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LEARNING TO READ AND WRITE IN MEDIEVAL EGYPT: CHILDREN’S EXERCISE BOOKS FROM THE CAIRO GENIZA

LEARNING TO READ AND WRITE IN MEDIEVAL EGYPT: CHILDREN’S EXERCISE BOOKS FROM THE CAIRO GENIZA

By Judith Olszowy-Schlanger

Journal of Semitic Studies, Vol. 48: 1 (2010)

Abstract: This article examines some selected medieval manuscripts of children’s exercise books from the Cairo Geniza. The aims are to provide a general presentation and description of the material and textual aspects of these primers, and to use these manuscripts as a source for our knowledge of the methods employed in transmitting and acquiring basic literacy skills amongst young Jewish children in medieval Oriental communities. The results obtained are discussed in the broader context of contemporary literary sources dealing with primary reading and writing education.

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