Jewish Travelers and the Worlds They Found and Made
View Additional Course Information:
Including faculty, schedule, credits, CRN and location.
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Undergraduate Studies
Course Number: NLIT 3205
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Jewish Cultural Studies
This course traces the journeys of early Jewish travelers. We consider the available evidence and ask: What did they find? How did they interact with the cultures they found? How has history remembered them? We examine the trope of the "wandering Jew" in the context of private aspirations and enforced diaspora (Greek for "dispersion, scattering") that begins with the Babylonian Exile. Among the travelers, we track Eldad ha-Dani, a ninth-century merchant in Africa, Babylonia, and Tunisia; Ishtori Haparchi, a 14th-century writer, physician, and topographer; Jacob of Ancona, a merchant who reached China four years before Marco Polo; Abraham ben Jacob, who reported on the Polish state and the Vikings; Maimonides; Benjamin of Tudela; Glückel of Hameln; Do&ntilda;a Gracia Nasi; and Luis de Torres, Columbus' interpreter. We compare their travelogues with contemporaneous accounts and new research. We reflect on these travelers as agents of information, toleration, and change. Note: Course previously listed as NHUM3025.