Shemarya ha-Ikriti and the Intellectual Cosmos of the Byzantine Jews in the 14th Century

The project aims at analyzing the works of Shemarya ben Elijah ha-Parnas, also known as Shemarya ha-Ikriti, who lived in 14th century Byzantium. The corpus of his writings is exceptional in number and variety in comparison to other Byzantine Jewish authors known to us. Thus, it is possible to explicate the Byzantine Jewish (Romaniote) and Christian background of Shemarya by analyzing his sources and the discourses he pursued. His works will serve as an example for answering the question about the cultural profile of the Byzantine Jews in the 14th century which was fed by the influx of knowledge transferred from the West, the Christian-orthodox environment, the Latin-Venetian influence and the inner-Jewish discussion between the Rabbanites and the Karaites in Byzantium.

The project will reconstruct Shemarya’s intellectual and transcultural cosmos by giving an insight into the world the Romaniote erudite scholar was living in.




Dr. Saskia Dönitz

B. Cultural Contacts and Cultural Transfer