Isidore Singer.

The Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) online

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" Ilo'il Mosheh " (Prague, 1611), a simple and homi-
letic commentary on the Pentateuch, in which he
occasionally explains the commentary of Rashi.
Some responsa of hisare to be found in theresponsa
collections of his rabbinical contemporaries.

Bnu.iOGRAPHV : Kohen ?o(iolj. Shcm u-She'crit. p. 40, Cracow,
\m-y; Sielnschnelder, Cat. BncU. col. 1763; Fursr, Bibl. Jud.
it. :«1. „

s. s. B. Fii.

in soul hern Babylonia, near Sura (see Schechter,



Master and Servant

"Saadyaua," p. 63, note 1). Slieririi Gaou legardcd
the two places as ideutical, for in his accounts of the
geouim of Sura he uses the names of both Matah
Mehasya (or Mehasya) and Sura to indicate the seat
of tlie academy, the former name even being the more
frequent of tlie two. In the passage where he de-
scribes the founding of the Academy of Sura by Rab
he says expressly tlial Rabliad come to "Sura, whicii
is Matah Mehasva" (ed. Neubauer, 1. 29; variant,
"Sura, called 'Matah Mehasya'"). There is no
doubt, however, that these names belonged to two
distinct towns, which came to be regarded as one
when the seat of the academy ^vas mentioned. They
are named together in Ber. 29a, where the dilTerent
modes of speech of the peoples of the two places are
noted. Other Talmudic passages clearly indicate
that these were two dilTerent towns (B. M. G7b;
Yoma 86a). Slierira Gaoa himself says (i. 30) that
in the second half of the third century Huna's school
(by implication the academy founded by Rab) was
in the vicinity of Matah Mehasya; Rab's colleague
Hisda lived at Sura. It seems likely, therefore, that
the school was situated between the two places.

When the academy entered upon a new period of
prosperity, under Aslii, in the second half of the
fourth century, its seat was at Matah Mehasya,
"where Ashi lived, and most of the Talmudic refer-
ences to this place, which, Ashi saj^s (Ket. 4a), maj*
not be called either a city or a borough, date from
his time. He refers to its synagogue, which
strangers visited on his account (Meg. 26a), and he
claims to have saved the town from destruction by
prohibiting the construction of houses higher than
the synagogue (Shab. 11a). Aslii was wont to say
that the non-Jewish inhabitants of ]\Iatali Mehasya
"were hard-hearted, since they beheld the splendor
of the Torah twice a year at the great Kallah assem-
blies, and j'et not one of them was converted to Ju-
daism (Ber. 2Tb).

Halevy assumes that Sura again became the seat
of the academy after Ashi's death ("Dorot ha-Ri-
shonim," ii. 599), and that Mar b. Ashi restored Ma-
tah ^lehasva to the position to which Ashi had raised
it. From his time probably dates the maxim which
the martyr Mashershaya gave his sons, contrasting
the outward poverty of Matah Mehasj^a with the
splendor of Pumbedita : " Live on the dung-heaps of
Matah Mehasya and not in the palaces of Pumbe-
dita ! " (Ker. 6a ; Hor. 12a). There were various
diiferences of opinion between the scholars of Pum-
bedita and Matah ISIehasya regarding questions of
civil law, the opinions being collected in Ket. 5oa.
Rabina, the last amora of the Academj^ of Sura,
lived at Matah iSIehasya (see Yoma 86a; Kid. 33a;
B. K., end). The Talmud refers to the destruction
of ISIatah Mehasya (Shab. 11a), but in post-Talmudic
times the town lent its name to the Academy of
Sura, as stated above.

Bibliography: A. Berliner, Beitriige zur Gengraphie unci
FAlinngraithie liahiilDuicns. p. 4.5, Berlin, 1883; I. H. Hirsch-
ensohn, Sheba^ Hnhnint, pp. 163 et sec?., 177, Lemberg, 1883;
I. Halevy, Do7-ot'ha-Ri><lionim, ii. 543 et seq.
s. s. W. B.


Turkish rabbinical scholar; lived at Salonica in the
sixteenth century. According to De Rossi ("Dizio-
nario," i. 135) the name "Matalon"is the Hebrew

equivalent of "one of Toulon," but Zuuz (see Stein-
schneider, "Cat. Bodl." col. 1241) derives it from
"Alataloni," the name of an Italian town. In spite
of his premature death Matalon wrote several works,
two of -which were published (Salonica, 1597):
"She'erit Ya'akob," sermons, and "Toledot Ya'a-
kob," commentary on various haggadot in the Tal-
uuid and Midrashim.

ninr.iOGRAPHY: Conforte, Korc ha-Dorot, p. 38a; Fiirst, Bibl.
Jud. ii. 334.
K. C. M. Sel.

