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SOLOMON THE EXILARCH:

  • 1. Eldest son of the exilarch Ḥasdai; ruled from 730 to 761. In consequence of a dearth of teachers, he found it necessary to install as head of the Academy of Sura a scholar from Pumbedita, though this was contrary to traditional usage. According to Grätz, this scholar was Mar ben Samuel; according to Weiss, Mar Rab Judah ben Rab Naḥman. The fact that Solomon was childless rendered possible the rise to influence of Anan, the founder of the Karaite sect.
  • 2. Another exilarch of the same name, Solomon b. Ḥasdai, flourished in the middle of the twelfth century. He was promoted to the exilarchate by Calif Mohammed al-Muktafi. He did not descend in a direct male line from the Davidic house, but from the Palestinian patriarchs, that is, from Hillel, through the female branch. Solomon was a Talmudic scholar, and during his rule R. Ali held the office of head of the newly founded seminary of Bagdad. Solomon left one son, Daniel, who died without issue.
Bibliography:
  • Grätz, Gesch. v. 118, 161, 164; vi. 243, note 10;
  • Weiss, Dor, iv. 31, 51, 61;
  • Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, pp. 60-77.
J. S. O.
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