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Title: Shaping the Jewish Enlightenment : Solomon Dubno (1738-1813), an Eastern European maskil
Author: Krzemien, Zuzanna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 7059
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis concerns the life and literary output of Solomon ben Yoel Dubno (1738-1813), a Polish-Jewish grammarian and poet who was active in Amsterdam and Berlin. He became renowned for his work with Moses Mendelssohn on Sefer netivot ha-shalom (also known as Biur), a German translation of the Pentateuch, which was accompanied by a commentary in Hebrew and Masoretic emendations. The thesis aims at recognising the understudied role that Eastern-European Jews played in the literature of the early Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah). It adopts the literary and scholarly works of Solomon Dubno as a case study. Despite the fact that he was a key contributor to one of the signature publications of the early German Haskalah, Sefer netivot ha-shalom, he has been, to a great extent, ignored by the academic scholarship. The thesis begins with an analysis of the background and goals of the Jewish Enlightenment, the role of Eastern-European Jews in shaping the Haskalah, as well as the frameworks within which historians have perceived Dubno's work. Next, it examines the contents of Dubno's private library, which were published as a booklist in 1771 and in a public auction catalogue in 1814, and interprets them as an 'intellectual map' of a Polish maskil who moved to Western Europe. Subsequently, it discusses Dubno's work on the biblical commentary and his correspondence with Mendelssohn regarding the publication of the Biur. Dubno's linguistic worldview is presented from a number of perspectives, starting from his approach towards Hebrew as a Jewish cultural legacy and the holy tongue, and ending in his emphasis on the importance of studying grammar and preserving the purity of the Hebrew language. Finally, the thesis analyses poems and belles-lettres that Dubno composed in Hebrew to demonstrate that this language was still appropriate for artistic expression.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available