Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in by Seth L. Sanders, Jonathan Ben-Dov

By Seth L. Sanders, Jonathan Ben-Dov

Until very lately, the assumption of historic Jewish sciences may were thought of unacceptable. because the 1990’s, Early smooth and Medieval technological know-how in Jewish assets has been actively studied, however the consensus was once that no genuine clinical subject matters will be present in previous Judaism. This paintings issues them out intimately, and posits a brand new box of analysis: the clinical task glaring within the useless Sea Scrolls and Early Jewish Pseudepigrapha. The book of recent texts and new analyses of older ones unearths an important components which are top illuminated by way of the historical past of technological know-how, and should have attention-grabbing results for it. The members assessment those texts with regards to astronomy, astrology and physiognomy, marking the 1st finished try and account for medical topics in moment Temple Judaism. They examine the that means and goal of clinical explorations in an apocalyptic atmosphere. An appreciation of those subject matters paves tips on how to a renewed realizing of the clinical fragments scattered all through rabbinic literature.
 
The booklet first areas the Jewish fabric within the historical context of the close to jap and Hellenistic worlds. whereas the Jewish texts weren't at the innovative of clinical discovery, they discover a significant position within the heritage of technology, among Babylonia and Egypt, within the period of time among Hipparchus and Ptolemy. The publication makes use of contemporary advances in solution to study the contacts and networks of Jewish students of their historical surroundings. moment, the essays the following take on the challenging notion of a countrywide clinical culture. even though technological know-how is these days frequently conceived as common, the historiography of historical Jewish sciences demonstrates the significance of seeing the improvement of technology in a neighborhood context. The ebook explores the stress among the hegemony of relevant clinical traditions and native medical companies, displaying the relevance of old facts to modern postcolonial historiography of technological know-how. ultimately, philosophical questions of the demarcation of technology are addressed in a fashion which could develop the dialogue of similar old materials.
 
Online version available as a part of the NYU Library's old international electronic Library and in partnership with the Institute for the learn of the traditional global (ISAW).

 

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The Ionians too produced new, rational models of the cosmos—models little more sophisticated than those of the Jewish Enochic circles, but which in the Heilsgeschichte of western civilization are traditionally seen as the beginnings of Greek, and indeed of European, science. In both cases—the Jewish and the Greek—the new models of the universe marked a qualitative break from pre-existing mythical and epic pictures of the world. In the case of the Greeks those earlier pictures were to be found in Homer and in Hesiod; in the case of the Jews they were enshrined primarily in the opening chapters of Genesis.

37 See Martin L. West, Early Greek Philosophy and the Orient (Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1971), 111-202. 38 Early Greek Philosophy and the Orient. chap. 7, “The Gift of the Magi”. There are persistent rumours in the Greek doxographical tradition that some of the Ionian thinkers were actually themselves of ‘oriental’ stock, but it hard to know what credence to give to these traditions. West provides a wealth of oriental parallels to the Presocratics, some more convincing than others, which build cumulatively into a conclusive case.

I refer to the rise of the Ionian school of Greek philosophy and science. The Ionians too produced new, rational models of the cosmos—models little more sophisticated than those of the Jewish Enochic circles, but which in the Heilsgeschichte of western civilization are traditionally seen as the beginnings of Greek, and indeed of European, science. In both cases—the Jewish and the Greek—the new models of the universe marked a qualitative break from pre-existing mythical and epic pictures of the world.

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