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Daniel Davies describes the private papers of philosopher Maimonides, leader Solomon ben Judah and merchant Abraham ben Yiju to shed light on three very different medieval lives.

Daniel Davies of the Genizah Research Unit sheds light on three very different lives by reading the private documents of the legendary philosopher Maimonides, community leader Solomon ben Judah and Indian Ocean trader Abraham ben Yiju,

They are all from the Genizah papers. The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of manuscripts from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo that portrays over 800 years of community life. Rediscovered in the 19th century, this vast communal paper-bin contained hundreds upon thousands of scraps of rag-paper and parchment - an unedited archive of prayers, letters, poems, magical spells, alchemical recipes, children's exercise books, divorce deeds and pre-nuptial agreements that paints a lively and intimate picture of daily medieval life in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Produced by Michele Banal and Miranda Hinkley.

First broadcast in May 2013.

15 minutes

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