CHRONOLOGYThe foundations of Biblical chronology being still a matter of discussion, it is deemed desirable to present the divergent views in separate articles. (I.):

The science that treats of the computation and adjustment of time or periods of time, and of the record and arrangement of events in the order of time. The chronology of Jewish literature may be divided into two periods: (1) that of the Biblical books; and (2) that of post-Biblical times.

Division of Time in the Biblical Books:

From the earliest periods the day was divided into night and morning. Genesis records the division into two parts of what is now termed the "tropical or solar day." It is probable that the Israelites divided the day into twelve "dihoræ," or twenty-four hours; but in the Hebrew texts no trace thereof is found. The earliest mention of the hour ("sha'ah") is in the Aramaic texts of Daniel (iii. 6, 15). In documents of the Greek epoch, as also in the Assyrian texts, references occur to "night-watches" ("ashmurah"), by which the night was divided into three parts (Ps. xc. 4; Lam. ii. 19). As regards instruments for measuring time, II Kings (xx. 11) and Isaiah (xxxviii. 8) give some vague information concerning the gnomon of King Ahaz, and the degrees marked on his sun-dial (see Dial).

The week, with the attribution of each day to one of the seven planets, is one of the most ancient institutions of the Babylonians. This nation commenced the hebdomadal period with the sun, followed by the moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. Every planet in succession presided over twenty-four hours, but not in the order assumed for their spheres, which was as follows: the sun, Venus, Mercury, the moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars. Theinitial hour of the first day was consecrated to the sun; the twenty-fifth, or the initial hour of the second day, to the moon; the forty-ninth to Mars; the seventy-third to Mercury; the ninety-seventh to Jupiter; the one hundred and twenty-first to Venus; and the one hundred and forty-fifth to Saturn.

It has been claimed that this arrangement is of more modern invention; but indications of its existence are found in the earliest texts. The Mosaic accounts of Creation, of course, ignore the assignment of the week-days to divers stars; but, independently of all astral influence, the seventh day was instituted as a sacred day, quite distinct in character from the seventh day of the lunar synodic month, which was regarded as a holy day by the Chaldeans.

From the Mosaic times down the synodical month in the Jewish calendar was calculated, as in the Babylonian, from one new moon to the next. This is proved by the well-known passage in Ex. xii. 2. Here no Egyptian influence may be assumed. But the system of thirty-day months, also, seems to have been recognized by the Jewish calendar.

The Jewish year was solar-lunar. In the early Biblical statements no indication whatever is found of an intercalary month. Still it is safely assumed that the difference of ten or eleven hours between the twelve synodical months and the tropical year was equalized by the insertion of an embolismic month; and in the cuneiform Sumerian texts express mention is made of this intercalation as far back as the fifth millennium B.C. It is very probable that the equivalence of 19 tropical years and 235 synodical months was known in the most remote times; but a regular intercalary system was not introduced before Greek influence asserted itself—that is, not before 367 B. C. In Chaldea the embolismic months were inserted merely for astrological reasons: the methods employed later by the Jewish authorities (see calendar) to adjust astronomical irregularities can not be held to have been in vogue among the Chaldeans.

Post-Biblical Times:

The modern Jewish calendar is adapted to the Greek computation exclusively. The Talmudic tractate Rosh ha-Shanah (ch. i.) indicates that four ways for commencing the year were known and observed. The day was divided into twenty-four hours, and each hour into 1,080 "ḥalaḳim." The passage in Rosh ha-Shanah gives, almost exactly, the length of the average synodical month as 29 days, 6 hours, and 793 ḥalaḳim (44 minutes, 3 1/3; seconds), which is only 4/9; second too long; the real duration being 29 days, 6 hours, 44 minutes, 2.89 seconds. This estimate is of Greek origin, like the Metonic embolismic cycle of the years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, 19 of the nineteen-year Metonic period. The new Jewish calendar seems to have been inaugurated in 363 (Tishri), and Rabbi Hillel apparently modified it by introducing some innovations; but it is not known exactly what they were. Some hints in Talmudic texts, which can not be dwelt upon here, seem to indicate that the "forbidden days"—that is, days of the week on which Rosh ha-Shanah (New-Year) could not fall—were introduced at that time. The Talmud speaks of Shabu'ot falling on a Saturday, which can not happen now. The first of Tishri can not fall on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday (); nor can the first of Nisan be on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday (). These forbidden days cause a great complication of the calendar. As a starting-point for calculation, the first of Tishri in the year 1 is indicated by the symbol , signifying Monday (כ or second day of week), 5 (ה) hours, 204 () ḥalaḳim, corresponding to Oct. 7 in the Julian, or Sept. 7 in the Gregorian, calendar of the year 3761-3760 B.C. (6240 of the modern computation, which adds 10,000 years to the common era). This is the astronomical day 347,999. The cycles ("maḥzor") count from that epoch. In order to ascertain the year of the cycle, the number is divided by 19, the remainder giving the year of the cycle; for example: 5661 (1900-1901)÷19 = 297 +18; i.e., the year 5661 is the eighteenth year of the 298th cycle.


The idea of an era beginning with and counted from an historical event is an ingenious invention of the Greeks, who represented by an impersonal fact computations referring to a person. The first public application of it was the Seleucid era, dating from Oct., 312 (or, at Babylon, from April 2, 311) B.C.; and this era was accepted by the Jews, who maintained it generally down to the eleventh century; in Egypt, however, it survived into the sixteenth century, when Rabbi David ibn Abi Zimra brought about its disuse, while in South Arabia it was used, along with the "aera mundi," even as late as the nineteenth century. For the Temple and the dating of private records there existed the era from the Exodus. Not only is the existence of this era a mathematical conclusion based on the 200 dates in Kings, but it is also definitely indicated in I Kings vi. 1, where the beginning of the construction of Solomon's Temple is assigned to the year 480 of the Exodus era. The Hebrew context is of such characteristic precision that no one can seriously pretend this to be an intentional combination of 12 times 40 years. Why this number and not another? It would be no less absurd to claim that the 480 years of the Roman republic (510-30 B.C.) or the equal duration of the Parthian realm (256 B.C.-225 C.E.) had been assumed only in order to have the product of 12 × 40, or 60 × 8. The question to be decided is whether the date then obtained for the Exodus—viz., 1492 B.C.—is the real one; for whether or not the chroniclers of this period were mistaken as to the epoch or the era is quite a different matter for examination. Most of the eras in use assume a conventional starting date which is not accurately that of the event from which the name is derived. The Dionysian era of the birth of Jesus, perhaps the Mohammedan one of the Hegira, or flight of the prophet from Mecca to Medina, the Jewish one of the Creation, besides some 150 other modes of starting a chronological series, are illustrations of this common practise.

The months in the era employed by the Biblical chronographers were counted from Nisan, the first month, to Adar, the twelfth, or We-Adar, the thirteenth. On the other hand, it is found that Biblical texts in giving the years of the kings commence with the dates of their accession to the throne, just as the kings of England and the popes determinetheir regnal years. Thus in II Chron. xxix. 3 the reference to the first day of the first month in year 1 of Hezekiah is not to the day of his accession, but to the first of Nisan of the first year of his reign; that is, according to the modern computation, March or April, 726 B.C. If the date of 1492 for the Exodus is correct, the starting date for the annals is 767 B.C. By this system it is possible to assign with certainty the destruction of the First Temple to Sunday, Aug. 27 (Julian), 587 B.C. (9413; astronomical day 1,507,261); that is, the 9th of Ab of the year 906 of the era of the Exodus.

The Biblical figures are given in the nth year; that is, from the accession to the throne down to the event there had elapsed n - 1 year plus a fraction of a year, which fraction is expressed by a Greek letter. For instance, Uzziah reigned fifty-two years; in his fifty-second year Pekah of Israel was king; and Uzziah died in the second year of Pekah. This example, among many similar ones, shows mathematically that the beginning of the royal years can not be the same. The problem may be stated as follows:

Uzziah reigned before Pekah51+ α
Uzziah reigned simultaneously with Pekah1+ β
Total length of Uzziah's reign52+ (α + β) years

where the sum of the fractions α and β does not amount to one-half.

All the Biblical calculations start from a different date, the date of accession; and the agreement of all these figures proves that the original date must have been changed to conform with the fixed harmonizing scheme of the annalist, the synchronous tables of the kings' reigns.

Jewish chronology includes: (1) the non-chronological, mythical numbers of Genesis; and (2) the real chronology, from the Exodus to the end of the Jewish dominion (1492 B.C. to 70 of the common era).

