MacArthur Fellows Program

Shelomo D. Goitein

Medieval Historian | Class of February 1983

Medieval Historian
Princeton, New Jersey
83 at time of award
February 6, 1985
Published February 1, 1983

About Shelomo's Work

Shelomo Goitein was a historian whose work focused on medieval Islamic and Jewish history and institutions, and on Biblical literature and society.

Much of his research focused on the Cairo Genizah, an archive of thousands of medieval Judeo-Arabic documents first discovered in a synagogue near Cairo, Egypt, in 1897.  Goitein’s books include Studies in Islamic History and Institutions (1966), Jews and Arabs: Their Contacts through the Ages (1974), and A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza (6 volumes, 1967-1993) was honored with the Haskins Medal of the Medieval Society and the National Jewish Book Award.  He also edited From the Land of Sheba: Tales of the Jews of Yemen (1973) and Religion in a Religious Age (1974).


Goitein was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, Professor Emeritus of Islamic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Professor Emeritus of Arabic at the University of Pennsylvania.  From 1938 to 1948, he was the senior education officer to the Mandatory Government in Palestine.

Goitein received a Ph.D. (1923) from the University of Frankfurt.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of Shelomo D. Goitein
December 9, 2016
"Towards a New Understanding of Arab-Jewish Culture"
+972 Magazine
Shelomo D. Goitein , 1983 MacArthur Fellow
November 1, 2015
"Uncovering Women’s Lives in the Cairo Geniza"
The Schechter Institutes
Shelomo D. Goitein , 1983 MacArthur Fellow
February 10, 1985
"Shelomo D. Goitein, a Hebraic Scholar, Dies"
The New York Times
Shelomo D. Goitein , 1983 MacArthur Fellow
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