MATALON, MORDECAI : Rabbi of Salonica
in the sixteenth century; uncle of Jacob b. Solomon
3Iatalon. Besides being a prominent Talmudist,
^Vlatalon was, according to his companion Samuel di
Modena, who quotes him frequently in his responsa,
well ver.sed in secular sciences (Responsa on Hoshen
Mishpat, No. 40). He is quoted also by Isaac
Adarbi in his " Dibre Ribot " (Nos. 217, 326)." Mata-
lon was the author of responsa inserted in the
"Mishpete Sherauel" of Samuel Kala'i (Venice,

BiBijORRAPHY: Conforte, Kore ha-Dorot, pp. 38a, 40a. b;
Furst, BihI. Jud. ii. 334.
s. M. Sel.

MATATRON. See Metategn.


MATHEMATICS : The science that treats of
the measurement of quantities and the ascertain-
ment of their properties and relations. The neces-
sity of studying astronomy for calendric purposes
caused the ancient Hebrews to cultivate various
branches of mathematics, especially arithmetic and
geometiy, applications of which are frequent in the
jMishnah and Talmud. With regard to arithmetic
there occur the four rules, in both whole numbers
and fractions; even the decimal system is alluded
to by Rabba, who says that the Persians called the
number 10 "one" (Ber. 60a). As to geometrj-, the
treatises 'Erubin, Kelim, Ohalot, etc., contain many
applications of planometry and stereometry. The
terms "bigon," "trigou," "tetragon," and "penta-
gon " are found several times in the Talmud, both in
their geometrical sense, signifying a figiue of two,
three, four, or five angles, and in their arithmetical
sense, expressing the numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5. As
early as the forty -ninth " middot " of R. Nathan SI to
1 is given as the relation between the circumference
and the diameter of a circle. The names Avhich oc-
cur often in the Talmud in connection with mathe-
matical propositions are Gamaliel, Joshua, Judah,
and Samuel.

Still, however rapid may have been the spread of
mathematical knowledge among the Jews in the
Talmudic times, no work on that science is known
to have existed in Jewish literature
" Mishnat prior to the Judieo-Arabic period, to
Middot." which belongs probably the "Mish-
nat ]\Iiddot," the oldest mathematical
work in Hebrew known. According to Steinschnei-
der, Avho first published it (Berlin, 1864), it is an
imperfect endeavor to propound the elements of

With the expansion of the Greco-Arabic philoso-
phy the Je"ws began to take part in the development




of matlienuitics, which was regarded as a science
introductory to philosopliy. It was divided by the
Arabian school into seven "discipiinic " ; namely,
arithmetic (jn'ii'nn tl). algebra (mu::'nn H). geom-
etry (noun n or mnron n). astronomy (njiDnn 'n).

astrology (|VDJn TI), optics (niXIH PI), and music
(rilOT)- Of these only algebra and geometry are
treated at length in this article, the others being
dealt with under their respective names.

With the exception of the above - mentioned
"Mishnat Middot," no work on algebra or geometry
is known to have been written in Hebrew before the
twelfth century; the few writings composed by
Jews in these branches of mathematics, which in
tiic Middle Ages were neglected in favor of astron-
omy and astrology, were in Arabic. Tlie oldest
Jewish writer on mathematics in its strict sense was
the renowned astrologer Mashallah (more correctly
Ma Sha Allah), who flourished at the end of the
eightli century and at the beginning of the ninth.
A contemporary of his, Abu Othinan

Arabic Sahl ibn Bishr ibn Habib ibn Hani,

Jewish was the autlior of a work on algebia
Mathema- entitled "Al-Jabar wal-Mukabalah."

ticians. Another work on algebra, bearing the
same title, and a commentary on the
"Elements" of Euclid, were written about the
same time by a Jewish convert to Islam, Siud ben
'Ali. To the same period belongs Sahl Rabban ai-
Tabari, who was considered one of the gnuitest
geometers of his time. Among the writers of the
tenth and eleventh centuries mention should be
made of Bishr ben Phinehas ben Shu'aib and Jacob
ben Nissim of Kairwan, tlie latter of whom wrote,
under the title " Hisiib al-Ghubar" (Ilebr. jnKTI
p3Xn), a work on Indian mathematics. In the twelfth
century works on algebra and geometry began to
appear in Hebrew, mainly as translations from tiie