The Non-Chronological, Mythical Numbers of Genesis:

The figures of Genesis, handed down in their original form by the Hebrew texts followed by the Vulgate, are the results of a fictitious reduction of the enormous numbers put forth by the Chaldeans, the Egyptians, and the Hindus. The Jews and Greeks were not willing to admit that the world had been created long before their appearance in history. The original figures of one of the systems named were reduced to a certain scale. Only one of the Chaldean systems, preserved by the fragments of Berosus, is known. It is probable that his figures are those of the Babylonian school; while those of Sippara and Orchoë had possibly other units of time to express the same original arithmetical numbers.

The Creation: One of the Chaldean schools assumed seven periods, each of 240,000 years; that is, 1,680,000 years. Each period of 10,000 years is measured by an hour of the seven days which comprise Creation in Genesis (168=7 × 24).

From the Creation to the Deluge: The Chaldeans admitted the eternity of the world without any beginning; but the existing astronomical bodies had a commencement. For the time from the creation of these to the great cataclysm, or the Deluge, they assumed a sexagesimal unit, the number of the seconds of the day: 60 × 60 × 24, or 86,400 units. The unit of the Babylonian school was 60 months, or 5 years; that is, 432,000 years. The Hindus fix the unit at 5,000 years, or 432,000,000. The Jews reduced this to 86,400 weeks, or 1,656 years; that is, 72 periods of 23 years each. The 23 years give just 8,400 days, or 1,200 weeks; the unit of 72 periods being divided into three unequal parts, containing respectively 20, 18 (which is one-fourth of 72), and 34 periods of 1,200 weeks or 23 years each. The number 23 is found in the number resulting from adding the years elapsing between the births of father and son in the three groups given in Gen. v.; namely:

  • (1) Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, and Jared: 130 + 105 + 90 + 70 + 65 = 460 = 20 × 23, or 20 × 1,200 = 24,000 weeks.
  • (2) Mahalaleel, Enoch, Methuselah: 162 + 65 + 187 = 414 = 23 × 18 (the fourth of the period, as in the Chaldean) = 1,200 × 18 = 21,600 weeks.
  • (3) Lamech: 182 + 600 = 782 = 23 × 34 = 40,800 weeks.

The corresponding Babylonian figures relating to the ten antediluvian kings are:

The first three together93,600years= 18,720lustra
The following two together,108,000"= 21,600"
The remaining five (?)230,400"= 46,080"
432,000"= 86,400"
The Bible has86,400weeks
The Chaldean texts have86,400lustra

The three periods correspond to legends now altogether lost, as the chronological tables in Genesis show.

The postdiluvian times down to the end of Genesis include:

From the Deluge to the birth of Abraham292years
From the birth of Abraham to the end of Genesis361"

These 292 and 361 years are the reduction to onesixtieth of the Berosian figures, which give:

For the first two kings5,100years
For the 86 following34,080"

These 39,180 years are composed of 12 Sothic periods of 1,460 years, and of twelve lunar periods (Assyrian, "tupḳot nannar") of 1,805 years. After 1,805 years the eclipses recur in the same order; and this cycle was known to the Chaldeans, not by calculation, but by actual observations and registrations of eclipses during centuries and millennia.

The Babylonian figures are controlled by the sex-agesimal notation of soṣses ("shushi"= σῦσσος) of 60, ners ("neru"= νῆρος) of 600, and sars ("shar"= σάρος) of 3,600 years. There are thus:

12 Sothicperiodsof1,460years= 17,520years,or292sosses
12 lunar""1,805"= 21,660""361"

The Biblical number of 292 years, quoted by Josephus ("Ant." i. 6, § 5) comprises the nine generations from Arphaxad to Terah, the father of Abraham; namely:

2 + 35 + 30 + 34 + 30 + 32 + 29 + 30 + 70 = 292 years.

In order to obtain the necessary 292, Terah must have reached his seventieth year before begetting Abraham.

From the birth of Abraham to that of Isaac100years
From the birth of Isaac to that of Jacob60"
From the birth of Jacob to that of Joseph91"
Lifetime of Joseph, end of Genesis110"

In order to secure the total of 361 years which the system required, Joseph must be given neither more nor less than 110 years.

Besides this computation of generations, there existed another, originally quite independent thereof, enumerating only the years of life of each ancestor. These numbers referring to the length of life might have been derived from Babylonian statements; but the almost complete destruction of cuneiform historical documents has removed all tradition of this kind. It must be remarked that the prime number 23 is also found in the sums of this series, a phenomenon which is probably to be explaimed by assuming that some analogous fact existed in the Chaldean mythology.

The Biblical sums are as follows:

From Adam to Cainan3,657=23x159years
From Mahalaleel to Shem5,520=23x240"
From Arphaxad to Jacob2,898=23x126"

It is, of course, very strange that these 12,075 years should be equal to 525 × 1,200 weeks, or 630,000 weeks; that is, the result of 70, 90, and 100. It would correspond to a Babylonian epoch of 3,150,000 years.

These two different traditions have been combined by the redactors of the Biblical text, in order to explain the now lost legends of the antediluvian and postdiluvian times of the Jewish people. An exact scrutiny of the figures as they are found in the present form of the text provides the basis for very singular and awkward results, of which Biblical tradition compels acceptance, and which have during many centuries caused numerous falsifications and discussions.

Chronology of Genesis. Antediluvian Period, 86,400 Weeks. First part, 24,000 weeks.
Year of Creation.
325Cainan born
395Mahalaleel born
460Jared born
Second part, 21,600 weeks, one-quarter of the whole.
Year of Creation.
Third part, 40,800 weeks. All die except Noah and Shem.
Year of Creation.
874Lamech born
930Adam dies
987Enoch translated
1042Seth dies
1056Noah born
1140Enos dies
1235Cainan "
1290Mahalaleel dies
1422Jared dies
1556Shem born
1654Lamech dies
1656Methuselah dies
The Deluge
Postdiluvian Period, 653 Sosses, Reduced to 653 Years. First part, from the Deluge to the birth of Abraham. No one dies.
Year of the Deluge.
292Abraham born
Second part, from the birth of Abraham to the end of Genesis, 361 sosses, reduced to 361 years. All die.
Year of the Deluge.
292Abraham born
367The calling of Abraham
370Reu dies
392Isaac born
440Arphaxad dies
452Jacob born
543Joseph born
572Isaac dies
582Arrival of Jacob in Egypt

These figures had been known for centuries. Shem survived Abraham; therefore legends pretend that Melchizedek was really Shem and had handed down the antediluvian traditions. The antediluvian times produced a great many traditions that have been altogether lost. In the first fortunate period nobody died; in the second, death may have been threatened; in the third, all men perished, and the aged Methuselah died in the actual year of the Deluge.

The combination of the two systems has produced, considerable bewilderment among subsequent translators and exegetes. The LXX., to avoid awkward chronological results, hit upon the expedient of falsifying the real figures, by adding to each of the post-Semitic personages 100 years. Instead of 2 they have 102; for 35 they substituted 135; and so on.

When this chronology of cycles was invented, it is idle to discuss. It is highly possible that it arose during the time of the First Temple; and there is no reason for bringing its origin down to the post-exilian epoch. Israel and Judah had at this period a systematized chronology; and there had existed, beginning with the seventeenth century B.C., a close connection between Palestine and Chaldea.

Real Chronology:

1. From the Exodus to the Destruction of the First Temple (1492 to 587 B.C.).

The first part, the four centuries between the Exodus and David (1492-1047), can not be fixed with certainty. The duration of the several judges' reigns is involved in doubt, and arguments can not be advanced with the slightest hope of success; for the needed documents are wanting. With David commences a sound and really historical chronology. The two hundred chronological dates handed down by the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles are, with one or two exceptions (e.g., the twelfth year of Ahaz, instead of the thirteenth year; see II Kings xvii. 1), of remarkable consistency. In a few cases, again, the figures are rightly given, but are by the present text attributed to some other event, owing to the transposition of the fragments of records saved from destruction at the fall of the First Temple. For example: the fourteenth year of Hezekiah is not the year of the expedition of Sennacherib, but that of the sickness of Hezekiah and of the embassy of Merodach-baladan, King of Babylon. The twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam II., King of Israel (II Kings xv. 1), is mentioned as the first year of Uzziah, in flagrant contradiction to all the statements of the previous chapter, which makes it correspond with the fifteenth or sixteenth year.

