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Mount Sinai, Monastery of Saint Catherine, Sin. Gr. 2318


Additional Information

  • Appr. Date: 17th c., 18th c., 19th c. (17 - 19th c.)
  • Genres: Institutional documents
  • Illustrations: No



This manuscript is a very interesting and varied record of the monastery’s dealings with the local community of Bedouins from the 17th and 18th centuries. The text takes the form of a log book of sorts with entries in many different hands detailing the events that took place. They are sometimes signed by the oikonomos of the monastery.

To give an idea of the nature of these entries, here is the beginning of a fairly typical one on fol. 18v.:

1686 Μαίου ͵κε-- ἦλθεν Μουχάμετ ἔπην (ibn) Ἀτίε καὶ πατέρας του Ἀτίας καὶ ἔπιασεν πατέρας του Ἀτίας τὸ μουλάρι καὶ ἦταν οἱ Ἀράπειδες ἐδῶ....

More than half of the text in the manuscript is in Arabic and seems to deal with economic activities between the monks and the local community. Many of the entries appear to be contracts with the names of witnesses present listed at the bottom. They mention the monastery’s orchards, vineyards, the purchase of grain but also measures concerning the safety and safeguarding of the monastery, its property and of the monks.

The date listed by Kamil (“as from the year 1855”) is incorrect (or rather, incomplete) as many of the entries are dated to the 17th and early 18th c.

Kamil 2319, see p. 143.

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