Tlie first known Hebrew writer on geometry was
Abraham bar Hiyya ha-Xasi, wlio expounded its
elements in a work entitled " Hibbur ha-Meshihah
weha-Tishboret." This work, which probably
formed a part of his encyclopedia " Yesode ha-
Tebunah we-Migdal hu Emunah," was edited by
Steinschneider in the publications of the Mekize
Nirdamim Society (1895, vol. xi.). A Latin transla-
tion of Abraham bar Hiyya's work was made about
1186 by Plato of Tivoli. Another prominent wri-
ter on geometry in that century was Samuel ibn
'Abbas, who, at the re(juest of Sultan Abu al-Fath
Shah Ghazzi, composed in Arabic a work on the
difficulties encountered by the geometer. As a
translator of astronomical and mathematical works
from the Arabic into Latin, in the same century, tlu;
Jewish convert known by the name of Johannes
Hispalen-sis was distinguished. An English Jew is
said to liave written in Latin, in 1190. a work on
mathematics \inder the title " .Mathematica Kudi-
menta (^uredam."

The thirteenth century was especially rich in
matiicmatical productions. Tlie writings of the
Greek and Arabian mathematicians were translated
into Hebrew and commented iipon. Judah ben
Samuel Cohen of Toledo (V2W), in his encyclo-
pedia — written originally in Arabic and translated

by himself into Hebrew under the title " Midrash
ha-Hokmah" — gives extracts from the "Elements"
of Euclid. In 1278 Euclid's entire
In the work was translated from the Arabic,
Thirteenth probably by Moses ibn Tibbon. An-
Century. other translation, entitled "Yesodot,"
or " Shorashim,"and including Hypsi-
cle's books, is supposed to have been made by Jacob
ben Machir. Commentaries upon it by Arabian
mathematicians, suchas Al-Farabi and Ibn Haitham,
were also rendered into Hebrew, probably by Ka-
lonymus ben Kolonymus, who, according to the
commentary of Simplicius, had translated Book xiv.
and Ibn Ilaitham's commentary on the introduction
to Book X. Among the other commentaries on the
"Elements" still extant in manuscript in various
European libraries are those by a pupil of Jacob
ben Machir; by Abba Mari on the introduction to
Book i. ; by Levi ben Gershon on the propositions
of Books i., iii., iv., and v. ; by Abraliam ben Solo-
mon Yarlii; and, according to Joseph Delmedigo,
by I']lijah Mizrahi. Euclid's " Data" was rendered
into Hebrew, from the Arabic version of Hunain
ibn Ishak, by Jacob ben Machir, under the title
" Sefer ha-Mattanah." Three new translations were
made between 1775 and 1875. Euclid's works were
published first by Abraham ben Joseph Minz, with
annotations by Me'ir of Fiirth, under the title
" ReshitLimmudim hu Sefer Iklides " (Berlin, 1795).
Five years later a new translation of the first six
books of the "Elements" was published byBaruch
Schick (The Hague, 1780). In 1875 a new translation
of Books xi. and xii. was published at Jitomir.

Jacob ben Machir, in the thirteenth century,
translated from the Arabic the work on spherical
figures of the Alexandrian mathema-
tician Menelaus. KalonymusbenKa-
lonymus twice translated the works
of Archimedes on conoids and sphe-
roids and on the measure of the circle
under the titles "Be-Kaddur ube-Iztawwonot " and
"Sefer Arkimedes be-Meshihat ha-'Iggulah." He
made the following translations also: "Sefer Me-
shalim be-Tishboret," on algebraic propositions;
"Sefer ha-Temunaliha-Hittukit "; a work on geom-
etry by Thabit ibn Kurra entitled "Al-Shakl al-
Katta'": "Ma'amar be-Iztawwonot webe-Hiddu
dim," a treatise on cylinders and cones bj' Abu
al-Kasim Asbagh or Asba' ben Mohanmied. In
the fifteenth century Jewish literature was eiuiched
with several important works on algebra and geom-
etry. Mordecai Comlino, teacher of the rabbi and
mathematician Elijah Mizrahi, wrote a treatise, in
two parts, on arithmetic and algebra, in which he
followed partly the Greek and Latin authors, partly
the Mohanunedan ; he also annotated the " Ele-
ments." p]lijah Mizrahi wrote on arithmetic, alge
bra, and geometry under the title "Meleket ha-Mis-
l)ar." Mordecai ben Abraham F'iuzi translated frf)m
the Latin, under the title "Tahbulat ha-Mispar," a
work on algebra l)y AbuKamil Sliuja', and a work
on geometry under the title "ITokmat ha-Medidah."
The most prominent representative of mathemat-
ical knowledge among the Jewsiti the sixteenth cen-
tury was the historian David Gans, who wrote three
works on mathematics — " Ma'or ha-Katan," " Migdal

tions from
the Arabic.




