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4Q318: A Jewish Zodiac Calendar At Qumran?

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Chapter Summary

The zodiology 4QZodiology and Brontology ar (4Q318) has been recognised as a calendar by several scholars. However, its method of functioning has hitherto been relatively unexplored, in contrast to the scholarship on the 364-day calendar traditions. This chapter explains how the zodiology, or selenodromion, described as a "zodiacal calendar" by the official editors and "a different calendrical system" by E. Tov,4 is an intricate calendar, astronomically. The relationship between the zodiology and the brontologion will also be reassessed, based on new evidence. The chapter traces and identifies the historical and cultural background of 4Q318 across the Classical world. The Qumran zodiology tells in which zodiac sign the moon is situated on most given Hebrew dates in most years. The chapter discusses the Hellenistic and Jewish literary sources, Hellenistic documentary sources, Hellenistic epigraphic and inscriptional texts, an Hellenistic epigraphic artefact, and Mesopotamian sources.

Keywords: 4QZodiology and Brontology ar (4Q318); Hellenistic epigraphic artefact; Jewish Zodiac Calendar; Qumran zodiology



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