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Shaping the Jewish Enlightenment: Solomon Dubno (1738-1813), an Eastern European Maskil

Krzemien, Zuzanna; (2019) Shaping the Jewish Enlightenment: Solomon Dubno (1738-1813), an Eastern European Maskil. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

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.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Shaping the Jewish Enlightenment: Solomon Dubno (1738-1813), an Eastern European Maskil
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10078533
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