Medieval Nubia: A Source Book

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Welcome to Medieval Nubia: A Source Book.

Edited by Giovanni R. Ruffini

This collection is a resource for all students of African civilization, and all students of medieval Nubia in particular. The emphasis here is on the documentary evidence from Nubia itself: the letters, land sales, inscriptions and other texts written by Nubians, for Nubians. More specifically, the emphasis is on paper and leather manuscript documents written in Old Nubian, the indigenous language of the Nubian people in the medieval period. Nonetheless, many documents and inscriptions written in Greek, Coptic and Arabic will also appear in this collection in its final form. Use this complete collection of all of the material below, or use the Collections program to build your own book of Nubian sources from scratch.


Nubian letters.

Nubian inscriptions.

Nubian accounts.

Nubian sales.

Nubian legal texts.

Oriental literary sources.

Occidental literary sources.

Related Reading

Many of the sources appearing in this reader receive a more detailed discussion in Giovanni Ruffini's Medieval Nubia: A Social and Economic History.


Translations of texts found at Qasr Ibrim are published here with the kind permission of the Egypt Exploration Society. All translations from P.QI 2 and P.QI 3 are those of Gerald M. Browne, unless otherwise indicated. All translations from P.QI 4 are those of Giovanni Ruffini, unless otherwise indicated. All translations from I.QI are those of Adam Lajtar and Jacques van der Vliet, and are published with their permission and that of the Raphael Taubenschlag Foundation. Many thanks to Jonathan Mitri (Fairfield '12) for assistance with the upgrades and extensions that make this collection possible.

This source collection and the website have been developed with funding from the Fairfield University Faculty Research Committee and the generous support of Fairfield University's Robert E. Wall Award.