The Seleucid era or Anno Graecorum (literally "year of the Greeks" or "Greek year"), sometimes denoted "AG", was a system of numbering years in use by the Seleucid Empire and other countries among the ancient Hellenistic civilizations. It is sometimes referred to as "the dominion of the Seleucidæ," or the Year of Alexander. The era dates from Seleucus I Nicator's re-conquest of Babylon in 312/11 BC after his exile in Ptolemaic Egypt,considered by Seleucus and his court to mark the founding of the Seleucid Empire. According to Jewish tradition, it was during the sixth year of Alexander the Great's reign (lege: possibly Alexander the Great's infant son, Alexander IV of Macedon) that they began to make use of this counting. The introduction of the new era is mentioned in one of the Babylonian Chronicles, the Chronicle of the Diadochi.
Two different uses were made of the Seleucid years:
These differences in the beginning of the year mean that dates may differ by one. Bickerman gives this example:
The Seleucid era was used as late as the 6th century AD, for instance in the Zabad trilingual inscriptionin Syria, dated the 24th of Gorpiaios, 823 (24 September, 512 AD), and in the writings of John of Ephesus. Syriac chroniclers continued to use it up to Michael the Syrian in the 12th century AD / 15th century AG. It has been found on Nestorian Christian tombstones from Central Asia well into the 14th century AD.
The Seleucid era counting, or "era of contracts" (minyan sheṭarot), was used by Yemenite Jews in their legal deeds and contracts until modern times, a practice derived from an ancient Jewish teaching in the Talmud, requiring all Diaspora Jews to uphold its practice.For this reason, the Seleucid era counting is mentioned in the Book of Maccabees (I Macc. i. 11) and in the writings of the historian, Josephus. The Seleucid era counting fell into disuse among most Jewish communities, following Rabbi David ben Zimra's cancellation of the practice when he served as Chief Rabbi of Egypt.
The Hebrew or Jewish calendar is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits, and daily Psalm readings, among many ceremonial uses. In Israel, it is used for religious purposes, provides a time frame for agriculture and is an official calendar for civil purposes, although the latter usage has been steadily declining in favor of the Gregorian calendar.
Judah ha-Nasi or Judah I, was a second-century rabbi and chief redactor and editor of the Mishnah. He lived from approximately 135 to 217 CE. He was a key leader of the Jewish community during the Roman occupation of Judea.
A calendar era is the period of time elapsed since one epoch of a calendar and, if it exists, before the next one. For example, the Gregorian calendar numbers its years in the Western Christian era.
Yeshu is the name of an individual or individuals mentioned in rabbinic literature, which historically has been assumed to be a reference to Jesus when used in the Talmud. The name Yeshu is also used in other sources before and after the completion of the Babylonian Talmud. It is also the modern Israeli spelling of Jesus.
The Jerusalem Talmud, also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmuda de-Eretz Yisrael, is a collection of Rabbinic notes on the second-century Jewish oral tradition known as the Mishnah. Naming this version of the Talmud after the Land of Israel rather than Jerusalem is considered more accurate by some, as while the work was certainly composed in "the West", i.e. in the Holy Land, it mainly originates from the Galilee rather than from Jerusalem in Judea, as no Jews lived in Jerusalem at this time. The Jerusalem Talmud was compiled in the Land of Israel, then divided between the Byzantine provinces of Palaestina Prima and Palaestina Secunda, and was brought to an end sometime around 400. The Jerusalem Talmud predates its counterpart, the Babylonian Talmud, by about 200 years, and is written in both Hebrew and Jewish Palestinian Aramaic.
Jacob the heretic is the name given to a 2nd-century heretic whose doings were used as examples in a few passages of the Tosefta and Talmud to illustrate laws relating to dealing with heresy (minut).
Anno Mundi, abbreviated as AM, or Year After Creation, is a calendar era based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history. Two such calendar eras have seen notable use historically:
The missing years in the Hebrew calendar refer to a chronological discrepancy between the rabbinic dating for the destruction of the First Temple in 423 BCE and the academic dating of it in 587 BCE.
Usha was a city in the Western part of Galilee. It is noteworthy because in the 2nd century, the Sanhedrin, or rabbinic court, was moved from Yavne in Judea to Usha, and then from Usha back to Yavne, and a second time from Yavne to Usha.
Avodah Zarah is the name of a tractate of the Talmud, located in Nezikin, the fourth Order of the Talmud dealing with damages. The main topic of the tractate is laws pertaining to Jews living amongst Gentiles, including regulations about the interaction between Jews and "idolaters".
Seder Olam Rabbah is a 2nd-century CE Hebrew language chronology detailing the dates of biblical events from the Creation to Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia. It adds no stories beyond what is in the biblical text, and addresses such questions as the age of Isaac at his binding and the number of years that Joshua led the Israelites. Tradition considers it to have been written about 160 CE by Yose ben Halafta, but it was probably also supplemented and edited at a later period.
The House of Hillel and House of Shammai were, among Jewish scholars, two schools of thought during the period of tannaim, named after the sages Hillel and Shammai who founded them. These two schools had vigorous debates on matters of ritual practice, ethics, and theology which were critical for the shaping of the Oral Law and Judaism as it is today.
Shituf is a term used in Jewish sources for the worship of God in a manner which Judaism does not deem to be purely monotheistic. The term connotes a theology that is not outright polytheistic, but also should not be seen as purely monotheistic. The term is primarily used in reference to the Christian Trinity by Jewish legal authorities who wish to distinguish Christianity from full-blown polytheism. Though a Jew would be forbidden from maintaining a shituf theology, non-Jews would, in some form, be permitted such a theology without being regarded as idolaters by Jews. That said, whether Christianity is shituf or formal polytheism remains a debate in Jewish philosophy.
The Babylonian War was a conflict fought between 311–309 BC between the Diadochi Antigonus Monophtalmus and Seleucus, ending in a victory for the latter. The conflict ended any possibility of restoration of the empire of Alexander the Great, a result confirmed in the Battle of Ipsus. It also marked the infancy of the Seleucid Empire by giving Seleucus control over the eastern satrapies of Alexander's former empire.
There are several passages in the Talmud which are believed by some scholars to be references to Jesus. The name used in the Talmud is "Yeshu", the Aramaic vocalization of the Hebrew name Yeshua.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Judaism:
Hezekiah was a Jewish Amora sage of the Land of Israel of the second generation of the Amoraic era. He was the son of R. Hiyya and the teacher of R. Yochanan bar Nafcha, and he is the same simple "Hezekiah" that is cited frequently in the Talmud.
Rav Hiyya bar Joseph was a Babylonian rabbi of the 3rd century.
Meat on Charcoals is a lost work about Jewish Halakha, quoted since as early as the 11th century.
The Second siege of Babylon took place during the Babylonian War in 310 BC. Antigonid forces under Antigonus's oldest son, Demetrius, besieged the Seleucid garrison of the city of Babylon under the command of Patrocles.
Once local and irregular, time-keeping became universal and linear in 311 BCE. History would never be the same again.