Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in by Seth L. Sanders, Jonathan Ben-Dov

By Seth L. Sanders, Jonathan Ben-Dov

Until very lately, the belief of historical Jewish sciences could were thought of unacceptable. because the 1990’s, Early smooth and Medieval technological know-how in Jewish resources has been actively studied, however the consensus used to be that no actual clinical subject matters might be present in prior Judaism. This paintings issues them out intimately, and posits a brand new box of analysis: the medical task glaring within the useless Sea Scrolls and Early Jewish Pseudepigrapha. The book of latest texts and new analyses of older ones finds an important parts which are top illuminated by way of the heritage of technological know-how, and should have attention-grabbing outcomes for it. The participants assessment those texts when it comes to astronomy, astrology and physiognomy, marking the 1st complete try and account for medical subject matters in moment Temple Judaism. They examine the which means and objective of clinical explorations in an apocalyptic atmosphere. An appreciation of those issues paves the best way to a renewed knowing of the medical fragments scattered all through rabbinic literature.
The e-book first locations the Jewish fabric within the historic context of the close to japanese and Hellenistic worlds. whereas the Jewish texts weren't at the leading edge of clinical discovery, they discover a significant position within the historical past of technological know-how, among Babylonia and Egypt, within the period of time among Hipparchus and Ptolemy. The publication makes use of fresh advances in technique to learn the contacts and networks of Jewish students of their historical surroundings. moment, the essays right here take on the difficult idea of a countrywide medical culture. even supposing technological know-how is these days usually conceived as common, the historiography of historic Jewish sciences demonstrates the significance of seeing the improvement of technology in an area context. The publication explores the strain among the hegemony of critical clinical traditions and native medical corporations, displaying the relevance of historical facts to modern postcolonial historiography of technology. ultimately, philosophical questions of the demarcation of technological know-how are addressed in a manner which may develop the dialogue of comparable historic materials.
Online variation available as a part of the NYU Library's historical global electronic Library and in partnership with the Institute for the examine of the traditional international (ISAW).


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An analogous situation arose in the early Middle Ages, when Jews began to write in Arabic, not so much because it was the vernacular, but because it was the language of high culture and science, and Hebrew had yet to develop a scientific vocabulary. But the Arabic scientific literature which the Jews read, was not, at least initially, transmitting Arabic ideas, but rather Greek ideas in Arabic dress. The Enochic circles were obviously well educated: they had mastered literary Aramaic and they had access to foreign literature.

A. Lunar data: Most of the extant text on the Aramaic fragments offers sections detailing the amount of light and the time of visibility the moon has each night throughout successive months. All the letters and words surviving from 4Q208 and everything on 4Q209 frgs. , 4Q210 iii). It is as if an author has taken tabular data and written it in prose form. The lunar data are attested in highly truncated form in the Ethiopic version in 73:1–74:9; 78:6-17. In both versions the moon passes through a series of gates on the horizon; the gates are, as Otto Neugebauer showed,5 equal segments or arcs of the horizon.

Drawnel has analyzed the lunar sections of the Aramaic fragments in great detail and concluded that the tables contain these details: for the waxing phase of the moon, they note: A. the time involved is at night, B. the time from sunset to moonset, C. the setting of the moon, D. the time from moonset to sunrise, E. from sunrise to moonrise, F. an equation “Notes on Ethiopic Astronomy,” Or 33 (1964): 49-71, especially 51-58. There is too little left of the Greek version to be sure about the point, but it may preserve the same division into fourteen parts as in the Ethiopic version (see Chesnutt, “Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 2069,” 493-494).

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