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4. Some Early Islamic and Christian Sources Regarding the Jewish Calendar (9th–11th centuries)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter summarizes the work on early Muslim and Eastern Christian sources concerning the Jewish calendar. This work has focused on six authors writing over a period of about 200 years, from the first quarter of the ninth century to the first third of the eleventh century. In the long §1 the Muslim author gives, so to speak, a theological justification of the Jewish calendar, which he sees as part of God's authentic revelation to the prophet Moses and as a necessary tool for the correct observation of the Passover. Elias' description of the Jewish calendar occupies three chapters, of which only the second is complete in the unique manuscript, the other two having lost one or more folios at the end. By the beginning of the eleventh century, with al-Bayrūnī and his contemporary Elias, all the elements of the Rabbinic calendar are in place.

Keywords: al-Bayrūnī; Eastern Christian sources; Elias; Jewish calendar; Muslim source



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