BBC Radio 3: Life in Fragments: Stories from the Cairo Genizah
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.
1/5 Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner uncovers a hoard of ancient manuscripts in a Cairo synagogue.
2/5 Dr Ben Outhwaite reveals an intercultural trade network across the medieval Mediterranean.
3/5 Dr Melonie Schmierer-Lee discovers the varying fortunes of women in medieval Cairo.
4/5 Dr Daniel Davies reads the private papers of three very different medieval Egyptians.
Alchemy & Magic
5/5 Dr Gabriele Ferrario unlocks a world of alchemy and magic in the heart of medieval Cairo.