Geoffrey Khan

Published On


Page Range

pp. 49–128


  • English

Print Length

80 pages

3. The Correspondence with Eparchs

Chapter of: Arabic Documents from Medieval Nubia(pp. 49–128)
Twenty-five of the documents of the corpus constitute correspondence with the eparchs of the Nubian king. The eparchs were based in Qaṣr Ibrīm. A large proportion of these are letters sent to the eparch Uruwī (1–16). There are two letters sent by the eparch Uruwī (17–18), two letters sent to the eparch Īsū (19–20), and five letters sent to an unnamed eparch (21–25). One letter (26) is written to the deputy of the eparch Darmā and one to the secretary of the eparch Uruwī (27). The chapter describes what is known about the named eparchs and their correspondents. Many of the senders of letters were Muslim merchants belonging to the Banū al-Kanz. The content and structure of the letters are described. The letters mainly concern trade and gift exchange. The eparch exchanged slaves for commodities brought by the Muslim merchants.


Geoffrey Khan

Regius Professor of Hebrew at University of Cambridge

Geoffrey Khan (PhD, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 1984) is Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge. His research publications focus on three main fields: Biblical Hebrew language (especially medieval traditions), Neo-Aramaic dialectology, and medieval Arabic documents. He is the general editor of The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics (Brill, 2013) and is the senior editor of Journal of Semitic Studies. His recent publications include The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, Cambridge: University of Cambridge & Open Book Publishers, 2020, Performance of Sacred Semitic Texts (editor, with co-editor Hindy Najman), Dead Sea Discoveries 29, Brill. 2022, and Language Contact in Sanandaj (co-authored with Masoud Mohammadirad), Berlin, de Gruyter, 2024.