Intentional mutilation of the text and suppression of all notice of the temporary suspension of the independence of the kingdom of Israel by the Syrians are the real cause of the larger number (15 or 16) given in ch. xiv.: the end of that chapter, and Isa. vii. 3, which can not be understood otherwise, indicate clearly that for eleven years Jeroboam II. had been expelled from Samaria by the Syrians. The subsequent passages have been ruthlessly altered, in order to obviate the slightest mention of this cessation of Israel's realm. A similar mutilation has been practised at the end of ch. xv., where the interruption of Pekah's reign for nine years, and his supersession by Menahem II. mentioned in the Tiglath-pileser texts, are passed over in perfect silence.

The statements are always to be analyzed in the only possible mathematical manner; i.e., by the formula that the nth year signifies n - 1 years and a fraction of a year after the event.

For the absolute fixation we have the solar eclipse of the eponym "Isid-seti-igbi," June 13, 809 B.C., 91 years before which occurred the battle of Karkor, during Ahab's lifetime, and 78 years before which Jehu sent his tribute to Shalmaneser III. of Nineveh.

The eponymic tablets and the Babylonian chronicle fix the date of the downfall of Samaria as Jan., 721 B.C.

The two eclipses of the year 7 of Cambyses (523-522 B.C.) fix the date of Nebuchadnezzar's accession as May-June, 605 B.C., and the date of the delivery of Jehoiachin by Evil-merodach, son of Nebuchadnezzar, as the 27th (II Kings xxv. 27) or 25th (Jer. lii. 31) of Adar, either Sunday, Feb. 29, or Tuesday, March 2, 561 B.C.

These starting-points admit of the establishment of the chronology with certainty in the following manner—the only one possible—without alterations of the text in the historical documents:

Kings of Judah.
Abijam (Abijah)960-958
Jehoshaphat, alone917-895
Jehoshaphat and Joram895-892
Joram alone892-888
Athaliah (Queen)887-881
Uzziah or Azariah811-758
Destruction of the Temple, Sunday, Aug. 27, 587 B.C.
Kings of Israel.
Jeroboam I977-956
Zimri (seven days)-931
Omri with Tibni931-927
Omri, alone927-920
Jeroboam II., first reign825-799
Domination of Syria799-788
Jeroboam II., second reign788-773
Zachariah (six months)773-772
Shallum (one month).-772
Menahem I772-761
Pekah, first reign759-744
Menahem II., under the Assyrian Tiglathpileser744-735
Pekah, second reign735-730
Destruction of Samaria, Jan., 721 B.C.

The great chronologists of the seventeenth century have long pointed out the apparent discrepancy between the statements of the duration of the reigns of Jeroboam II. and Pekah and the time resulting from the synchronisms. But there is no error. Indeed, between the commencement and the end of the reign of Jeroboam II. fifty-two years elapsed; but during eleven of these he was superseded, and his de facto occupation of the throne counts only forty-one years, as the Biblical text affirms. Similarly Pekah reigned only twenty years in Samaria, although twenty-nine intervened between his accession and his death.

2. From the Destruction of the of the First Temple to that of the Second under Titus (587 B. C. to 70 of the Common Era).

The important events and dates are as follows:
587-168Loss of Jewish independence.
538Decree of Cyrus, King of Babylon, signed Oct., 539, allowing the Jews to return to Palestine.
473Institution of the Feast of Purim under Xerxes (Ahasuerus); troubles in Palestine caused by the enemies of the Jews.
398Ezra, under Artaxerxes Mnemon.
385Nehemiah's second organization. Government of the high priest.
332Alexander subdues Palestine.
312Establishment of the Syrian power.
170Antiochus IV. (Epiphanes) plunders Jerusalem. The Jews lose their independence, 168 B.C. to 6 C.E.
168Mattathias the Hasmonean or Maccabean.
58Herod supersedes the Hasmoneans.
4Early in April, death of Herod, and division of Palestine into four independent provinces.
6Judea a province of Rome.
69Revolt of the Jews.
70Sunday, Aug. 5, destruction of the Second Temple.
  • Jules Oppert, Salomon et Ses Successeurs, 1877;
  • idem, Noli Me Tangere, in Proceedings of Soc. of Biblical Archeology, Dec., 1897.
E. G. H. J. O.(II.) Biblical:

In this article there will be briefly given (1) the methods used for dating events and periods in the Old Testament; (2) the scientific data upon which the most reliable chronological system has been founded; and (3) the most valuable results in the fixing of important dates.

1. Methods of Dating:

Two main stages may be distinguished in the attempts made by Bible writers of the various periods to indicate the times of occurrence of events. The first is that in which the narrator chooses any one out of a number of well-known events as a time-mark; and the second is that in which an authoritative system is assumed as already prevailing.

Unsystematic Usages: Reference is made to: (a) a memorable phenomenon of nature; thus Amos (i. 1) dates from an earthquake (compare Zech. xiv. 5); (b) a great national movement; thus, the establishment of the Hyksos dynasty in Egypt is marked by the building of the city of Zoan (Num. xiii. 22); (c) a decisive military movement, as the expedition of Sargon of Assyria against Ashdod (Isa. xx. 1); (d) the death of a king of the writer's country, as of Uzziah or of Ahab (Isa. vi. 1. xiv. 28).

Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

A Conventional System: Such devices as the abovenamed could have only local vogue and value. Familiarity with the businesslike methods of outside communities, especially in the days of the later kings and during the Exile, led to the adoption of a methodical scheme for the dating of events. The decisive epoch was the period between Isaiah and Jeremiah, when the Judahites were completely under Assyrian domination. Dates are attached to several individual prophecies of Jeremiah; and the statements are, for the most part, of contemporary origin (Jer. xxvii. et seq.). The point of departure in the reckoning is the beginning of the reign of the then King of Judah, sometimes with the addition of the regnal year of the great King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar (e.g., xxxii. 1). A little later Ezekiel's prophecies were regularly dated, as was natural to a writer living in Babylonia. In accordance with the same custom several of the prophetical books were furnished with headings indicating the limits of the professional careers of the authors. But these were added by later editors.

Jeroboam and Asa.

More systematic and extensive are the chronological data of the books of Kings and Chronicles, where, throughout the history of the divided kingdoms, are found not only the lengths of the reigns of the several rulers, but the dates of their accessions, in two separate series of synchronisms. Thus it is said: "In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Asa to reign over Judah. . . . Forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem" (I Kings xv. 9, 10). Many of the numbers given, especially the synchronisms, are erroneous, as is proved by the fact that no attempt to harmonize the two series has been successful [see, however, Chronology (I.)]. The sum of the years of the kings of Israel from the schism to the Exile is 242; while that of the years of the kings of Judah for the same period is 260. Startling inconsistencies are also found where the several synchronisms for the same king are worked out.

The Dates Assigned to Ahaz.

Thus, for the accession of Ahaz of Judah one has to choose between 727, 720, and 715 B.C., according as one set of data or another is followed. Inferential evidence points conclusively to the fact that all of these numbers were inserted, as a separate part of the narrative, in the editorial period that followed the loss of Jerusalem. It is equally certain that the synchronisms were a matter of independent calculation. But there is good reason to believe that if the regnal years were not found in surviving royal annals, they were at least preserved by a fairly reliable tradition supported in part by documentary testimony. By the help of Assyrian data they may be used with a fair degree of accuracy.

From the Exodus to Solomon.

One step backward beyond the division of the kingdom, Solomon, David, and Saul are each credited with a reign of forty years. This suggests a conjectural systematization. The hypothesis is strengthened by the frequent occurrence of the number forty in numerations made for still earlier personages and events. Indeed, the summation of the years between the Exodus and the beginning of Solomon's Temple, found in I Kings vi. 1, has been plausibly conjectured to be made up of twelve generations, each of forty years. The number 480 thus given is, however, too large by one-half; since the Exodus can not have occurred much before 1200 B.C., and the Temple was built about 960 B.C.

The Earliest Period.

For the chronology of the long period before Moses there are no sure data, since the numbers of the Masoretic text differ widely from those variously given by the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the Book of Jubilees (first century C.E.). In the Masoretic data there are, moreover, several artificial schemes of systematization. For the details of these any good modern commentary on Genesis or special treatise on Bible chronology may be consulted.

2. Scientific Data:

All chronological accuracy depends upon the fulfilment of two conditions. To ascertain or verify the date of any event there must be a fixed point of departure, from which or to which the event in question is to be reckoned. Again, the data from which the time of the event is inferred must be adjusted to a connected system of time-reckoning reliable throughout. In other words, some ancient authority, referring to an established scheme or system, must have made a notation of the event itself or of something synchronous with it.

