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106 The Jewish Quarterly Review.
elegy, umin jno DVa n»n yna\ and in its last strophe but one, 5l"lB'1
ij^jn ^iK'? ^^^3 u^ nano ne's ova lomin.
There are still, however, some missing links which will have to be
supplied before we can be said to possess clear knowledge of the tragic
events that occurred in Rome at this time. The dates in contemporary
authorities do not quite agree with those in the elegy. Joab's elegy
gives, as already stated, the year 82, i.e., 4082 = 1322, and the month of
Siwan as the date of the conflagration of the Talmud. This year it also
indicates mnemonically in the last stanza but one, "jib ''3D 13nB"in nsil
UPS The word 733, which is punctuated, besides its allusion to the in-
stigator of the persecution, also numerically suggests the year 82. On
the other hand, we know that in 1321 a persecution of the Jews by Pope
John XXII. was imminent, and was only prevented through the good
offices of King Robert of Naples. Profiat Duran's JinOCn jnDT is our
original source for these events, and from it Samuel Usque, Ibn Verga,
and Joseph Cohen have borrowed their accounts. These secondary
authorities give us no additional details of the threatened persecution.
That it was imminent is proved by the authentic notice that the Jewish
community of Rome kept a strict fast day in the month of Siwan, 1321,
■when its delegates were preparing to "go to court" to avert the danger.
According to Joab's elegy the Talmud was burnt a whole year later.
What happened in the interval ?
Todros ben Isaac gives the close of the year 4081 =1321 as the date
of the persecution. But it may have been protacted till the following
year. He also, however, states that in Tebet, i.e., either December, 1881,
or January, 1382, the persecution had already ceased. D*p'?N lOyK'lJDI
nnsn ny yperii • • • iss oyt nao K'nina D^pcn. It had, we gather
from his account, two sides. In the first place it was directed against
persons who were only threatened ; and, in the second, against the
Talmud, volumes of which were really destroyed rn''"iBDn laic's]
between EUul, 1321, and January, 1322, according to Todros. But the
persecution could not really have finally ceased at that date, for the
elegy tells us that the Talmud was burnt Nissan, 1322. Todros says
that the King of Rome wished to continue his hostile activity against
the Talmud, but his evil design was frustrated by divine interposition.
niOTJ iiD?nn dik>'? cnn icn nie^y ^n^a*? thrv^ in^jn ^ta "]->in'' ijj'Joi
The Talmud, accordingly, was not burnt after the first-mentioned date.
Yet the elegy speaks of a conflagration which took place in Sivan, 1322.
Details are needed of the events that transpired in the Roman com-
munity during the twelvemonth from the spring of 1321 till the recur-
rence of that season the following year. Perhaps the gap will be filled
up from material that still remains in manuscript.
Jewish History in Arabian Historians.— The following notices,
from a publication in the Ahhandlungen fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes,
Vol. VIII., No. 3, in a work entitled '' Fragments of Syriac and Arabic
Historians," edited and translated by Fr. Baethgen, are of some interest
for Jewish history. As it is possible that they will be overlooked in the
mass of valuable material there given, I venture to call attention to
(Page 108), V. year began on Monday the 2nd Heziran, 937 according
Notes and Discussion. 107
to the Greek reckoning. In it the Jews made a compact with the Beni
Qureis to fight agamst Muhammed, son of 'Abd Allah. Muhammed
went out and fought with them at a place called El Handaq (the ditch),
and defeated them, and 'Alt, son of Abi Talib, killed 'Amr, son of Adur.
(" Chronicle of the Kings of the Arabians.")
(Page 111), XX. year began on Thursday, 21st KUnftn I., 952 accord-
ing to the Greek reckoning. In it 'Amr, son of 'As, conquered Alexan-
dria and Egypt, and 'Omar, son of El Hatt3.b, expelled the Jews from
Nagr3,n and settled them in Kufa. In the same year Hareklius (son of
Heraklius), Emperor of the Greeks, died, and his son Constantine
succeeded him. (Is6'denah, Metropolitan of Basra.)
Year 101 began Sunday 23rd Tammftz, 1030 according to the Greek
reckoning. In it 'Omar, son of 'Abd el 'Aziz, died, and was succeeded
by Jezid, son of 'Abd el Melik, on Friday the 25th of Ragab. In the
same year Leo, the Emperor of the Greeks, ordered all Jews within the
limits of his empire to be baptized. (Hawarazmi.)
(Page 141), year 309 began on Saturday the 12th of lyar, 1232 accord-
ing to the Greek reckoning. In it there began between the Western and
the Eastern Jews a difference in reference to the date of their festivals.
The Western Jews began their year on Tuesday, and the Eastern Jews
on Thursday. (No sources are mentioned.)
(Page 193), year 400 began on Thursday the 25th of Ab, 1320 accord-
ing to the Greek reckoning. In it Hilkino, the ruler over Egypt, com-
manded the great church in Jerusalem to be destroyed ; he began the
persecution of the Christians and the destruction of their churches, and
did not allow a church of the Christians nor a synagogue of the Jews to
remain in his empire.
Joseph Sambary and Benjamin of Tudela. — Valuable extracts
from a mediasval chronicle by Joseph Sambary, form one of the
interesting items in the recent volume of "Anecdota Oxoniensia,"
edited by Dr. Neubauer. The MS. from which these passages were
taken is stated by the learned editor to have been completed in 1672.
Hence Sambary may have had Benjamin of Tudela's Itinerary before
him when he wrote. That he made occasional use of his predecessor's
materials is evident, even from a casual examination of Sambary's
remarks. In fact, several passages are almost verbatim excerpts from
Benjamin's account of his journey. Thus the opening paragraph in
Sambary's chronicle may be found in Benjamin, pp. 61, 62 (Asher's
edition), though Sambary adds interesting points. With Sambary,
page 119 (the four last lines from DnVDDl down to n"V ')3''3T HE'D),
compare Benjamin, p. 102. The whole account of Alroy's career,
occupying pages 123 and 124 in Sambary's chronicle, is almost verbally
identical with Benjamin's well-known narrative of the same incident ;
the agreement going even as far as the misreading of Alroy's native
town (Amaria for Amadia). On page 132 the opening lines of Sam-
bary's remarks on Lunel, containing the statement about R. MeshuUam
and his five sons, occur almost verbatim in Benjamin, pp. 3, 2. Possibly
there are other points of agi-eement. These identities, of course, con-
cern only a very small portion of Sambary's chronicle, which is full of