, and for college students of the Bible it offers a major bankruptcy within the historical past of biblical interpretation.
ADELE BERLlN is Professor of Hebrew within the division of Hebrew and East Asian Languages and Literatures on the collage of Maryland. Her earlier books comprise Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative and The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism.
Indiana stories in Biblical Literature
Herbert Marks and Robert Polzin, editors
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Additional resources for Biblical Poetry Through Medieval Jewish Eyes (Indiana Studies in Biblical Literature)
Poetry, like music, appealed to the listener's aesthetic side, or, as we would put it, his emotional side. Poetry could arouse the listener, stir his heart, motivate him to action more effectively than philosophical discourse. Moreover, words set to music or meter were easier to remember; poetry served as a mnemonic aid. Finally, in the Bible, poetry was the vehicle for praising God. These and other sentiments, showing the power of poetry and poets, are put apothegmatically in Seper Happardes, by Yeda'ya Hapenini (Bedersi) (ca.
Yet, as will be discussed below, this Arabic-inspired Hebrew poetry was not always considered an unmixed blessing, even by the poets themselves. At any rate, the rejuvenation of Hebrew caused a dichotomy between theory and practice: in theory, no later form of Hebrew could aspire to the heights of biblical Hebrew, while in practice, the literary Hebrew of medieval Spain did precisely that. Moreover, it found modes of expression that the biblical authors had never imagined. ) However, despite its accomplishments in the literary-poetic realm, Hebrew was not much used for expository prose by Arabic-speaking Jews.
Lowth's major contribution lies in his recognition of the phenomenon of parallelism, and in his shift of emphasis from meter to parallelism. 3 This was to change the agenda of poetic analysis in the Bible for the next two centuries. In addition, Lowth included in his definition of the poetic all texts which contained a sustained amount of parallelism, which meant that prophetic speech was now considered poetry. The body of poetic writing in the Bible thereby increased significantly. Lowth's contribution is important, and it is amply documented elsewhere.