Babylonian Methods of Numeration.

The Babylonians, and their kindred and disciples, the Assyrians, were the only people of Oriental antiquity who duly kept such a required system of time-notation. It is to them that the current divisions of time generally, as well as the beginnings of mathematics and astronomy, are due. They had already in their earliest recorded history the sense of number and computation. The Hebrew writers were still working withround numbers and employing primitive and uncertain eras thousands of years after the Babylonians had begun to keep their sacred and public records by separate and successive years and to preserve the results for later reference or tabulation.

Helpful Cuneiform Records.

Naturally, most is gained for Biblical chronology from the synchronisms with contemporary Assyrian or Babylonian history. Of special importance are those available for the period of the kings of Israel and Judah, when the relations with Assyria were close and continuous, and at the same time the Biblical data are most abundant. There are three main sources of information in the inscriptions. One is the royal annals, in which events are often described as occurring in a given year of the king's reign, or in the year of office of a given eponym. The second is the lists of such eponyms as were chosen successively from among Assyrian rulers of different grades to mark their respective years, which were accordingly called by their names. These lists are preserved in more than one form; and by combining them it is possible to make up a complete series for the period 893-666 B.C., as well as for shorter intervals both before and after. Their accuracy has been confirmed by every possible check. Not only historical events, but business documents also, were dated by the years of the proper eponyms. The third aid of this kind consists of lists of kings in the order of their succession, with the lengths of their several reigns, as well as brief summaries of important events, usually referred to by modern scholars as "chronicles."

Application of Assyrian Data.

An instance of the application of Assyrian data to Old Testament chronological problems may be given here. Shalmaneser II., who reigned 860-825 B.C., describes frequent expeditions to Syria and Palestine, and mentions by name Ahab and Jehu of Israel. He relates that in the year of his reign which is found to correspond to 842 B.C., he received tribute from Jehu. Presumably this was at the accession of Jehu, who would be anxious to secure support for his new pretensions; but this is only a conjecture. He mentions, also, that in 854 he fought a great battle against a league of western rulers, among whom were Ahab of Israel and Ben-hadad of Damascus. The history of Ahab, as given in the Bible, indicates that there was only one occasion on which Ahab and Ben-hadad could have made such a league with each other; namely, in the brief period between the peace of Aphek (I Kings xx. 34) and the death of Ahab in the third year thereafter (ib. xxii. 2 et seq.). The middle year of this interval suggests itself as the date of the league, 854 B.C. Ahab, therefore, must have died in 853 B.C. According to the narrative in Kings, Jehu came to the throne in the twelfth year thereafter; that is to say, in 842. Using with necessary caution the Biblical numbers, one may now reckon backward and forward from these dates and obtain a fairly correct chronology of the whole period from the schism to the close of the Exile.

3. Results:

The following are some of the most important dates which have been ascertained from combinations and inferences made upon the principles set forth above. Others had already been learned by the aid of Greek writers, especially Ptolemy.

934Division of the kingdom.
886Omri made King of Israel. Samaria founded.
855Peace with Damascus.
853Death of Ahab.
842Jehu made king and pays tribute to Assyria.
797Damascus taken by the Assyrians.
763Amos prophesies.
738Isaiah prophesies. Death of King Uzziah. Northern Israel tributary to Tiglath-pileser III.
734Judah under Ahaz pays homage to Assyria.
733Damascus and Samaria taken by Tiglath-pileser. Part of Israel deported.
722-21Fall of Samaria. Deportation of people by Sargon of Assyria, who acceded in Jan., 721.
567Nebuchadnezzar invades Egypt.
539In July, Babylon taken by Gobryas the Mede, general of Cyrus. In October, Cyrus himself enters the city.
  • Ideler, Lehrbuch der Chronologie, 1831;
  • Brandes, Abhandlungen zur Gesch. des Orients, 1874;
  • Schrader, K. G. F. 1878;
  • idem, K. A. T. 2d ed., 1883;
  • Wellhausen, in Jahrbuch für Deutsche Theologie, 1875;
  • W. R. Smith, The Prophets of Israel, and Their Place in History, 1882, p. 413;
  • Kamphausen, Chronologie der Hebräischen Könige, 1883;
  • Mahler, Biblische Chronologie und Zeitrechnung der Hebräer, 1887;
  • C. Niebuhr, Die Chronologie der Gesch. Israels, etc., 1896;
  • E. L. Curtis, Chronology of the Old Testament, in Hastings, Dict. Bible;
  • K. Marti, in Cheyne and Black Encyc. Bibl. s.v.
E. G. H. J. F. McC.—Post-Biblical:

The chronological system of the Jews was derived, like most of their science, from the Greeks. They used the "minyan sheṭarot" (era of contracts, really the Seleucidan era, dating from 312 B.C.) till the Middle Ages, when the method of reckoning from the creation of the world was introduced—probably by the later geonim, as it was employed by R. Sherira (987 C.E.). This era begins with the year corresponding to 3760 B.C. Maimonides on occasions used no less than three eras, as in the Mishneh Torah (Shemiṭṭah, x. 4): "In the year 1107 of the destruction of the Temple, 1487 of the Seleucidan era, 4936 of the Creation." For a short time the era of the Hasmoneans, dating from the autumn of 143 B.C. (see I Macc. xiii. 41-42), was in use. See Era.

The dates recorded according to these various eras are based in Jewish chronology on certain estimated intervals between important events in post-Biblical Jewish history. These intervals are given in 'Ab. Zarah 9a, 10a (probably derived from Seder 'Olam Rabbah, xxix.), which counts 34 years from the Second Temple to Alexander; 180 for the Greek empire; 103 from the beginning of the Hasmonean dynasty under John Hyrcanus (135 B.C.) to Herod; 103 from Herod to the destruction of the Temple; making in all 420 years. According to this reckoning, the era of contracts is placed six years after that of Alexander, the interval between whose appearance in Palestine and the destruction of the Second Temple is much less than in reality. The date of the accession of Herod is placed two years too late; and that of the destruction of the Temple is fixed at 68, which is, of course, two years too early. Loeb ("Revue Etudes Juives," xix. 202-205) has ingeniously explained these discrepancies as due to a desire on the part of R. Jose, the author of the Seder 'Olam Rabbah, to make them agree with the prediction of Dan. ix. 24 et seq., that seventy weeks (of years), or 490 years, would elapse between the Return fromthe Exile and the destruction of the Second Temple. As the Exile was assumed to last seventy years, in accordance with Jeremiah, this left 420 years from the Return (537 B.C.) to the destruction of the Temple (70 C.E.), a discrepancy of 187 years. This is got rid of in part by making the Persian domination last 34 instead of 204 years (537-333 B.C.). This was done in order to make the interval between the Exodus and the era of contracts exactly 1,000 years.

Dates of Jewish Annalists.

Owing to these discrepancies, great confusion exists in the annals of the Jewish chroniclers, who have generally tried to combine the dates recorded by their predecessors with those of more recent events, using the era of creation almost exclusively (see I. Loeb, "Josef Haccohen et les Chroniqueurs Juifs," Paris, 1888, reprinted from "Revue Etudes Juives," xv., xvi.); and it is dangerous to trust to their lists unless checked by contemporary annals. In the subjoined chronological table the dates of the most prominent events of Jewish history have been derived from Henrietta Szold's "Tables of Jewish History" in the index volume (pp. 104 et seq.) of the American edition of Graetz's "History of the Jews." For events of lesser importance the sources are in almost every case the local annalists as utilized by the historians of the Jews in the respective countries. Particular attention has been given to the successive stages of legislation, while only selections have been made from the many cases of autos da fé, blood accusations, expulsions, host-tragedies, and acts of emancipation, for all of which complete lists are given in separate articles under the respective headings.

In contradistinction to the usual custom, but few literary events have been included in the table, only those works which have affected the public opinion of the non-Jewish world having been regarded as of more direct historic importance. The ruling principle has been to confine the list to strictly historic events; i.e., to incidents affecting either directly or indirectly the relations of the Jews to the states in whose territories they have dwelt. Incidents affecting merely the internal concerns of the Jewish communities have not, as a rule, been included.

