Colophoned Hebrew Manuscripts Produced in Spain and the Distribution of the Localised Codices
SIGNO: Revista de Historia de la Cultura Escritao
Extraordinary historical circumstances which dispersed the Jewish communities around the Mediterranean basin and further eastward, northward and westward, interweaving them within various civilisations, religions, and cultures, and transplanting them within others, have made Hebrew manuscripts significant and valuable for the study and history of the handwritten booic in all other civilsations around the Mediterranean in general. Flourishing or impoverished, secure or oppressed and harassed, small and large Jewish communities were spread out over the Middle Ages from central Asia in the east to England in the west, from Yemen and North África in the south to Germany and central and Eastem Europe (in the late Middle Ages) in the north, embraced by the great civilisations of Islam and Christianity, the Latin West, the Byzantine East, and many other minor cultures, languages and scripts. Notwithstanding their firm adherence to their unique religión, language, culture and customs, their self govemment and educational system, they were strongly influenced by the surrounding societies and shared with them not only goods, tools, crafts and techniques, but also literary styles, aesthetic valúes, philosophical theories and principies and calligraphic fashions.