Dawid." aud " Piozdor." Among llic iiKUlii.'iiiiiti-
ciuiis of the Sfventceutli century tlic most renowned
was Joseph Dehnedigo, who in his "'Bosinat Bat
SlieioHioli ■' gives a surs-ey of geometry and devotes
several cliapters of his " Ma'yan Gannim " to
trigonometry and algebra. In the eighteenth cen
tury file most noted mathematician among tiie Jews
was Elijah Wilua, who wrote a work containing

treatises on trigonometry, geometry,
EHjah and some principles of astronomy and
Wilna. algebra. The following is a list of all

the Hebrew works on algebra, geom-
etry, and arithmetic published up to the last years
of the nineteenth centui-y :

D"i''^pi>s, a new translation of Euclid, by Baruch Schick. The
Hague, 1780.

D-'''''piN, on Books xi. and xii. of the " Elements," b.v David
Friesenhausen. Jitomir, 1875.

s'^'N, containing, among other scientiQc dissertations, treatises
on iirithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, by Joseph
Delmedigo. Amsterdam, 1629.

;"TrTJDJJNOJX. arithmetic, in Judaso-German, by Falbus Hur-
witz. Amsterdam, 1791.

riT:ri ^-^m, on the geometrical propositions found in the Tal-
mud, by Tobias Hurwitz. Prague, 1807.

cn-\DN .-i^-\i, arithmetic, according to Elijah Mizrahi and non-
Jewish sources, by Abraham Niederlander. Prague (1609?).

pau'nn '^TT, arithmetic, by Jehiel Michael Epstein. Wilna,


i2Dcn i^'::'2T'\. arithmetic, by Moses Hayyim Eisenstadt. Dy-
hernfurth, 1712.

T-Dcn PDDH, arithmetic and algebra, by Nahman Hirsch Lln-
der of Dubno. Warsaw, 1855.

□'iiyirn PC3n, arithmetic, translated from the French by
Jacob Eichenbaum. Warsaw, 1857.

pa-'nn p>'^-i\ arithmetic, in Judseo-German, by Aryeh Liib
Shames. Amsterdam, 1690.

0<-^^;••,^'^ pi^""-!', geometry, by Gabriel Judah Llchtenfeld.
Warsaw, 1865.

zs^^y t:D\ containing, among other things, geometrical propo-
sitions, by Baruch Schick. Berlin, 1777.

Ti"U'i"i 'n iTD", on the various branches of mathematics, by
Hayyim Zelig Slonimski. Jitomir, 1865.

p^j'nn '^'''^D, algebra, by David Friesenhausen. Berlin, 1797
(Zolkiev, 1835).

D''^''3)cn pmi'', logarithms, by David Friesenhausen. Ko-
nigsberg, 18.54.

p3"'nn -(nac, arithmetic, by Letableau. Warsaw, 1866 {ih.

S3.P nnDi::, proofs on the eleventh proposition of Euclid, by
David Friesenhausen. Vienna, 1830.

pi^'nnPDN/C, arithmetic, by Moses Samuel Neumann. Vi-
enna, 1831.

pyz'nv P3N r, arithmetic and algebra, by Elijah ben Gershon
of Pintschow, Zolkiev, 1740.

p^u'ns pdn'^C, in two volumes: the first, entitled pau'n t>',
deals with arithmetic and the elements of algebra ; the second,
pna "-ni^^, treats of geometry, by Gershon Elias. Berlin, 1765
(Frankforton-the-Oder, 1765; Ostrog, 1806).

Pa:*PO PSN^C, arithmetic, in Judseo-German, by Goldenberg.
Berdychev, 1833 (Sdilkov, 1834).

P3",;'nr PDx'^c, arithmetic and algebra. In Hebrew and Judoeo-
German, by Moses Zerah Eidlitz. Prague, 1775. (In Hebrew
only, Zolkiev, 1837, 1845.)

t'-inn P3"'nD pdnt, on all branches of mathematics, in three
volumes, by Shalom Blenker. Berdychev, 1834.

lODcn PDx'^:^, arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, by Elijah
Mizrahi. Constantinople, 1.534.

nz'^m np::''j^s npar, algebra, by Ashesr Anshel Worms. Of-
fenbach, 1722.

