File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 98

Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2008 08:29:10 +0100
From: "Humanist Discussion Group \(by way of Willard McCarty              <>\)" <willard-AT-LISTS.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU>
Subject: 22.096 strangers in a strange land
To: <humanist-AT-Princeton.EDU>

                Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 96.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to:

         Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2008 07:58:21 +0100
         From: Israel Cohen <cohen.izzy-AT-GMAIL.COM>
         Subject: strangers in a strange Land => Talmudic texts

Geoffrey Rockwell <> wrote:
  > To take a different approach I offer a longish quote from Ken
  > Morrison's "Stabilizing the Text" CJS 12:3, 1987, p 245,
  > > Beginning with the emergence of European scholasticism in the
  > > twelfth and thirteenth centuries, scholarly exegesis began to be
  > > based upon specific text principle converging on page layout as a
  > > technical means of arranging words and ideas. ... The introduction of
  > > a scholarly apparatus in the text, which arose in the light of new
  > > methods of study and medieval learning, facilitated changes in the
  > > structure of knowledge as it began to be subordinated to rational
  > > principles of layout and design. ..." (quoting Parkes, 1976).
< snip >
  > How are our technologies of electronic text approaching a new model
  > and which technologies would we take a paradigmatic of electronic text?

The Talmud has an interesting and very elaborate text layout. It is
described at
"The Talmud and its Shape"

Comments by Rashi and the Tosafists (his sons-in-law and
grandchildren) are written in so-called "Rashi script" even though
Rashi never used that script. My own observation is that the cursive
Rashi script existed prior to the standard Asheris meruba (Assyrian
square) script in which the Mishna and Gemara are written because for
those letters that have a different shape, the shape of the "Rashi"
letters elicits the older sound. The aleph (ancient CHS/GHT-sound) and
shin (ancient T-sound) are the most obvious examples.

For a summary of materials rerquired for the study of Talmudic texts
via computer, see

For a comparative critique of computerized Talmudic texts provided by
several vendors, see

Israel "izzy" Cohen


Humanist Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005