Perlmann, Moshe

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PERLMANN, MOSHE (1905–2001), U.S. scholar in Oriental studies. Born in Odessa, Russia, Perlmann studied in Odessa, Jerusalem, and London. He lived in Palestine from 1924 to 1937 and studied Arabic and Islam at the Hebrew University. He received a Ph.D. in Islamic history from the University of London. He moved to the United States in 1940 and held positions in several U.S. universities, while maintaining a steady output of articles and studies in Oriental history, literature, and thought. Perlmann taught at the New School for Social Research (1945–52) and Dropsie College (1948–55). From 1955 to 1961 he held the position of lecturer in Israeli studies at Harvard. In 1961 he became a professor of Arabic at the University of California in Los Angeles until his retirement in 1973.

One of Perlmann's earliest projects was a compilation of all the references in the Talmud to health or medicine. This collection was published in 1926 as Midrash ha-Refu'ah. Perlmann translated Carl Brockelman's History of the Islamic Peoples (1947). His own writings include studies of early Arab manuscripts, and Chapters of Arab-Jewish Diplomacy, 1918–22 (1944), a collection of printed materials that deal with early attempts at rapprochement. He also published letters written by Leo *Levanda to J.L. *Gordon, with an introduction in which he discusses these two literary figures and the relationship between them (in: American Academy for Jewish Research, Proceedings (1967), 139–85).

He also wrote Gesammelte Schriften: islamische und juedisch-islamische Studien (with M. Schreiner, 1983). He translated and edited Shaykh Damanhuri on the Churches of Cairo, 1739 (1975) and edited The History of Al-Tabari: The Ancient Kingdoms (1987).