A Jewish Chronology from the Destruction of Jerusalem to the Year 1902.
  • C.E.
  • 70. Jerusalem besieged and conquered by Titus; the Temple destroyed.
  • 72. Judea completely conquered; the "Fiscus Judaicus" instituted by Vespasian.
  • 115. The Jews of Babylonia, Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus, Cyrene, and Libya rise against Trajan.
  • 118. The Jews of Palestine rise against Trajan and Hadrian; "War of Lucius Quietus."
  • 133. Rebellion of Bar Kokba against Hadrian; restoration of the Jewish state.
  • 135. Fall of Bethar; end of Bar Kokba's rebellion.
  • 161. Revolution in Palestine against Antoninus Pius.
  • 280. Judah III., son of Judah II., patriarch, collects a tax from foreign communities.
  • 306. Council of Elvira forbids Christians to eat with Jews or to intermarry with them.
  • 325. First Nicene Council separates the celebration of Easter from that of the Jewish Passover.
  • 339. Constantius forbids, under penalty of death, marriage of a Jew with a Christian woman, and circumcision of slaves.
  • 361. Restoration of the Temple at Jerusalem undertaken under Julian the Apostate.
  • 362. Julian the Apostate abolishes the Jew tax.
  • 400. Moses, the false Messiah of Crete.
  • 415. Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, drives the Jews from Alexandria.
  • 418. (March 10) Jews excluded from all public offices and dignities in the Roman empire.
  • 425. Extinction of the patriarchate.
  • 455. Persecution of the Babylonian Jews under Yezdegerd III.
  • 465. The Council of Vannes (Gaul) prohibits the clergy from taking part in Jewish banquets.
  • 471. Persecution of the Babylonian Jews under Firuz (Perozes); the exilarch Huna Mari and others suffer martyrdom.
  • 500 (circa). Abu-Kariba, Himyarite king, adopts Judaism, and converts his army and his people.
  • 511. Mar-Zutra II., prince of the Captivity (exilarch), establishes an independent Jewish state in Babylonia under the Persian king Kobad.
  • 516. (May 14, 15) Uprising against Jews of Clermont; synagogue destroyed.
  • 517. The Council of Epaon forbids Christians to take part in Jewish banquets.
  • 518. Persecution of the Jews by Kobad, King of Persia.
  • 532. Justinian I. decrees that the testimony of Jews shall be valid only in Jewish cases.
  • 537. Justinian declares Jews incapable of holding any official dignity.
  • 538. The Council of Orleans forbids Jews to appear on the street at Eastertide.
  • 589. Reccared, Visigothic King of Spain, completely isolates Jews from Christians.
  • 612. Sisebut, Visigothic king, forces the Jews to accept baptism or to emigrate.
  • 624. The Banu Ḳainuḳa'a, a Jewish-Arabic tribe, driven from Arabia by Mohammed,
  • 627. Emperor Heraclius forbids Jews to enter Jerusalem, and in other ways harasses the Palestinian Jews.
  • 629. Dagobert orders the Jews of the Frankish empire to accept baptism or to emigrate.
  • 633. The Council of Toledo under Sisenand, Visigothic king, and Isidore of Seville, forces converts to Judaism back to Christianity.
  • 638. Chintila enacts that only professing Catholics shall remain in Visigothic Spain; Jews emigrate.
  • 640. Omar, the second calif. banishes all Jews from Arabia; the "Pact of Omar" imposes restrictions upon Jews in the whole Mohammedan world.
  • 641. Bulan, khan of the Chazars, becomes a Jew.
  • 658. Beginning of the Gaonate; Mar-Isaac, head of the Sura Academy, takes the title "Gaon."
  • 694. (Nov.) All Jews in Spain and Gallic Provence declared slaves; children under seven forcibly baptized.
  • 720. Omar II., Ommiad Calif of Damascus, reenacts the "Pact of Omar."
  • 721. Appearance of the false Messiah Serenus in Syria causes many Spanish Jews to emigrate to Palestine.
  • 761. The Karaite schism led by Anan ben David.
  • 797. Isaac sent by Charlemagne on an embassy to Harun al-Rashid.
  • 814. "Capitula de Judeis" of Charlemagne and Ludwig decide that Jews should not have Church utensils in pledge.
  • 827 (circa). Eberard, "Magister Judæorum" under Louis I. the Pious, king of the Franks, protects the Jews against Agobard, Bishop of Lyons.
  • 845. The Council of Meaux, under Amolo, Bishop of Lyons, enacts anti-Jewish decrees, renewing those of Constantine and Theodosius II.
  • 850. Al-Mutawakkil orders the "Peoples of the Book" to wear yellow kerchiefs.
  • 878. Ibrahim ibn Aḥmad orders Jews of Sicily to wear a badge.
  • 982. (July 13) Kalonymus saves life of Otto II. after battle of Cotrone.
  • 1007. Persecution at Rouen by Robert the Devil.
  • 1012. (Nov.) Jews driven from Mayence by Emperor Henry II.
  • 1013. (Apr. 19) Massacre at Cordova by soldiers of Sulaiman ibn al-Ḥakim.
  • 1021. Al-Ḥkim renews the "Pact of Omar" in Egypt.
  • 1036. Banishment of the Jews from Granada.
  • 1078. Pope Gregory VII. (Hildebrand) promulgates canonical law against Jews holding office in Christendom.
  • 1079. Jews repulsed from Ireland.
  • 1085. Pope Gregory VII. protests against Jews being placed by the King of Castile in authority over Christians.
  • 1090. "Fuero" (decree) of Alfonso VI. appoints duel as meansof settling litigation between Christian and Jew. (Feb. 19) Henry IV. grants to Judah ben Kalonymus and other Jews of Speyer protection to life and property.
  • 1096. First Crusade; Jews massacred along the Rhine and elsewhere.
  • 1099. The Jews of Jerusalem burned in a synagogue by the Crusaders under Godfrey of Bouillon.
  • 1103. (Jan. 6) The "Constitutio Pacis" of the imperial court at Mayence assures the Jews of the "emperor's peace."
  • 1108. Massacre at Toledo.
  • 1117. Persecution at Rome; appearance of a false Messiah at Cordova.
  • 1120. Calixtus II. issues bull "Sicut Judæeis," the charter of the Roman Jews.
  • 1124. Ladislaus I. of Bohemia decrees that no Christian shall serve Jews.
  • 1144. Alleged martyrdom of St. William of Norwich (first case of blood accusation).
  • 1146. Second Crusade: Jews massacred throughout France and Germany. Beginning of the Almohad persecution in northern Africa and southern Spain; Jews flee, or pretend to accept Islam.
  • 1150. Statutes of Arles appoint a special Jewish oath.
  • 1156. Jews of Persia persecuted on account of pseudo-Messiah, David Alroy.
  • 1168. Latins and Greeks, Jews and Saracens, granted right of being judged by their own laws in Sicily.
  • 1171. Thirty-one Jews and Jewesses of Blois burned on the charge of having used human blood in the Passover.
  • 1172. Persecution of the Jews of Yemen. Messianic excitement.
  • 1174. Sultan Nureddin Maḥmud removes all Jews of Syria and Egypt from public offices.
  • 1178. Riot at Toledo, at which Fermosa, the Jewish mistress of Alfonso VIII., is killed.
  • 1179. The third Lateran Council passes decrees protecting the religious liberty of the Jews. (Aug.) Jews of Boppard and neighborhood slain because body of Christian woman is found on banks of Rhine. Jews expelled from Bohemia.
  • 1182. (April) Philip Augustus of France banishes the Jews from his hereditary provinces and takes one-third of their debts.
  • 1189. Attack on the Jews of London at coronation of Richard I.
  • 1190. (May 17) Self-immolation of 150 Jews at York to avoid baptism.
  • 1194. "Ordinances of the Jewry" passed in England for registering Jewish debts, thus preparing the way for the exchequer of Jews.
  • 1198. Jews permitted to return to France by Philip Augustus on payment of 15,000 livres in silver.
  • 1200. Bishop Conrad of Mayence issues a formula for an oath in German for Jews of Erfurt.
  • 1205. (July 15) Innocent III. writes to Archbishop of Sens and Bishop of Paris laying down the principle that Jews are bound to perpetual subjection because of the Crucifixion.
  • 1209. Council of Avignon issues restrictive measures against the Jews. (July 22) French Jews attacked and plundered; 200 murdered.
  • 1210. (Nov. 1) The Jews of England imprisoned by King John.
