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The astrological and calendar section of the earliest Mahzor Vitry manuscript (MS ex-Sassoon 535)

Stern, SD; Isserles, J; (2015) The astrological and calendar section of the earliest Mahzor Vitry manuscript (MS ex-Sassoon 535). ALEPH: Historical Studies in Science and Judaism , 15 (2) pp. 199-318. Green open access

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Abstract

The earliest known Maḥzor Vitry manuscript, MS ex-Sassoon 535, comprises a section with astrological and calendar texts that are the earliest to appear in any extant manuscript from Franco-Germany. The text, of which the main part is an almost complete Jewish calendar treatise, is edited in this article with a translation. The introduction to the article includes a description of the manuscript, an explanatory summary of the contents, and some general comments on the arithmetic content of the calendar treatise and on its Talmudic and other rabbinic citations. The calendar treatise is marred with textual errors, some of which indicate that it was a copy of a copy of the original. On the basis of the calendrical data and palaeographical and codicological criteria, the earliest date for the composition of the calendar treatise can be established as 1123/4, whereas the latest date for the present manuscript is 1154/5, which shows that this treatise must have been copied more than once in a relatively short period. This treatise is clearly distinct from the contemporary calendar treatises of Jacob b. Samson (1123/4) and Samuel b. Meir (Rashbam, 1129/30), and lends further evidence of a developing interest in Jewish calendar computation in early 12th-century northern France, particularly within the circle of Rashi’s school.

Type: Article
Title: The astrological and calendar section of the earliest Mahzor Vitry manuscript (MS ex-Sassoon 535)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/aleph_historical_stu...
Language: English
Additional information: Permission to use the final version of this article was kindly permitted by Indiana University Press.
Keywords: calendar, Jewish, Mahzor Vitry, astrology, Jewish
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Hebrew and Jewish Studies
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469017
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