Abraham Ibn Daud's Dorot 'Olam (Generations of the Ages)

A Critical Edition and Translation of Zikhron Divrey Romi, Divrey Malkhey Yisraʾel, and the Midrash on Zechariah

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Written by Abraham ibn Daud of Toledo (c. 1110-1180), Dorot ‘Olam (Generations of the Ages) is one of the most influential and innovative historical works of medieval Hebrew literature. In four sections, three of which are edited and translated in this volume for the first time, Dorot ‘Olam asserts the superiority of rabbinic Judaism and stresses the central role of Iberia for the Jewish past, present, and future. Combining Jewish and Christian sources in new ways, Ibn Daud presents a compelling vision of the past and formulates political ideas that stress the importance of consensus-driven leadership under rabbinic guidance. This edition demonstrates how Dorot ‘Olam was received by Jewish and Christian readers who embraced the book in Hebrew, Latin, and two English and German translations.
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Biographical Note

Katja Vehlow

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ... xiii
Abbreviations ... xvii

Introduction ... 1
1. Jews in Andalusia: Oppressed or Living in a ‘Golden Age’? ... 3
2. Just How Iberian Were Iberian Jews? ... 5
3. Was There a Medieval Jewish Historiography? ... 6

PART ONE: INTRODUCTION

I. Ibn Daud and His Writings ... . 11
1. Historical-Cultural Setting ... . 11
2. The Author ... 14
3. Ibn Daud’s Writings ... 17
4. Dorot ʿOlam ... 18
4.1. Sefer ha-Qabbalah ... 18
4.2. Zikhron Divrey Romi ... 19
4.3. Divrey Malkhey Yisraʾel ... . 19
4.4. Midrash on Zechariah ... 20
4.5. The Unity of Dorot ʿOlam ... 20

II. Sources ... 25
1. Complications: Shared Use of Texts, Symbols, and Methodologies ... . 25
2. Jewish Sources ... . 28
2.1. Ibn Daud and Sefer Josippon ... . 29
3. Christian Sources ... 31
4. Islamic Sources ... 37

III. The Argument of Dorot ʿOlam ... 39
1. Modern Readings ... 39
2. Messianic or Not? Errors, Blunders, and Contradictions in Dorot ʿOlam ... 41
3. Principles of Political Leadership ... 44
4. Rome and Its Connections to Iberia ... 50
5. The Early Church in Dorot ʿOlam ... . 52
6. The Hispanization of Jewish History ... 56

IV. The Early Modern Fascination with Dorot ʿOlam ... 63
1. Divrey Malkhey Yisraʾel ... 63
2. Zikhron Divrey Romi ... 71
3. The Midrash on Zechariah ... 71

V. Preface to the Critical Edition ... 75
1. The Manuscripts of the Hebrew Text ... 75
2. Printed Hebrew Editions ... 83
3. Bilingual Editions and Translations ... 86
4. The Hebrew Text of This Edition ... . 93
5. The English Translation and Commentary ... 95
Sigla ... 96

PART TWO: DOROT ʿOLAM

The Chronicle of Rome from the Day of its Foundation to the Rise of the Kingdom of Ishmael ... 98
1. The Beginnings of Rome until Brutus ... 98
2. The Reign of Julius Caesar ... 102
3. From Augustus to Hadrian ... . 104
4. The Rebellion of the Sons of Koziva ... 110
5. From Hadrian to Diocletian ... 112
6. The Emergence of Christianity ... 120
7. The Christianization of Spain ... 124
8. The Rise of Islam and Christianity in Spain ... 128

