Full text of "Shanah"
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288 The Jewish Quarterly Review.
For if wo reflect on the economic conditions of England in Anglo-Saxon
times, there was no room in the national economy for persons like Jews,
who could not join the guilds, and had no scope for usury in a country
living almost entirely by barter (Ashley, English Commentary, I. i., c. i.
§ 6, p. 43). The chief export of England consisted of slaves (ibid., p. 70),
and we know that the Jews were the great dealers in this class of com-
modity. It is accordingly significant that in the later code of Ecgberht,
(c. a.d. 760), the only two provisions about Jews (6 and 8) dealt with
their purchase of slaves, and their proselytising zeal, which we know
applied to their slaves — a trait of some interest, as it implies a humane
interest in their human chattels. Altogether, therefore, I am inclined to
refer the ecclesiastical ordinances to passing intercourse with Gallo-
Jewish slave-dealers, and not to any permanent Jewish population of
England before the Conquest.
I would bring this conclusion into connection with a famous episode
in our annals. Every one remembers the incident at the market-place of
Rome, which led to the Christianising of England, and brought it into
the European concert. Now we find the very same Gregory, when he
became Pope, complaining of the sale of Christian slaves to Jewish slave-
dealers in the north of Gaul (Epistola, ix. 35, 109, 110), and it requires
very little stretch of imagination to suppose that they likewise crossed
the Channel. Remembering that slaves have no nationality, I would
therefore suggest that if Gregory had stated the prosaic fact in his world-
famous remarks about the chubby, blond-haired lads exposed for sale on
the Roman slave-market, he would have said, " Non Angli nee angeli sed
— JudcBorum servi." Joseph Jacobs.
Shanah. — In his interesting article on " The New Tear and its
Liturgy " in the first number of The Jewish Quarterly Beviem, Mr. M.
Friedmann states that the substantive shanah " year," is derived from
shanah, " to repeat." Enough is now known of Semitic phonetics, however,
to enable us to say with certainty that shanah " year " is derived from a
stem shanah, which means " to change," while D*JB>, "two," is derived
from shanah, " to repeat." A study of the corresponding Aramaean
forms, not to speak of other cognate languages, makes this point clear.
(Compare Hebraica, vol. I., p. 220.) Cyrus Adlee.
Tobit's Dog. — The Greek version of the Apocrypha states that when
Tobiah was on his journey to Rages, the " young man's dog " went with
him. But the dog was not regarded among Eastern peoples with feelings
of affection. It seems, therefore, highly improbable that Tobiah was
actually accompanied by a dog. The Hebrew and Chaldee versions of
the text entirely omit the dog incident. Can its presence in the Greek
version be accounted for ? Now, the original language of the Book of
Tobit was, despite Prof. Noldeke's opinion to the contrary, probably
Hebrew or Chaldee. This supplies the clue to our difficulty. Tobiah
was directed by Raphael to extract the heart of the fish that he caught,
as well as (the liver and) the gall. It was the heart (37i"l), and not a dog
3?D) that the young man took with him. My suggestion relies on a
very simple mis-reading. The word D?n occurs several times in this part
of the narrative, and a careless copyist might easily have made the slip I
suppose to have occurred. I. A.