The Beginnings of Ladino Literature

Moses Almosnino and His Readers

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Olga Borovaya
Indiana Series in Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies
  • Bloomington, IN: 
    Indiana University Press
    , March
     332 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Moses Almosnino (1518-1580), arguably the most famous Ottoman Sephardi writer and the only one who was known in Europe to both Jews and Christians, became renowned for his vernacular books that were admired by Ladino readers across many generations. While Almosnino's works were written in a style similar to contemporaneous Castilian, Olga Borovaya makes a strong argument for including them in the corpus of Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) literature. Borovaya suggests that the history of Ladino literature begins at least 200 years earlier than previously believed and that Ladino, like most other languages, had more than one functional style. With careful historical work, Borovaya establishes a new framework for thinking about Ladino language and literature and the early history of European print culture.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Olga Borovaya is visiting scholar in the Mediterranean Studies Forum at Stanford University. She is author of Modern Ladino Culture: Press, Belles Lettres, and Theater in the Late Ottoman Empire (IUP).


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