Calendar and Community: A History of the Jewish Calendar, by Sacha Stern

By Sacha Stern

This quantity strains the improvement of the Jewish calendar from its origins till it reached, within the tenth century CE, its current shape. Drawing on a variety of literary, documentary, and epigraphic assets, this can be the 1st finished ebook to were written in this topic. Stern indicates that the Jewish calendar developed in this interval from massive variety (a number of sunlight and lunar calendars) to team spirit. This consolidation of the calendar is one aspect within the unification of Jewish identification in later antiquity and the early medieval international.

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Additional info for Calendar and Community: A History of the Jewish Calendar, 2nd Century BCE to 10th Century CE

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4. 3. SOLAR AND LUNAR CALENDARS 35 and the Phoenician coastline converted their Macedonian calendars into solar calendars. This was the direct result of the expansion of the Roman Empire, under which Greek cities were encouraged to conform, in various degrees, to the solar, Julian calendar. 159 The Jews of Judaea, however, appear to have resisted this trend and to have retained their lunar calendar. As we have seen, Josephus stresses in a number of places that the Jewish or biblical calendar was lunar.

7 (84). The same phrase is found in Thucydides (Hist. e. the first day of the lunar month, as opposed to the first day of the calendar month (which in 5th-c. Greece did not always coincide): see Bowen and Goldstein (1994) 702–7. In Special Laws 2: 26 (140), Philo may be using this expression in the latter sense. 22 SOLAR AND LUNAR CALENDARS But Philo makes it abundantly clear that his noumenia is lunar. This is briefly (but explicitly) stated in Special Laws 2. 11 (41); the calendrical significance of the moon's monthly cycle is then given a full discussion in 2.

E. 73 Therefore, the 3-year lunar cycle of the Qumran calendar accumulates a discrepancy of approximately half a day every three years, and of an additional day every 360 months. The calendars of Qumran sources could only have been used in practice if their users were not bothered by these discrepancies. Some scholars have entertained this possibility on the basis of a passage in Enoch 80: 2–8, which reads that in the days of sinners the years shall be shortened, so that rain and vegetation will come ‘late’.

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