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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


The purpose of this project, which is funded by the AHRC and will run during the academic years 2016-1019, is to create a diplomatic edition of Ms. Kaufman A50, the single most important (almost) complete manuscript of the Mishna, produced in Italy in the 11th or 12th century. The manuscript comprises two basic traditions—that of the copyist and that of the vocalizer. These two fundamental strands are supplemented by numerous marginalia, as well as by the material copied by a separate scribe as a replacement for a number of folios missing from the original manuscript.

A facsimile edition of the codex was published in 1929, and the monumental research of J.N. Epstein, E.Y. Kutscher and others has established it as a source of nonpareil significance in the study of the Mishna, both textual as well as philological, with a plethora of editions and studies being dependent on its text. And yet, no complete critical edition of the text contained in this manuscript has yet been produced. This is the lacuna that our project seeks to fill.

The purpose of our diplomatic edition, which will be produced by Dr Heijmans, is not simply to represent the textual data in typeface, but to interpret them with the help of a critical apparatus. In particular, our edition will be the first to fully and systematically grapple with the vocalization of the codex, which constitutes a fundamental aspect of its contribution to the study of Rabbinic Hebrew. We intend for the edition to be published as a traditional printed book, and it will also be made available in Open Access format as a fully-searchable PDF document.

The project team are: Dr Rand (PI), Dr Hornkohl (Co-I), and Dr Heijmans (Researcher). The team will be advised by Prof. Geoffrey Khan, and we expect to be joined by a second Researcher in 2017-2019. We will cooperate in our work with two other, related projects that focus on the Mishna text: the CT-Mishna and the Digital Mishna