The History of the Kings of Israel in the Second Temple Period ... 132
1. Introductory Remarks ... 132
2. Alexander the Great ... 134
3. Ptolemy and the Septuagint ... 136
4. The Early Rule of Antiochus ... 144
5. The Beginning of the Maccabean Revolt ... 148
6. The Purification of the Temple ... 152
7. Judah ben Mattathias Fights Antiochus ... 154
8. Death of Antiochus ... 158
9. Dedication of the Temple ... 158
10. More Wars ... 160
11. Eleazar Dies ... 162
12. Judah’s Treaty with Nicanor ... 164
13. Death of King Judah ... 166
14. The Rule of Jonathan and Simon ... . 168
15. Hyrcanus and Ptolemy ... 172
16. Hyrcanus and Antiochus Pius ... 174
17. Hyrcanus and the Cutheans ... 176
18. Hyrcanus and the Pharisees ... 180
19. Aristobulus the First ... . 184
20. Alexander Yannai and the Pharisees ... 186
21. Alexander’s Death ... 192
22. The Rule of Alexandra ... 196
23. The Death of Alexandra ... 198
24. Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II ... 200
25. The Rise of Antipater I ... 202
26. Hyrcanus and Ḥoni ha-Meʿaggel (the Circle-Drawer) ... 206
27. Popmey [Pompey] and Aristobulus ... 208
28. Hyrcanus and Antipater ... 210
29. Popmey [Pompey] Conquers Jerusalem ... 212
30. Hyrcanus Fights Alexander and Gabinius ... 214
31. Aristobulus Fights Gabinius ... 216
32. Julius Caesar ... 218
33. The Death of Aristobulus ... 220
34. Herod and Hezekiah ... . 222
35. Herod before the Sanhedrin ... 222
36. The Death of Julius Caesar ... . 224
37. The Intrigues of Herod and Antigonus ... . 226
38. Herod ben Antipater and Mark Antony ... 228
39. Herod Defends the Temple and Assassinates Antigonus ... . 230
40. Hyrcanus Returns to Jerusalem ... 232
41. Hyrcanus’ Death ... 234
42. Aristobulus and Alexandra ... . 238
43. The Death of Aristobulus ... 240
44. Herod and Octavian Augustus ... 244
45. Herod and Mariamne ... 248
46. Mariamne’s Death ... 250
47. Herod Rebuilds the Temple ... 252
48. Herod and His Sons Alexander and Aristobulus ... 258
49. Herod and Alexander before Octavian Augustus ... 258
50. Antipater’s Intrigue ... 262
51. Archelaus Reconciles Herod with Alexander and Pheroras ... 264
52. The Death of Alexander and Aristobulus ... 266
53. Herod and His Grandsons ... 268
54. Antipater and Pheroras ... 270
55. The Trial of Antipater ... 274
56. Herod’s Death ... 278
57. The Burial of Herod ... 282
58. Archelaus and Antipater ... 286
59. Agrippa and the Beginnings of the Revolt against Rome ... . 288
60. The Death of Simon of Scythopolis ... 292
61. Agrippa and Cestius ... 294
62. Beginning of the Siege of Jerusalem and Vespasian and Titus’Invasion ... 296
63. Joseph ben Gorion and His Wars in the North ... 300
64. Vespasian and Titus in the Galilee ... 302
65. Johanan the Galilean and the Fighting in Jerusalem ... 304
66. Zechariah and Gorion ... 308
67. Vespasian and Josephus in Rome ... 310
68. The Division of Jerusalem ... 312
69. Titus before the Gates Jerusalem ... . 316
70. Titus and Cantor ... 318
71. Hunger in Jerusalem ... . 320
72. The Slaughter of the Innocent ... 322
73. The Suffering of the Jerusalemites ... 324
74. The Greek Attempt to Take Jerusalem ... . 328
75. The Conquest of Jerusalem ... 330
76. The Struggle for the Temple ... 330
77. The Destruction of the Temple ... 334
78. Simon and Johanan before Titus ... . 338
79. Masada ... 342
80. After the War: Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai and Rabban Gamaliel ... . 344
81. Epilogue ... 346

The Midrash on Zechariah ... 348

Bibliography ... 359
1. Manuscripts ... 359
2. Editions of Ibn Daud’s Works ... 359
3. Other Primary Sources ... 361
4. Secondary Sources ... 366

Index of Primary Texts ... 385
General Index ... 396

Readership

Historians of the Jewish Middle Ages and of political thought, and all interested in historiography and medieval Iberian literatures.

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