Since Fall 2004, Michael Meerson is a researcher at Princeton University; prior to this appointment, he studied toward Ph.D in Classics at Zurich (2000-2001) and Bar-Ilan (2000-2004) universities. His MA degree was received from the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The MA-Ph.D. study was focusing on literary and documentary papyrology, especially Greek magical texts of late antique Egypt, and juristic documents of Roman East. The dissertation, “Gifts After Death in Greco-Roman Egypt” is in preparation for the publication in 2009.
At Princeton, he was focusing on two research projects: first, a research on Cairo Geniza magical texts (2004-2005) in Hebrew and Aramaic, and second, an edition of the Sefer Hasidim (“Book of the Devout”) Hebrew manuscripts, forthcoming online by the end of 2008.
In 2008, he started a new project of transcribing and editing the Toledot Yeshu (“Story of Yeshu”) manuscripts, written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and dating from the Middle Ages. These important manuscripts contain a polemic version of the life of Jesus, and until the nineteenth century were frequently used as a basis for anti-Jewish sentiment, on one hand, and as a proof of the authenticity of the Gospels, on the other. All the aforementioned research projects at Princeton are directed and supervised by Prof. Peter Schäfer.
The areas of strength and interest include both literary and documentary papyrology, Roman and provincial law, Hebrew medieval manuscripts.