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Iakerson Sh. M. A Tale of a Colophon: An Essay in the History of Hebrew Poetry and Book Printing. Poetical Translation of the Said Colophon by Elena Yuzbashyan. St. Petersburg: Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie, 2021. 56 pages. ISBN 978-5-85803-570-19


The emergence, flourishing, and completion of the era of quantitative secular Hebrew poetry is an exceptional phenomenon in the context of the overall development of Jewish culture. Jewish secular poetry in Hebrew, created according to Arabic quantitative metrics, emerged in 10th century Andalusia. The Golden Age of Hebrew quantitative poetry is the period of the 11th–12th centuries. Later this poetic tradition disappeared as did the Jewish civilization itself in the Iberian Peninsula. However, in the last decades before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492) and Portugal (1497), there appeared several exceptionally interesting Hebrew poems that have remained unnoticed by scholars of Hebrew literature. These poems were poetical colophons in books printed during that period in Jewish printing houses in Spain.

This small book contains a brief history of Hebrew quantitative poetry, a description of Hebrew book printing in Spain, and an analysis of one of the poetical colophons.

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Hebrew books
Hebrew poetry
Poetical colophons

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