Pncn PUT, on geometry, edited bv Steinschneider. Berlin,
186t. (With a German translation and notes by Hermann Scha-
pira, Leipsic, 1880.)

ii'iip niN], geometry and trigonometry, by Simeon Waltsch.
Berlin. 1786.

•iniDS i3i>\ arithmetic, by Menahem Zion Porto. Venice,

no^.T p'^i;", on the mathematical propositions found in the
Talmud, by Jacob Kopel. Ci~dcow, 1598 (Amsterdam. 171U).

nrD^n*? pvsib-iij, dissertations on geometry, by Kopel Sha-
cherles. Vienna, 1814.

nr/o PJ3S, criticisms on the mathematical works of Havyim
Zelig Slonimski, by (iabiiel Judah l.iclitenfeld. Warsaw, ]t'74.

nj>''3 PJ3X, arithmetic ami algebra, by Joseph Schliflers.
Wilna-Grodnu, 1827.

n-\::n rup, trigonometry, by Baruch Schick. Prague, 1784.

72^^:2 POS^O lisp, arithmetic. Wilna, 1830.

a— i^""' P-iT'N-i, a coumientary on the "Elements," by Abra-
ham Joseph Minz. Berlin, 1775.

y<P'\'^ ■''^OJ', on the calendar, and on arithmetic and geome-
try, by Elijah Hechim. Wareaw, 1863.

-tnx T\33 0^->cD •'j:', logarithms, by Rablnowitsch. St. Pe-
tersburg, 1872.

Bibi.iocraphy: Poggendorff, Hnndwiirterh. i. 4.58; Zucker*
mann. Das Matlicinatisclie ini TalnutiU in Jnhrefthcricht
der Frankelsclten StifUiinj, 1878 ; Eduard Mahler, Die Irra-
tinnalitilten der Rahhiiicii. in Zeitsclirift fUrMathematih.
1884; idem, Zvr Talwudischeii MntJiematik, ib. 1886 : Gur-
land. Calendar, vi. 112-118; Steinsctmeider, Jeimsh Litcra-
hire, passim ; idem, in Bit)linthecaMathentntica, 1890 ; idem,
Hehr. Uebcrs.; idem. Die ArahUiclte Literatur der Judcn.

J. I. IJr.
Modern : The number of mathematicians of

Jewish origin in the niu' .eenth century in so great
that a detailed list of all could haiclly be given
here. As there are, moreover, no data regarding
the lives of the French, English, and Russian
mathematicians the biographer frequently would
be obliged to resort to conjecture. For example, it
is believed that Lobatschewski, one of the discov-
erers of absolute geometrj' (pangeometry), was the
son of Jewish parents, since his father, a native of
Poland, is known to have been converted to the
Orthodox Greek Church, and conversion from Ca-
tholicism is not likely. Similarly, the ancestry of
the great astronomer Friedrich Bessel calls for in-

The following German mathematicians may be
mentioned: M. Abraham (inathematical theory of
electricity); Aronhold ; Borchardt (algebra; editor
of Crelles' "Journal fi^r die Reine und Angewaudte
Mathematik ") ; Georg Cantor (author of the theory
of transfinite numbers); Moritz Cantor (history of
mathematics); Eisenstein; Fuchs; Gordan (basal
principles of the theory of invariants); Hensel (con-
tinued Kronecker's investigations); Hurwitz (author
of prominent works in various branches of mathe-
matics) ; Hamburger (differential equations); Hirsch
Meyer (source for all modern collections of elemen-
tary examples; properties of S3Miunetrical functions);
Jacobi ; Jolie8(g€ometry); Kiinig (algebra); KOnigs-
berger (transformation of hyperelliptical functions;
biography of Helmholtz); Kronecker; Landau (the-
ory of numbers); Landsberg (algebraic [Abel's]
functions); Lipschitz (prominent in all departments
of pure and applied mathematics); London (geom-
etry); Minkowski (foremost living [190-i] authority
on the theory of numbers); Noether (algebra and
Abel's functions); Pasch (criticiue of the principles
of mathematics; important geometrical investiga-
tions on complexes) ; Pringsheim (modern theory of
functions) ; Rosanes (geometrical transformation and
apolarity); Rosenhain; Saalschiitz (convergence;
applied mathematics); Schlesinger (comprehensive
text-book, and original investigations on differen-
tial ecjuations); SchonHies (geometry); Schwarz-
schild (director of the observatory at G5ttingen;
mathematical astronomy); Wiilscii (theory of in-




variauts); Wcingartcn (foremost living autiiority
on the theory of surfaces); AVoIfskehl (theory of

Of Italian mathematicians the following arc the
most important, their chief distinction being won
in analytic and synthetic geometry: Castelnuovo,
Enrique/,, Fano, Jung, Beppo Levi, Levi-Civita,
Loria, Segre, Volteria (mathematical pliysics).

