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Welcome to this Database for Literary Analysis
  1. Please use the menu to the left to try out what searches and displays are possible, and see the brief explanation below under 9 and 10.
  2. Each entry of the Database is a literary Profile of an ancient Jewish text (called book), composed by a scholar whose name is given at the top. Book names can be displayed alphabetically or in the order of the most recent modifications.
  3. Within the Profile, individual points follow the schema set out by a generic descriptive framework, the Inventory. Click here to see the whole Inventory on the main Project website (will open in a new tab/window), called TAPJLA.
  4. The principles of the Inventory, their scholarly background and their application, are the topic of a monograph: A. Samely, in collaboration with P. Alexander, R. Bernsaconi and R. Hayward, Profiling Jewish Literature in Antiquity. An Inventory, From Second Temple Texts to the Talmuds (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), ISBN: 9780199684328.
  5. Each literary feature or Profile point begins with a generic definition: specific information follows after the colon.
  6. Titles of texts which are not yet profiled are displayed in grey. Scholars who wish to take on the task of describing such a text for the Database (signed under their own name) are asked to get in touch with who will be pleased to provide substantial assistance. The Database work is ongoing as of 2017. Names of texts may temporarily disappear from the list while a Profile for them is created.
  7. Scholars or other users are encouraged to make critical suggestions concerning an existing Profile or the Inventory, by emailing
  8. Please cite Profiles as in the following example: R. Hayward, “Profile Pesher Habakkuk”, in A. Samely, R. Bernasconi, P. Alexander, R. Hayward (eds.), Database for the Analysis of Anonymous and Pseudepigraphic Jewish Texts of Antiquity (
  9. The Profiles can be viewed in the following modes:
    • “Tab View” so that each main section of the Profile is one tab.
    • “Full Profile” view, so that the Profile is one long document whose ending (and bibliography) is found when scrolled down; most search results are displayed in this manner.
    • “Printing Format” view which can be saved or print-saved as a PDF.
    • “Comparison View” where two Profiles can be displayed next to one another in two columns.
    • “Compare with Inventory View” which displays the Inventory next to any text’s Profile, so that one can check which features are absent from the text.
  10. The Profiles can be searched using the menu items on the left by:
    • The name of the text (order by alphabet or most recent change).
    • Displaying the text of an Inventory point in all books that have that point.
    • Looking for all texts in which a single Inventory point is present, then displaying the whole Profile of selected texts.
    • Looking for the name of a person to whom the text has been attributed.
    • Looking for conventional genre terms or genre combinations of Inventory points.
    • Looking for the occurrence of any word in any Profile.
    • Searching by combinations of Inventory points.
    • Searching by combining Inventory point, name, genre or free text.
    • Displaying a Profile alongside the full Inventory.
  11. The Database contains Profiles of many Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha of the Old Testament, of the larger Dead Sea Scrolls, and of rabbinic literature to the end of the Talmud (c. 700 CE).
  12. Authors of Database Profiles include so far: A. Samely, R. Bernasconi, P. Alexander, R. Hayward (core team and editorial team); H. Abel (Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael), A. Damsma (Visions of Ezekiel), K. Keim (collaborator on Pirqey de-Rabbi Eliezer), M. Haralambakis (Testament of Job), A. Sterk (Epistola Anne ad Senecam).
    Project Consultants: Günter Stemberger (Vienna), Shamma Friedman (Jerusalem).

Created with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2007–12. The support of the AHRC is gratefully acknowledged.

Special thanks to Theresa Teng and David Risley of the Manchester University Humanities ICT Research Support Team who built the structure of this Database. Overall project contact: