Geniza Conference

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The 4th Berg International Conference 

In- Between:Trade and Legal Pluralism in the Era of the Geniza




Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - Tel Aviv

The Buchmann Faculty of Law, Trubowicz Building, Sonia Kossoy Conference Room (Room 307)




The Sources of Merchant Law

Chair: Benjamin Arbel, Tel Aviv University


Mordechai A. Friedman, Tel Aviv University

On Formal and Informal Partnerships among Jewish India Traders


Miriam Frenkel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Breaking the Rules: Moments of Crisis in Commercial Relations as Illustrated in Geniza Letters


            Commentator: Amihai Radzyner, Bar Ilan University


12:00 – 14:00


            Legal Pluralism: Jews in Non-Jewish Courts

Chair:  Roy Kreitner, Tel Aviv University


Hassan S. Khalilieh, University of Haifa

Due Process, Choice of Law, and Enforcement of Judicial Decisions on Dhimmis and Foreigners in the Abode of Islam


Gideon Libson, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Recourse of Jews to non-Jewish Courts and the Imposition of Bans in the Early Middle Ages, as reflected in the Responsa Literature and Genizah Documents


Commentator: Talia Fisher, Tel Aviv University





            Formal Law,  and Foreign and Informal Norms

Chair:  Tamar Kricheli-Katz, Tel Aviv University


Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman, Vanderbilt University

Straying Just Far Enough: the Jewish Courts of Medieval Egypt


Mark R. Cohen, Princeton University

Some Aspects of Law and Commercial Practice in Maimonides’ Code (Mishneh Torah)


Elimelech Westreich, Tel Aviv University

Commercial Instruments in the Geniza Period


Commentator: David Schorr, Tel Aviv University



Thursday, May 30, 2013 - Tel Aviv

The Buchmann Faculty of Law, Trubowicz Building, Sonia Kossoy Conference Room (Room 307)




Business Practices in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean

Chair: Zvi Eckstein, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya


Abraham L. Udovitch, Princeton University

Fayyum, Fustat and Elsewhere:  How They Did Business in the 11th Century Islamic Mediterranean


Roxani Eleni Margariti, Emory University

The Go-Between: Cross-cultural Trade and the Position of the “representative of the merchants” (wakil al-tujjar) in Indian Ocean Ports Revisited


Commentator: Yuval Rotman, Tel Aviv University





Merchants, Agents and Institutions

Chair: Issaschar Rosen-Zvi, Tel Aviv University


Avner Greif, Stanford

Private order and Legal order: Analytical Frameworks and Historical Reflections


Sebouh David Aslanian, UCLA

Julfan Merchants and European East India Companies: Exploring the Limits of Collective Self-Representation in the Early Modern Period


Cihan Artunç, Yale

The Protégé System and Beratlı Merchants in the Ottoman

Empire: The Price of Legal Institutions         


Commentator: Ron Harris, Tel Aviv University   





Comparative Perspective on Merchant Law

Chair: Amalia Kessler, Stanford


Albrecht Cordes, Frankfurt a.M.

Beyond the Lex Mercatoria Myth


Jessica Goldberg, University of Pennsylvania

Re-considering risk and the ‘Maghribī traders’:
Agency relations, contract enforcement, and the economy of the eleventh-century Islamic Mediterranean

Francesca Trivellato , Yale University
French Maritime Law before Colbert: Customs, Ius Gentium, and the State


Commentator: Joshua Getzler, Oxford University

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