  • 1211. Many French and English rabbis emigrate to Palestine.
  • 1212. The Jews of Toledo killed by Crusaders under the Cistercian monk Arnold; first persecution of Jews in Castile.
  • 1215. Magna Charta of England limits rights of the crown in Jewish debts to the principal. Fourth Lateran Council under Pope Innocent III., among many anti-Jewish measures, decrees the Jew badge.
  • 1221. Jews killed at Erfurt.
  • 1222. Golden Bull of Hungary refuses Jews the right to hold public office. Council of Oxford imposes restrictions on the English Jews.
  • 1223. (Nov. 8) Rabbinical Synod of Mayence regulates the payment of the Jewish taxes.
  • 1227. Council of Narbonne reenacts the anti-Jewish decrees of the fourth Lateran Council.
  • 1230. (Dec.) "Statutum de Judeis" in France by Louis IX. prohibits Jews from making contracts or leaving their lords' lands.
  • 1234. (Dec. 10) Jews of Fulda find a murdered Christian, 261 Jews killed in consequence.
  • 1236. Frederick II. takes Jews of Sicily under his protection as being his "servi camerae" (first use of this term).
  • 1240. (June 25) Disputation before Louis IX. of France between Nicholas Donin and the Jews represented by Jehiel of Paris, Moses of Coucy, Talmudist and itinerant preacher, and two others.
  • 1241. (May 24) Riot at Frankfort on account of a Jewish convert. Jewish Parliament summoned to Worcester, England.
  • 1244. Archduke Frederick II. the Valiant, of Austria, grants privileges to the Jews ("Privilegium Fredericianum"). Twenty-four wagon-loads of Talmuds and other manuscripts (1200) burned at Paris.
  • 1246. James I. of Aragon, in the Ordenamiento of Huesca, declares Jews to be "in commanda regis." Council of Béziers forbids Jews to practise medicine.
  • 1254. (Dec.) Louis IX. expels Jews from France.
  • 1255. (July 31) St. Hugh of Lincoln disappears, and the Jews are accused of murdering him for ritual purposes.
  • 1259. Jahudan de Cavalleria becomes "bayle-general" and treasurer of Aragon. Provincial council of Fritzlar for province of Mayence repeats several of the canonical restrictions, including the badge (first time in Germany).
  • 1261. Expulsion from Brabant, under will of Henry III., of all Jews except those living by trade.
  • 1263. Disputation at Barcelona between Pablo Christiani and Naḥmanides.
  • 1264. Massacres at London, Canterbury, Winchester, and Cambridge by the barons in revolt against Henry III.
  • 1265. (May 2) Persecution at Sunzig; 72 persons burned in synagogue.
  • 1267. (May 12) Synod of Vienna, under Cardinal Guida, orders Jews to wear pointed hats.
  • 1270. (June 23) Persecution at Weissenburg.
  • 1273. (Nov. 4) Jews of Lerida obtain permission to substitute oath by the Ten Commandments for the oath "more Judaico."
  • 1274. (July 7) Gregory X. issues bull against blood accusation.
  • 1275. Jews expelled from Marlborough, Gloucester, Worcester, and Cambridge, at request of the queen-mother.
  • 1280. Alfonso X. orders all Jews of Leon and Castile to be imprisoned till they pay 12,000 maravedis, and 12,000 for every day of delay in payment. English Jews forced to attend sermons of Dominicans.
  • 1285. Blood accusation at Munich.
  • 1286. (June 28) Meïir ben Baruch of Rothenburg (1220-93), chief rabbi of Germany, imprisoned when about to emigrate. Sancho of Castile in Cortes of Palencia orders Jews to submit their cases to the ordinary alcaldes (abolition of legislative autonomy). (Nov. 30) Bull of Honorius IV. to archbishops of York and Canterbury against Talmud.
  • 1287. (May 2) All Jews in England thrown into prison.
  • 1290. (Nov. 1) Jews banished from England.
  • 1292. Ritual murder accusation and riot at Colmar.
  • 1294. (Aug. 7) Bolko I. of Silesia grants Jews "Privilegium Fredericianum."
  • 1295. (June 23) Boniface VIII. enters Rome and spurns the Torah presented to him by Jewish deputation.
  • 1297. "Judenordnung" for Brandenburg.
  • 1298. Persecution of the Jews in Germany instigated by Rindfleisch; Mordecai ben Hillel a martyr.
  • 1301. Jews plundered and slain at Magdeburg.
  • 1303. Ordinance of Philip the Fair enacts that all trials between Christians and Jews be decided by regular courts.
  • 1306. First expulsion of the Jews from France under Philip the Fair.
  • 1315. (July 28) Jews recalled to France by Louis X. for twelve years.
  • 1320. The Pastoureaux persecutions in France ("gezerat ha-Ro'im").
  • 1321. The Leper persecution in France ("gezerat meẓora'im"). (June 24) Second expulsion of the Jews from France. Five thousand slain In Dauphiné on charge of well-poisoning.
  • 1322. (Pentecost) Talmuds burned in Rome.
  • 1330. Alleged desecration of host at Güstrow.
  • 1334. (Oct. 9) Casimir III. the Great, of Poland, grants Jews "Privilegium Fredericianum."
  • 1334. Host-tragedy at Constance.
  • 1337. (May) Armleder massacres at Ensisheim, Mühlhausen, Rufach, etc.
  • 1346. Blood accusation at Munich.
  • 1348. (Feb. 28) The Ordenamiento of Aleaza orders all usury to cease. (July 16) Karl IV. forbids Jews being summoned before the Vehmgericht.
  • 1348-49. Persecution of the Jews in central Europe on account of the Black Death. Pope Clement VI. issues two bulls protecting them.
  • idOptional="P040073">1350. Alfonso IV. of Portugal enforces the badge (first in the Peninsula).
  • 1351. Cortes of Valladolid demands the abolition of the judicial autonomy of Spanish-Jewish communities. Jews burned at Königsberg in Neumark.
  • 1353. Jews invited back to Worms on account of their usefulness.
  • 1360. (Nov.) Samuel Abulafla dies under torture on the charge of peculation. Manessier de Vesoul obtains from King John a decree permitting Jews to dwell in France.
  • 1365. Jews expelled by Louis the Great from Hungary; many go to Wallachia.
  • 1370. All Jews imprisoned and robbed in Austria.
  • 1380. (Nov. 16) Riot at Paris; many Jews plundered, several killed, most fled.
  • 1381. A synod at Mayence regulates the rabbinical marriage laws.
  • 1387. Jews expelled from Basel.
  • 1389. (Apr. 18) The charge of insult to a priest carrying the sacrament leads to the massacre of the Jews in Prague.
  • 1391. (June 6) Spanish horrors begin; Ferdinand Martinez incites the mob against the Jews of Seville; anti-Jewish riots spread throughout Castile and Aragon.
  • 1394. (Nov. 3) Third and last expulsion of the Jews from France, under Charles VI.
  • 1400. Persecution of the Jews of Prague at the instigation of the convert Pessach; Lipmann of Mühlhausen among the sufferers.
  • 1403. (Oct. 25) Juan H. of Castile withdraws civil jurisdiction from Jews.
  • 1405. Jews expelled from Speyer.
  • 1407. (Oct. 26) Jews attacked at Cracow.
  • 1410. (Sept.) Meïr Alguades slain on charge of host-desecration.
  • 1411. Vincent Ferrer raises the populace against the Jews. Second general massacre of Jews in all the Spanish provinces.
  • 1413. (Jan. 7) Religious disputation at Tortosa arranged by Pope Benedict XIII. between Geronimo de Santa Fé and Vidal ben Benveniste ibn Labi and Joseph Albo.
  • 1415. (May 11) Bull of Benedict XIII. against the Talmud and any Jewish book attacking Christianity.
  • 1420. Charges of host-desecration lead to the putting to death of a number of Jews and to the expulsion of the remainder from Lower and Upper Austria.
  • 1423. Jews expelled from Cologne.
  • 1424. Jews expelled from Zurich.
  • 1432. Rabbinical synod at Valladolid. Host-tragedy at Segovia. A synod at Avila, under Abraham Benveniste Senior, provides for an educational system for Jewish Spain.
  • 1434. The Council of Basel renews old and devises new canonical restrictions against Jews. Annihilation of the Jews of Majorca.
  • 1435. Jews expelled from Speyer.
  • 1438. Jews expelled from Mayence.
  • 1440. Jews expelled from Augsburg.
  • 1447. Casimir IV. of Poland grants special privileges to Jews.
