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Philosophy

The Medieval Globe

Aden

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Chinese Porcelain And The Material Taxonomies Of Medieval Rabbinic Law: Encounters With Disruptive Substances In Twelfth-Century Yemen, Elizabeth Lambourn, Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman Dec 2016

Chinese Porcelain And The Material Taxonomies Of Medieval Rabbinic Law: Encounters With Disruptive Substances In Twelfth-Century Yemen, Elizabeth Lambourn, Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman

The Medieval Globe

This article focuses on a set of legal questions about ṣīnī vessels (literally, “Chinese” vessels) sent from the Jewish community in Aden to Fustat (Old Cairo) in the mid-1130s CE and now preserved among the Cairo Geniza holdings in Cambridge University Library. This is the earliest dated and localized query about the status of ṣīnī vessels with respect to the Jewish law of vessels used for food consumption. Our analysis of these queries suggests that their phrasing and timing can be linked to the contemporaneous appearance in the Yemen of a new type of Chinese ceramic ware, qingbai, which confounded ...