The most prominent Russian inatiiematicians are
Schapiro (cof unctions; algebraic icration) and .:io-
nimski (inventor of a well-known counting-machine
and editor of Jewish calendars).

Of the Jewish matliemat icians of France those who
have gained especial prominence are: Hadamard
(Hadamard's theorem); Ilalphen (reduction of linear
equations to integrable form [obtained a prize from
the French Academy]; spatial curves [obtained a
prize from the Berlin Academy] ; compare Stieltjes'
biography of him in Halpher.'s "Traite des Fonc-
tions Elliptiques," vol. iii.); Maurice Levi (mathe-
matical piiysios; president of the Institute).

The most noteworthy English mathematician is
James Joseph Sylvester.

J. S. G.


MATRIARCHY : A system of society in which
descent and property are traced solely through
females. It has been suggested that the promi-
nence given to the mothers of kings in the Books of
Kings and to the wives of the Patriarchs are survi-
vals of this system. The fact that the tribes can be
divided into tribes descended from Rachel and tribes
descended from Leah has also been urged in favor
of this view, especially as the name " Rachel " means
"ewe," and the name '"Leah" has been traced by
Robertson Smith to a Semitic root meaning "ante-
lope." The view is thus dependent upon the theory
that the early Israelites had a totemistic tribal sys-
tem (see Totemis.m).

Bibliography : SV. Robertson Smith, Kinship and Marriage
in Earlii Arahin, especially p. 219, Cambridge, ICSo; Jacobs,
StudicK in Biblical Archceoluny, London, 1891.
A. J.

MATTANIAH. See Zedeki.\h.

nator of tlie Maccabeau lebellion. His genealogy is
given as follows in the First Book of Maccabees, the
most authentic source : " Mattathias, the son of John,
the son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joiarib, from
Jeru.salem; and he dwelt at ^lodin " (I Mace. ii. 1).
Joscphus ("Ant." xii. 6. § 1) traces the genealogy
back for one generation further, mentioning Asa-
moneus (= llasmonajus) after Simon. But this Has-
monicus should not be considered as Mattathias'
great-grandfather, but merely as a distant ancestor
of the whole house, since only so is it comprehensible
why both Greek and rabbinical sourcesof the follow-
ing period call the whole house that of the Ilasmone-
ans. The fact, moreover, that the names John and
Simeon recur in the family in the very ne.xt genera-
tion after Mattatiiias, while the name " HasmonaMis"
is not found in historic times, is a proof that the
first bearer of this name belongs to anticiuity.

The rabbinical sources liave a different account.
In the Seder '01am Zuta, which, it is true, is not very

reliable, Mattathias is given as the direct son of

llasmonai; and elsewhere also Hasmouai appears

as a historic person who is very much

Distin- in evidence. Thus, in Soferim x.x.

g-uished 8 occurs the reading: "Mattithiah,
from son of Johanan the high priest, and
Hasmonai. Hasinonai and his sons." The con-
junction "and " must originally have
stood also in the liturgical formula fi.xed for the
Hanukkah feast, so that Mattathias and llasmonai
are to ])e regarded as two independent heroes who
Jived in the same period and who were probably
relatives. In the Talmud, llasmonai is even men-
tioned before Mattathias (Meg. 11a). A midrash to
Deut. xxxiii. 11, quoted by Rashi, mentions the
children of Hasmonai, among them Eleazar ; as does
also Jeilinek " B. H." vi. 2. Hasmonai thus appears
in these passages in the place of Mattathias.

The rabbinical sources never mention all of Mat-
tathias' sons together, but only one at a lime, some-
times Eleazar (who, according to most of the authen-
tic sources, took only a subordinate part), sometimes
John (who also is unimportant in the books of the
]Maccabees and in Joscphus), and sometimes Judas.

Online LibraryIsidore SingerThe Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) → online text (page 92 of 169)