Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(10,873 words)

1. Medieval Period

From Arab Conquest to Fatimid Conquest (640–969)

When the Arabs conquered Egypt between 640 and 642, there was a large Jewish community that dated back to the Hellenistic era, mainly in Alexandria. According to the early Arab chronicler Ibn ʿAbd al-Ḥakam(d. 871), the conqueror ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ wrote to the caliph ʿUmar that there were forty thousand tax-paying Jews in Alexandria. The true figure was probably more like four thousand heads of households, but the exagger…

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Elinoar Bareket and Racheline Barda, “Egypt”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 02 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0009910>
First published online: 2010

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