Throughout the medieval period, Jewish authors in the Mediterranean offered panegyrics in Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic for leaders of different ranks that extolled the virtues of their addressees. Beyond being sycophantic expressions of loyalty or dependence upon such leaders, these panegyrics convey precious information regarding constructions of Jewish legitimacy throughout the period.


Jonathan Decter is associate professor and the Edmond J. Safra Professor of Sephardic studies and Undergraduate Advising Head. His research focuses on Jewish literature in the Islamic World during the medieval period and in Sephardic Studies more generally.


Decter is the author of Iberian Jewish Literature: Between al-Andalus and Christian Europe (Indiana University Press,) which was awarded the Salo W. Baron prize for best first book in Jewish Studies, 2007.  He is also the co-editor, with Michael Rand, of Studies in Arabic and Hebrew Letters in Honor of Raymond P. Scheindlin (Gorgias Press).