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The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela: Travels in the Middle Ages (Malibu, 1983)


1) What in the first paragraph offers some indication of the time period in which Benjamin of Tudela was writing?

2) What evidence does the author provide of the strength and prosperity of the Jewish population of Bagdad?

3) In what ways might proximity to waterways have contributed to the development of the city?

4) What does the plethora of Jewish "academies" indicate about the Jewish community and the overall urban environment?

5) What was the extent and nature of the authority of Daniel, son of Hsdai? What indications does Benjamin of Tudela provide of Daniel's standing vis a vis the Caliph?

6) Can one describe as truly "captive" any of the groups under the Caliph's rule? Can one draw parallels between life under his rule and life under the Roman Emperor Gaius whose subjects Philo described as "slaves"?

Terms, Concepts, Names, and Dates

Seljuk Sultana


Head of Captivity



royal prisons

"kissing the robe"