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IMPORTANCE OF SAADIA GAON'S POETRY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A DICTIONARY OF EARLY MEDIEVAL PIYYUT: THE EXAMPLE OF ESSA MESHALI

van Bekkum, W. & Katsumata, N., 2011, In : Journal of Semitic Studies. 56, 1, p. 145-165 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

The objective of the present study is to show that Saadia Gaon had considerable interest in the lexical values of poetic words and terms involved in the composition of liturgical hymns. The closing section of his polemical piece against the Karaites entitled Essa Meshali (let me take up my discourse') is Saadia's attempt to present a poetic vocabulary with a great variety of forms and meanings. The poem reflects Saadia's interest in the relationship between Hebrew lexicography and poetics, and demonstrates his awareness of the problems existing in Jewish literary circles with regard to the use of the Hebrew language for literary purposes. This specific part of Essa Meshali is presented here for the first time with full vocalization, English translation and explicatory notes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-165
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Semitic Studies
Volume56
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ID: 5318253