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Jewish Manuscript Cultures

New Perspectives

Ed. by Wandrey, Irina

Series:Studies in Manuscript Cultures 13

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Publication Date:
December 2017
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Jacob Georg Christian Adler (1756–1834) and his Books

Vollandt, Ronny


Textual studies have always depended on the discovery of new manuscripts. Oriental scholarship in Germany and Denmark in the late 18th and early 19th century, on which this article focuses, not only actively promoted the search for new sources, but also developed new tools to describe, date and localise manuscripts in order to put them at the disposal of textual scholars. One particularly intriguing figure in this context is Jacob Georg Christian Adler (1756- 1834), who studied - and actually physically examined - an unprecedented range of Hebrew, Syriac and Arabic manuscripts as a young scholar, which he consulted during his travels to the main libraries of Europe. While on this peregrinatio academica, he documented his observations in a number of notebooks, none of which have hitherto attracted attention or even been discussed. These notebooks show a scholar at work and record his thoughts on the manuscripts he consulted, particularly on the repository of texts they contained and on their physical appearance. He drew upon this preliminary work later in a number of books that he published. Adler perceived both aspects as being intrinsically connected and, indeed, inseparable, much in contrast to later research, which degraded the study of the material embodiment of texts to a mere Hilfswissenschaft (ancillary discipline).

Citation Information

Ronny Vollandt (2017). Jacob Georg Christian Adler (1756–1834) and his Books. In Irina Wandrey (Editor), Jewish Manuscript Cultures: New Perspectives (pp. 275–306). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110546422-011

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110546422

Online ISBN: 9783110546422

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/BostonGet Permission

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