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Four Medieval Andalusi Poets and Their Wonderful Complications

Four Medieval Andalusi Poets and Their Wonderful Complications

15 teaching hours, equivalent to 2,5 ECTS

Nov 6 – Nov 10 

Dr. Ariel Zinder


Ariel Zinder lives in Jerusalem and teaches at the Literature department at Tel Aviv University. He received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His primary research interests are Hebrew liturgical poetry (Piyyut), Hebrew poetry from Muslim Spain, and the dialogue between contemporary literary theory and medieval texts. He is also a published poet and translator. Recently he has published (with Lyor Sternberg) a first Hebrew collection of the poetry of Seamus Heaney.


Course Description


A golden age of poetic and intellectual activity took place within the Jewish community of medieval Andalusia during the 11th and 12th century. One of the gifts this age has left is an immense body of Hebrew poetry, hundreds of poems by dozens of poets, written both for the synagogue and for social circles. Our course will approach this vast sea of poetry through brief encounters with four major poets of this age: Isaac Ibn Mar Shaul, Shmu’el Hanagid, Shlomo Ibn Gabirol and Moshe Ibn Ezra. These encounters will serve as an introduction to the history and poetics of this unique era. Special attention will be given to the tensions and contradictions that these poets addressed and sought to resolve in their poems: the tension between the individual and society, between the secular and the sacred, and between exile and homecoming.