The Aleppo Codex
May 15, 2012
The True Story of Obesession, Faith, and the International Pursuit of an Ancient Bible
By Matti Friedman
May 15, 2012
ISBN: 9781616200404 (1616200405)
Published by Algonquin Books
In an age when physical books matter less and less, here is a thrilling story about a book that meant everything. This true-life detective story unveils the journey of a sacred text—the tenth-century annotated bible known as the Aleppo Codex—from its hiding place in a Syrian synagogue to the newly founded state of Israel. Based on Matti Friedman’s independent research, documents kept secret for fifty years, and personal interviews with key players, the book proposes a new theory of what happened when the codex left Aleppo, Syria, in the late 1940s and eventually surfaced in Jerusalem, mysteriously incomplete.
The codex provides vital keys to reading biblical texts. By recounting its history, Friedman explores the once vibrant Jewish communities in Islamic lands and follows the thread into the present, uncovering difficult truths about how the manuscript was taken to Israel and how its most important pages went missing. Along the way, he raises critical questions about who owns historical treasures and the role of myth and legend in the creation of a nation.
This is a great book for the armchair historian. It delves deeply into the history of the Codex itself, the history surrounding it and of course, the search to find how it traveled so far.. and what happened to those missing 200 pages.
A Da Vinci code like mystery........but real! Matti does a good job of making the book more than a typical textbook or dry academic story. He does bring the story to life, and that always makes it more gripping.
As the blurb on the ARC cover states, "In an age when physical books matter less and less, here is a thrilling story about a book that meant everything."
Religious history buff? You'll want to grab this one.
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