Solar and Lunar Calendars

Sacha Stern

in Calendar and Community

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9780198270348
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600753 | DOI:
 Solar and Lunar Calendars

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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

Chapter.  21788 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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