The New Moon

Sacha Stern

in Calendar and Community

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9780198270348
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600753 | DOI:
 The New Moon

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The month in Jewish lunar calendars usually began when the new moon crescent was first sighted, as evident from Philo, Josephus, and other literary and epigraphic sources (e.g. the Berenike inscriptions—rabbinic sources are dealt with in the next chapter). From the fourth century c.e., however, some Jewish calendars appear to have begun the month on the day of conjunction (thus about two days earlier), as evident from the document of the Council of Sardica, the Catania inscription, and the ketubah of Antinoopolis. These calendars were not empirically determined, but based on fixed, calculated schemes. Diversity of practice appears to have persisted, nevertheless, until the end of antiquity (as evident, for instance, from the Zoar inscriptions).

Keywords: Antinoopolis; Berenike; calculation; Catania; conjunction; diversity; Josephus; new moon; Philo; Sardica; Zoar

Chapter.  25953 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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