Crimean Karaim Literature
This paper discusses the literary output of Crimean Karaims in Turkic languages, called Crimean Karaim, Turkish Karaite, Turkic Karaite etc., available in both printed books and manuscripts. Only those works are presented which were printed or written in Hebrew script. The number of works identified so far is twenty-eight, but numerous adaptations of Turkish literature in so-called mejumas are not listed. Most of them are translations from Hebrew. The earliest manuscripts are dated to the 17th century and the first printed book with a longer Karaim text appeared in 1734. At the end of the 19th century, the Crimean Karaims shifted to Cyrillic script and shortly after that to Russian. As a result, Crimean Karaim literature came to an end in the early 20th century. Turkic literature of Crimean Karaims is strongly correlated with Hebrew literature and literacy, because its products were mostly translated from Hebrew, many books and manuscripts looked like Hebrew books and manuscripts, the titles, introductions and metatexts were Hebrew, and many books included works in both languages. Most works were religious or based on biblical motifs.
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza
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