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750 MISHNAT HAMIDDOT

The oldest Hebrew treatise on mathematics, it deals with geometric equations. Some attributed it to the 2nd century Rav Nehemiah, but most scholars believe it originated in the middle of the 8th century, although the author is unknown.


750 - 1258 ABBASID DYNASTY (from Abu Abbas) (Persia)

Expanded intellectual horizons and world trade. The Abbasids gained control from the Umayyads after the assassination of Marwan II in Egypt and moved the control to Baghdad. Eighty members of Marwan II's family were also killed at Antipatris near present day Rosh Haayin. Abd Al(ur)-Rahman, one of the surviving members of the Umayyads, reached Cordova and set up his own Caliphate (see 756). The Abbasids gave more power to the Persians and Turkish tribes, with Caliphs taking upon themselves absolute authority .Although, as with the Umayyad Dynasty, the Jewish position depended on the current ruler, in general, Jews began to play an important role in world trade and banking.


756 - 788 ABD AL-RAHMAN I (Abd Ur-Rahman I) (Spain)

An Umayyad caliph, he made Spain independent of Baghdad. His court was open to poets, scientists, and philosophers. At the same time that the influence of Babylon was waning, Spain was becoming the center of Jewish thought. The Umayyad rule in Spain was to last 250 years and provide peace and stability for its inhabitants.


757 - 761 RAV JUDAH (Yehudai) GAON OF SURA (Babylon)

Also known as Judah the blind. He was one of the leading presenters of the liturgy, or Shliach Tzibbur, and favored the new practice of professional cantorship (hazzanut). He recommended that an ABA (ternary) musical format be used , so that beginning and end of each piece be similar, with some variance in the middle. He also introduced the chanting of Kol Nidre into the synagogue. Yehudai wrote Halachot Ketuot and probably Halachot Pesukot which was the first work on traditional law since the completion of the Talmud.There is a controversy as to whether he also the author or partial author of Sefer Halachot Gedolot, but most believe it was written by Simeon Kayyara, (see 825). He was a vociferous proponent of the acceptance of the Babylonian Talmud rather than the Jerusalem Talmud as the basis for all Halachah.


759 NARBONNE (Carolingian Empire)

Moorish occupation ended after just 39 years. During this brief time the Jewish population greatly increased. They played a pivotal role in the formal occupation of the city by Charlemagne, who granted them 1/3 of the town under their own ruler (Nasi).




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