The first owners of the Leningrad Codex: T-S 10J30.7

In my previous Fragment of the Month on Codex Leningrad (St Petersburg, National Library of Russia, Firkovich MS. Hebrew I, B19a – or Евр. I B 19a), I showed how documentary sources from the Cairo Genizah can help to fill out the picture of its manufacture: illuminating our knowledge of its scribe and of the social and cultural background to this great codex’s production. I also showed that the book itself, notably the colophons, preserves important historical material. Indeed, much information can be derived from the plain colophon (f. 1r), which is, in its own right, a superb example of the art of the Medieval Hebrew biblical colophon, replete with linguistic playfulness, copious biblical allusion and artful obscurity. As with the copying and production of the codex, the scribe Samuel b. Jacob has excelled himself. Thanks to this colophon, we know where, when and by whom Евр. I B 19a was written (with a slight uncertainty as to the exact date of completion), as well as who owned it over several centuries.