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Bidding Information
Lot #    8480
Auction End Date    10/19/2004 2:07:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    An Astronomical Manuscript
Title (Hebrew)    כתב יד באסטרונומיה
Author    [Ms.] R. David b. Jonah Mizrahi
City    North Africa
Publication Date    1846
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [52] ff. (12 blank), 194:137 mm., ink on paper, light age staining, written in a fine Oriental semi-cursive script. Chapter headings and sub-headings in red ink.
   Treatise on lunar and solar eclipses and astronomical tables and calendars. Apparently, the final version of a chapter on this subject by R. David b. Jonah Mizrahi of Baghdad who lived in the 17th century and was active mainly in the 1680's and 1690's.

R. Mizrahi wrote his treatise in the 1680's. He revised it several times, and, apparently, the final revision is preserved in this ms. The chapter on eclipses was copied several times over a period of 150 years, testifying to its immense popularity. One of the copies, made in the 1780' s is now lost, but is preserved in this ms. copied in 1846. This ms. is important for it sheds light on the history of Jewish astronomy in Iraq trom the 17th to 19th centuries and is the only surviving copy of the last known revision of R. Mizrahi's treatise on eclipses.

The ms. also includes other astronomical tables on the eclipses and the calendar. Most of them are not found in the other works by R. Mizrahi and it has not been established if they were composed by him or copied from other works. One of the tables on f. 31r is adjusted to the latitude of Damascus and it may have been composed by R. Mizrahi who, as we know, visited Syria in his travels.

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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Other:    North Africa
Halacha:    Checked
Other:    Astronomy
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Other:    Book
Kind of Judaica