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Dr. Martin Borýsek

Martin Borýsek

Dr. phil. Martin Borýsek


Martin Borýsek studied Hebrew and Latin philology at Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) between 2003 and 2009. His Master’s dissertation was dedicated to the reception of Roman history in the historical work of Abraham ibn Daud. He then moved to the UK, and in 2011, he gained a second Master’s degree in Jewish-Christian relations at the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Religions, University of Cambridge (Master’s dissertation: “A critical analysis of possible lines of transmission from Ibn Daud to Gundissalinus in the context of 12th century Toledo“). He stayed in Cambridge for his doctoral studies at the Faculty of Divinity under the supervision of Professor Nicholas de Lange and completed his PhD dissertation in 2015 (“Takkanot Kandiyah - a collection of legislative statutes as a source for the assessment of laymen‘s legal authority in a Jewish community in Venetian Crete”). He conducted his first postdoctoral project from 2015 to 2018 at the Centre for Medieval Literature at the Universities of York (UK) and Odense (Denmark), focusing on the genre of takkanot ha-kahal (internal byelaws of Jewish communities) and their role in pre-modern Hebrew writing. Since January 2019, he has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Jewish Studies in Potsdam, investigating the political status of Jewish communities in the early modern Venetian Republic.

Martin Borýsek

Dr. phil. Martin Borýsek


Selected publications

2020 Authority and continuity in the Jewish community of Venetian Crete: a study of Takkanot Kandiyah (treatise in preparation)

2020 “The emergence of Medinat Mehren. Establishing Jewish supra-communal governance in early modern Moravia and its Central European contexts”, Polin. Studies in Polish Jewry 34 (in print).

2020 “Strangers in the House of Israel - confronting the problems of inner diversity in late Medieval Jewish legal literature” – accepted for publication, International Medieval Review, upcoming volume Otherness in the Middle Ages, Brepols publishing house (in print).

2016 “Between the Torah, local tradition and secular government – legislative statutes of early modern Jewish communities on the example of 311 takkanot from Moravia and the Cretan Takkanot Kandiyah” in Dvarim Meatim, Studies for Jiřina Šedinová, pp. 141–55(Prague: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Charles University in Prague, 2016) [in Czech].

2014 “The Jews of Venetian Candia: The Challenges of External Influences and Internal Diversity as Reflected in Takkanot Kandiyah”, Al-Masaq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean 26, no. 3 (2014), pp. 241–66.


Research interests

  • Jewish communal autonomy in the Middle Ages and the early modern era

  • Jewish communities in the early modern Venetian Republic

  • Jews in the Italian Renaissance

  • Jewish-Jewish encounters in the early modern Mediterranean

  • Reception of Ancient history and thought in Jewish writing