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A: Cairo Governorate, Egypt

Mishneh Torah, Signed by Maimonides is Preserved in the Bodleian

1170 to 1180
<p>Bodleian Library,MS Hunt.80, leaf 165a. Autograph inscription by Maimonides at the foot of the page.</p>

Bodleian Library,MS Hunt.80, leaf 165a. Autograph inscription by Maimonides at the foot of the page.

Between 1170 and 1180 CE Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides, RaMBaM or Rambam), working in Cairo, Egypt, compiled the Mishneh Torah (Repetition of the Law), the first comprehensive code of Jewish religious law (Halakha). Remarkably the Bodleian Library, Oxford, preserves a copy the first two books of  the Mishneh Torah (MS. Huntington 80) copied by Japhet son of Solomon, in which Maimonides wrote personally on folio 165 recto, "It has been corrected from my own book. I am Moses son of Rabbi Maimon of blessed memory," followed by his signature.

The manuscript came to the Bodleian Library through the generosity of Robert Huntington, an English churchman, orientalist and manuscript collector, who was Provost of Trinity College, Dublin and Bishop of Raphoe. In 1670 Huntington became chaplain to the Levant Company at Aleppo. He remained in the Eastern Mediterranean for more than ten years, visiting Palestine, Cyprus, and Egypt. During his travels he  collected large number of Hebrew manuscripts. In 1678, 1680 and 1838 he donated manuscripts to the Bodleian, and Oxford University bought more than 200 of his manuscripts in 1692.

In December 2013 a digital facsimile of Maimonides' Code of Jewish Law was available from the Bodleian Library at this link.

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