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Calendar and CommunityA History of the Jewish Calendar, 2nd Century BCE to 10th Century CE$
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Sacha Stern

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270348

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198270348.001.0001

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Solar and Lunar Calendars

Solar and Lunar Calendars

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Solar and Lunar Calendars
Source:
Calendar and Community
Author(s):

Sacha Stern (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198270348.003.0001

Ancient sources including the books of Enoch and Jubilees, Qumran and related literature, Philo, Josephus, Graeco‐Roman, and early Christian sources, reveal that a variety of solar and lunar calendars were used by Jews in the second century b.c.—first century c.e. From the first century c.e., however, lunar calendars became the norm throughout the Jewish world. This stands in contrast with the development of non‐Jewish calendars in the Roman Empire, and especially in the Roman Near East: after the arrival of the Romans, the lunar, Seleucid calendar was generally abandoned in favour of solar calendars modelled on the Julian. Thus the Jewish lunar calendar would appear to have become, in the context of the Roman Empire, a marker of Jewish identity and distinctiveness.

Keywords:   Enoch, Jewish calendar, Jewish identity, Josephus, Julian calendar, lunar, Qumran, Roman Near East, solar

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