This volume is the first comprehensive anthology of early Yiddish literature (from its beginnings in the twelfth century to the dawn of modern Yiddish in the mid-eighteenth century) for more than one hundred years. It includes the broad range of genres that define the corpus: Arthurian romance, heroic epic, satire, lyric, drama, biblical/midrashic epic, devotional literature, biblical translations, glosses, medicine, magic, legal texts, oaths, letters, legends, autobiography, travelogue, fables, riddles, and adventure tales. One hundred and thirty texts in the original Hebrew alphabet, edited anew from the earliest extant sources, are provided with introductory headnotes that include detailed information concerning sources, author (if known), the research literature, and the place of the text in the literary tradition.
It is an anthology on a massive scale in a neglected field of study. It is, in fact, a sort of history of pre-modern Yiddish presented through the medium of texts or excerpts of texts in their original language. Shlomo Berger, The Journal of Theological Studies Thus the time-scale and huge scope of this anthology provide a remarkable panorama of the changing Jewish religious and cultural scene, as well as developments in the Yiddish language as a literary medium during this significant historical period. Literature and Theology