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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of this book, which examines a remarkable cultural phenomenon?the Jewish year of 364 days and the scholarly tradition in which this concept came to be embodied during the Second Temple period. The book discusses the Jewish attestations of the 364-day calendar tradition?primarily comprised of the Astronomical Book in 1 Enoch and the calendrical texts from Qumran?together with pertinent material from Mesopotamia: the astronomical compendium Mul.Apin, the divinatory series Enuma Anu Enlil (EAE), and later non-mathematical astronomical texts. Mesopotamian elements constituted an important factor in the growth of a variety of later cultural disciplines. The persistence of elements from cuneiform culture into other cultures of the ancient world has attracted enormous scholarly attention over the years. The chapter also presents a brief summary of the main features of the 364DY.

Keywords: 1 Enoch; 364-day calendar tradition; cuneiform culture; Mesopotamia; Qumran; Second Temple period



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