  • 1450. Ludwig X. of Bavaria throws all the Jews in forty towns into prison and confiscates their property.
  • 1451. Nicholas de Cusa enforces the wearing of the Jew badge in Germany.
  • 1454. (May 2) Forty-one Jews burned at Breslau, and Jews expelled from Brünn and Olmütz, through Capistrano.
  • 1458. Jews expelled from Erfurt.
  • 1460. (March 5) The states of Austria demand that no Jew be permitted to dwell there. Jews expelled from Savoy.
  • 1464. (Apr. 12) Jews plundered and murdered by soldiers in Cracow.
  • 1467. Eighteen Jews burned at Nuremberg.
  • 1468. Jews expelled from Neisse by the gilds. Blood accusation brought against Jews of Sepulveda.
  • 1469. Jews plundered and slain at Posen.
  • 1470. Jews expelled from bishopric of Mayence.
  • 1475. Bernardinus of Feltre preaches against the Jews in Italy. The Jews charged with the murder of Simon of Trent for ritual purposes. Riots in Padua and elsewhere in Italy and Sicily.
  • 1476. Blood accusation in Regensburg through the convert Wolfram.
  • 1477. Jews plundered at Colmar and burned at Passau; the rest expelled through bishop.
  • 1478. Jews expelled from diocese of Bamberg on account of Simon of Trent affair.
  • 1481. The Inquisition against the Maranos established in Seville and at other places in Castile.
  • 1482. Inquisition established in Aragon; Thomas de Torquemada, chief inquisitor.
  • 1484. Jews expelled from Arles.
  • 1486. (Feb. 12) Auto da fé at Toledo at which 740 were absolved. (Dec. 10) Another auto at same place; 900 Jews "reconciled."
  • 1488. (Jan. 25) First auto at Barcelona. (May 24 and July 30) Autos da fé at Toledo; at former, 21 Jews burned, 400 punished, at latter, 76 burned.
  • 1490. (Dec.) Jews expelled from Geneva.
  • 1492. (Aug. 2) Expulsion of the Jews from Spain.
  • 1494. Jews plundered in Naples. Blood accusation at Tyrnau.
  • 1495. Jews expelled from Florence, but readmitted after a few months on account of their utility; Jews expelled from Lithuania.
  • 1496. Expulsion of Jews from Styria. Manoel of Portugal orders the Jews to accept baptism or leave the country.
  • 1498. The exiles settled in Navarre banished. Jews expelled from Nuremberg and Ulm.
  • 1501. (July) Fifty-four Jews burned at Seville.
  • 1502. Appearance of the pseudo-Messiah Asher Lämmlein.
  • 1503. Pfefferkorn denounces Reuchlin. (March 22) Jews permitted to return to Lithuania. (Dec. 27) Judaizing followers of Zechariah of Kiev burned at Moscow.
  • 1505. Jews expelled from Orange. All slain at Budwels on a child-murder accusation.
  • 1506. Jews settle in Pinsk and secure synagogues and cemetery. Massacre of 4,000 Maranos In Lisbon.
  • 1508. (July 15) Royal decree issued expelling Jews from Portugal.
  • 1510. Burning of Jewish books at Frankfort. Thirty-eight Jews burned in Berlin for host-desecration and child-murder (Grätz, ix. 94).
  • 1516. (March) Venice sets apart a special quarter for a ghetto (first use of the term).
  • 1524. The Jews of Cairo threatened with destruction by Aḥmad Shaltan, viceroy of Egypt. Jews return to Genoa.
  • 1529. (May 21) Thirty Jews burned at Pösing on blood accusation. Solomon Molko (Diogo Pires, 1501-32) begins his Messianic agitation.
  • 1530. (Aug. 12) Josel of Roshelm obtains extension of Alsatian privileges from Charles V.
  • 1531. Clement VII. issues a bull establishing the Portuguese Inquisition for Maranos.
  • 1541. Jews expelled from Naples.
  • 1542. Jews expelled from Bohemia because of fires in Prague and other towns.
  • 1543. Luther publishes his attack on the Jews.
  • 1548. (July 10) Eighteen hundred Maranos released from the prisons of the Inquisition in Portugal.
  • 1550. (April 2) Jews banished from Genoa.
  • 1551. Jews expelled from Bavaria and Württemberg.
  • 1554. (June 21) Rabbinical synod at Ferrara.
  • 1555. Paul IV. issues the bull "Cum Nimis Absurdum." Jews expelled from the Palatinate.
  • 1556. Twenty-four Jews of Ancona hanged and burned by order of Paul IV.
  • 1567. Don Joseph Nassi appointed ruler of Naxos and eleven other Islands of the Grecian archipelago. (June 15) Jews expelled from Genoese territory.
  • 1568. Isaac Luria Levi (1534-72), cabalist, pretends to be the Messiah, son of Joseph.
  • 1569. (Feb. 26) Bull of Pius V., "Hebræorum Gens," expels Jews from Papal States except Rome, Bologna, and Ancona.
  • 1570. Solomon Ashkenazi sent as an envoy to Venice by Sultan Selim II.
  • 1573. (Jan. 28) The Jew Lippold executed at Berlin; all Jews expelled from Brandenburg.
  • 1576. Stephen Bathorl allows the Jews of Poland to carry on trade without restrictions.
  • 1582. Expulsion from Silesia.
  • 1586 (circa). The Jews of Poland establish the Council of Four Lands; Mordecai Jafe probably its first president.
  • 1592. (Aug. 17) Papal edict forbids Jews to admit Christians into synagogues, etc.
  • 1593. Clement VIII. expels the Jews from all the Papal States except Rome and Ancona. The first Marano settlement in Holland made at Amsterdam under Jacob Tirado.
  • 1596. Persecution of the Persian Jews by Shah Abbas the Great.
  • 1598. Bet Jacob synagogue consecrated at Amsterdam.
  • 1612. Portuguese Jews granted right of residence in Hamburg.
  • 1614. (Sept. 2) Vincent Fettmilch's attack upon the Jews of Frankfort.
  • 1615. Jews of Worms banished.
  • idOptional="P040074">1616. Jews return to Frankfort and Worms.
  • 1617. (Jan. 3) "Neue Stättigkeit" for Frankfort makes right of domicil for Jews perpetual.
  • 1629. (June 26) Lippman Heller forced to leave his post as rabbi in Prague.
  • 1632. (April 20) Proselyte Nicolas Antoine burned at Geneva. (July 4) Auto da fé at Madrid.
  • 1639. Dutch West India Company grants Jews of Guiana full religious liberty.
  • 1642. Six hundred Jews of Amsterdam with Isaac Aboab as ḥakam settle at Pernambuco.
  • 1646. The Jews in Brazil side with the Dutch in their war with the Portuguese.
  • 1648. The beginning of the Cossack persecutions of the Jews in Poland under Chmielnicki.
  • 1652. Two leagues along the coast of Curaçao granted to David Nassi for a Jewish colony.
  • 1654. (July 8) Twenty-four Jews land at New Amsterdam from Brazil.
  • 1655. (Oct.) Menasseh ben Israel goes to London to obtain from Cromwell the readmission of Jews into England.
  • 1657. (Feb. 4) Resettlement Day; Oliver Cromwell grants Carvajal right of residence for Jews in England.
  • 1659. (Feb. 26) Jews expelled from all the Papal States except Rome and Ancona.
  • 1660. Jews expelled from Kiev by Alexis.
  • 1665. Shabbethai Ẓebi (1626-1676) publicly accepted as the Messiah at Smyrna.
  • 1667. (Feb. 14) Jews run races at the Roman carnival for the last time.
  • 1670. Jews banished from Vienna and Lower Austria by Emperor Leopold I. Synod of Lithuanian rabbis and deputies settle spheres of jurisdiction in relation to central ḳahals.
  • 1671. Frederick William, the Great Elector, grants a privilege for twenty years to fifty families driven from Austria.
  • 1678. Appearance of the pseudo-Messiah Mordecai Moshiaḥ of Eisenstadt.
  • 1680. (June 30) Auto da fé at Madrid.
  • 1682. (May 10) Auto da fé at Lisbon.
  • 1686. Jews the victims of the Imperialist soldiery at the recapture of Buda from Turks.
  • 1690. Ninety Jews from Curaçao settle at Newport, R. I.
  • 1695. Jews forbidden to enter Sweden by Charles IX.
  • 1700. The house of Oppenheimer in Vienna attacked by a mob. Eisenmenger attempts to publish his "Entdecktes Judenthum."
  • 1703. Jonas, Aaron settles in Philadelphia.
  • 1710. The "Judenordnung" of Hamburg determines the social condition of the Jews of that city.
  • 1716. (July 24-25) Serious uprising against the Jews at storming of Posen.
  • 1727. (April 26) Jews expelled from Russia and the Ukraine by Catharine. (Nov. 15) Act passed by General Assembly of New York permitting Jews to omit "on the faith of a Christian" from oath of abjuration.
