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Perspectives on MaimonidesPhilosophical and Historical Studies$
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Joel L. Kraemer

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780197100714

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780197100714.001.0001

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‘At Our Place in al-Andalus’, ‘At Our Place in the Maghreb’

‘At Our Place in al-Andalus’, ‘At Our Place in the Maghreb’

(p.293) 14 ‘At Our Place in al-Andalus’, ‘At Our Place in the Maghreb’
Perspectives on Maimonides

Joshua Blau

Liverpool University Press

This chapter highlights how Maimonides frequently speaks of customs and expressions used ‘at our place’, often being more explicit and speaking of ‘at our place in al-Andalus’, or usually, ‘at our place in the Maghreb’. A. Geiger, the first to deal with these expressions, considered them always to refer to Maimonides’ actual place of abode: when in Spain, he wrote ‘at our place in al-Andulus’, whereas when in North-west Africa he used ‘at our place in the Maghreb’. The chapter suggests that in using ‘at our place’ and even ‘at our place in the Maghreb’, Maimonides invariably referred to his place of origin, Spain. Thus, Maghreb, in the usage of Maimonides, may have been applied in both a restricted and in a broad sense. In the restricted sense, it denotes North-west Africa, perhaps even in contrast to Spain; in the broad sense, it includes Spain. It is always in the broad sense that Maghreb is used whenever Maimonides speaks of ‘at our place in the Maghreb’. This is demonstrated by the fact that when speaking of Maghrebian customs, for example, Maimonides cites Spanish sages as practising them; or, likewise, by his adducing as Maghrebian expressions which are known from other sources as Spanish Arabic.

Keywords:   Maimonides, al-Andalus, Maghreb, Spain, North-west Africa, Maghrebian customs, Maghrebian expressions

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