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Linguistic Variation in MS 1751 Judaeo-Arabic Medical Manuscript of the Matenadaran Collection

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Avetisyan, Ani 


The thesis provides a comprehensive study of the linguistic features within the MS 1751 Judaeo-Arabic medical manuscript from the Matenadaran Collection, contextualized by comparing it to its Judaeo-Arabic, Arabic, and Garshuni variants. Detailed analyses underscore the linguistic complexity and depth of MS 1751, mapping its various orthographic, morphological, and syntactical patterns. Special emphasis is placed on distinct orthographic trends observed between 18th and 19th-century Judaeo-Arabic manuscripts, indicative of broader vernacular shifts, possibly influenced by the linguistic milieu of the Ottoman Empire.

The study is also concerned with the textual criticism of the first Judaeo-Arabic composition of MS 1751, the Nihāyat al-qaṣd fī ṣināʿat al-faṣd (“The End of Search in the Art of Phlebotomy”) of Ibn al-Akfānī (1348AD). It highlights consistent transmission patterns and modifications observed across various versions of the composition in Garshuni, Judaeo-Arabic, and Arabic.

Beyond a pure linguistic perspective, this research casts light on the evolution and spread of Jewish medical knowledge, meticulously shaped by intellectual influences from both Eastern and Western traditions. Jewish communities, especially during the Islamic Golden Age, served as custodians and interpreters of an expansive body of medical knowledge, merging Graeco-Roman insights with their own perspectives. Western regions, like Andalusia and Southern France, saw the emergence of a distinctive Jewish medical discourse, uniting Islamic and classical antiquity traditions.





Khan, Geoffrey


Arabic, Garshuni, Jewish Medicine, Judaeo-Arabic, Linguistics, Medical Manuscript


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge