JERAHMEEL BEN SOLOMON


JERAHMEEL BEN SOLOMON (c. 1150), chronicler, lived in Italy. He wrote Megillat Yeraḥ me'el (or Meliẓ at Yeraḥ me'el or Sefer ha-Yeraḥ me'eli), a compilation of writings on history and other subjects such as grammar, music, astronomy, liturgy and more. His anthology contained also the book of Josippon, translation of the Aramaic chapters in the book of Daniel, and a few historical Midrashim, and it is based on both Jewish and non-Jewish sources, including selections from Strabo, Nicholas of Damascus and Philo, as well as from a few historical Midrashim and apocryphal works. It contains numerous apocalyptic legends about biblical heroes taken from unknown sources, parallel to legends in the Midrashim, in Sefer ha-Yashar, in Josippon, and in Christian apocalyptical works. Portions of the work were incorporated by Eleazar b. Asher ha-Levi (c. 1325) in his book Sefer ha-Zikhronot (Ms. Oxford). Several excerpts were published by Neubauer (JQR, 11 (1899), 364ff.). M. Gaster translated the Megillah into English (The Chronicle of Jerahmeel, 1899) and added a detailed introduction; he titled it The Chronicles of Jerahmeel on the Hebrew Bible Historiale. The literary works of Jerahmeel consist mostly of poems, mathematical riddles, and questions in meteorology, as well as piyyutim, especially Kedushot (Ms. Paris 646) which describe the world of creation and the holiness of the angels. Numerous rhymes and stormy rhythms are used in these piyyutim to imitate the sound of the enthusiasm and tumult of the angels.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Zunz, Lit Poesie, 485f.; Neubauer, Chronicles, 1 (1887), xix–xxi, 163–78, 190f.; Neubauer, Cat, 2 (1906), 208–15; idem, in: MGWJ, 36 (1887), 505–8; idem, in: JQR, 11 (1898/99), 366–86; Halberstam, ibid., 697ff.; Perles, in: Graetz Jubelschrift (1887), 22f.; M. Gaster, Studies and Texts, 1 (1925–28), 39–68; 3 (1925–28), 16–21; M. Steinschneider, Geschichtsliteratur der Juden (1905), 41ff., 175f.; Cohen, in: J. Guttmann Festschrift (1915), 173–85; Vogelstein-Rieger, 166, 186, 192; Schirmann, in: YMḤSI, 1 (1933), 97f.; Waxman, Literature, 1 (19602), 527–30; Davidson, Oẓ ar, 4 (1933), 425. E. Yassif, Sefer ha-Zikhronot, 2001; Jacobson, in: The Studia Philonica Annual, 9 (1997) 239–50; Schwartzbaum, Preface, in: Gaster, The Chronicles of Jerachmiel 2, 1971.

[Yonah David]


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