  • 1732. (Sept. 2) "Editto sopra gli Ebrei" of Clement III. renews all restrictions against Jews of Rome.
  • 1733. (July) Forty Jews from Lisbon arrive at Savannah, Ga.
  • 1738. (Feb. 4) Joseph Süss Oppenheimer executed at Vienna.
  • 1740. (Feb. 3) Charles the Bourbon, King of Naples and of the two Sicilles, invites the Jews back for fifty years. (July 11) Jews expelled from Little Russia by Czarina Anne. Act passed by English Parliament naturalizing Jews settled in the American colonies.
  • 1742. (Dec. 2) Jews expelled from Great Russia by Czarina Elizabeth.
  • 1744. (Dec. 18) Expulsion of Jews from Bohemia and Moravia.
  • 1747. Bull of Benedict XIV. decides that a Jewish child baptized, even against canonical law, must be brought up under Christian influences.
  • 1748. Jews permitted to remain in Bohemia on payment of a "Judensteuer" of 216,000 florins.
  • 1750. (April 17) Frederick the Great issues a "Generalprivilegium" for the Prussian Jews.
  • 1753. Act passed by English Parliament permitting Jews to be naturalized. "No Jews, no wooden shoes" riots in England.
  • 1754. Act granting naturalization to English Jews repealed.
  • 1756. Blood accusation in Jampol, Poland.
  • 1757. Jacob Frank becomes leader of the Shabbethaians. Bishop of Kamenitz-Podolsk orders Talmuds to be burned.
  • 1761. Persecution of Jews in Yemen.
  • 1767. (June 20) Cossacks slay thousands of Jews at Homel.
  • 1772. Jews settle in Stockholm, Karlskrona, and Gothenburg, by favor of Gustavus III.
  • 1776. (Oct. 17) Senatorial decree of Russia grants freedom of settlement and other rights to baptized Jews.
  • 1781. Joseph II. of Austria abolishes the Jewish poll-tax, and grants civil liberties to the Jews.
  • 1782. Joseph II. issues his Toleration Edict.
  • 1787. Frederick William II. removes the "Leibzoll" in Prussia.
  • 1790. The French National Assembly grants citizenship to the Sephardic Jews of Bordeaux. New constitution for Jews of Silesia; a few receive general privileges, etc.
  • 1791. The French National Assembly grants full civil rights to the Jews.
  • 1796. Jews of Holland declared by the National Assembly to be full citizens of the Batavian Republic.
  • 1797. (Aug. 1) Two Jews, Bromet and De Lemon, elected members of the second National Assembly of Holland.
  • 1801. "Leibzoll" removed in Nassau.
  • 1803. Israel Jacobson and Wolff Breidenbach agitate the abolition of the poll-tax for Jews in Germany.
  • 1804. (Dec. 9) "Enactment concerning the Jews" passed by Alexander I. of Russia.
  • 1807. The Great Sanhedrin convened by Napoleon; Joseph David Sinzheim president.
  • 1808. (Jan. 27) Jerome Napoleon issues decree giving full civic rights to Jews of Westphalia. (Dec. 11) Napoleon at Madrid issues decree dividing the French empire into Jewish consistories.
  • 1809. Law of Baden forms Jews into special religious community with all privileges.
  • 1811. The Jews of Hamburg emancipated.
  • 1812. The Jews of Prussia emancipated.
  • 1813. (Feb. 18) The Jews of Mecklenburg emancipated.
  • 1815. (June 8) "Bundesakte" passed at the Congress of Vienna decrees maintenance of status quo in the political condition of the Jews.
  • 1818. First Reform Temple in Hamburg opened.
  • 1819. (Aug.) The beginning of the "Hep, hep!" persecutions. Formation of the Society for the Culture and Science of the Jews, by Zunz, Gans, and Moser.
  • 1820. Jews admitted again at Lisbon.
  • 1825. Jews expelled from St. Petersburg through influence of gilds.
  • 1826. Jews obtain full civic rights in the state of Maryland, U. S. A. Decree issued in Russia enrolling Jews for military service.
  • 1831. Louis Philippe orders salaries of rabbis to be paid by the state.
  • 1833. (Oct. 29) Jews of Kur-Hessen granted full emancipation.
  • 1835. (April 13) General Jewish regulations issued in Russia. Edict of Nicholas I. founding agricultural colonies in Russia.
  • 1836. Law refusing Jews the right to bear Christian names renewed in Prussia.
  • 1839. Sultan 'Abd al-Majid grants citizenship to Turkish Jews.
  • 1840. (Feb. 5) Damascus blood accusation. (Nov. 6) Firman issued by sultan against blood accusation.
  • 1844. (May 25) Louis Philippe issues regulations for the internal organization of French Jews. (June) Rabbinical conference at Brunswick.
  • 1845. (April) Ukase issued ordering Russian and Polish Jews to adopt ordinary costume.
  • 1848. Emancipation Year: most of the countries of central Europe grant full civic and political rights to Jews—in the majority of cases, repealed the next year. (May 19-20) Riots in Presburg.
  • 1849. (July 3) Baron Lionel de Rothschild, previously returned as M.P. for city of London, not allowed to take seat.
  • 1852. (Sept. 3) Violent anti-Jewish riots at Stockholm.
  • 1856. (Feb. 18) "Ḥaṭṭi-Humayun" issued, granting full civic rights to Turkish Jews.
  • 1858. (June 24) Edgar Mortara in Ancona forcibly taken from his family by Bishop of Bologna on plea that he had been baptized when an infant by a Roman Catholic servant. The oath "on the true faith of a Christian" abolished in England; Jewish disabilities removed.
  • 1860. Alliance Israélite Universelle founded.
  • 1863. (July) Emancipation of Swiss Jews.
  • 1866. Rumanian constitution makes Rumanian Jews "aliens."
  • 1867. (Dec.) Emancipation of Hungarian Jews.
  • 1868. Jews permitted to return to Spain. The law of the North German Federation of July 3 decrees that no state shall retain restrictions on the ground of religious belief.
  • 1870. (March) Thirteen hundred and sixty Jews expelled from districts of Falciu and Vaslui, Rumania.
  • 1871. Anglo-Jewish Association founded.
  • 1873. Union of American Hebrew Congregations established.
  • idOptional="P040075">1876. (July 28) E. Lasker procures the passing of the "Austrittgesetz," permitting Jews to change their congregation.
  • 1877. Rabbinical Seminary, Budapest, inaugurated.
  • 1878. (July 13) The Berlin Congress inserts clause 44, that distinction of religion shall not be a bar to civil and political rights in Rumania.
  • 1880. (Nov. 20-22) Debate in "Prussian Diet on Kantorowicz incident.
  • 1881. Atrocities against Jews in South Russia. (April 25) Anti-Semitic league in Germany presents petition with 255,000 signatures to Bismarck. (April 27) Riot at Argenau.
  • 1882. (April 7) Disappearance of Esther Solymosi causes a trial on blood accusation at Tisza-Eszlar. (May 3) "May Laws" issued by General Ignatief confining the Jews in the Pale of Settlement to the towns.
  • 1884. (March 7) Rumanian law prohibiting hawking puts 5,000 Jewish families out of employment. (July 9) Lord Rothschild takes his seat as first Jewish peer in the British House of Lords.
  • 1885. Pittsburg Conference of American Rabbis establishes a platform for Reform Judaism.
  • 1886. Drumont publishes "La France Juive."
  • 1887. (Feb. 28) Rumanian law excluding Jews from public service and from tobacco trade and from employment in retail trade.
  • 1889. (May 12) Rumanian law limiting number of Jewish factory hands to one-third.
  • 1890. (Dec. 10) Guildhall meeting against persecution of Russian Jews by May Laws.
  • 1891. (June 29) Blood accusation at Xanten.
  • 1892. Jewish Colonization Association founded by Baron de Hirsch.
  • 1893. (Jan. 14) Rumanian law prohibiting Jews from being employed in public medical department.
  • 1895. Capt. Alfred Dreyfus condemned and degraded as a spy and deported to Devil's Isle, Cayenne.
  • 1897. (Aug. 29-31) First Zionist Congress at Basel.
  • 1898. (Oct.) Eleven thousand two hundred Jewish children refused admission to public schools in Rumania.
  • 1899. (March 31) Rumanian law excluding Jews from agricultural and professional schools. (Sept. 2) Dreyfus condemned a second time, but "pardoned" on Sept. 19.
  • 1900. (Aug. 13-16) Fourth Zionist Congress at London. (Sept. 8) Israelsky, accused of ritual murder at Konitz, acquitted.
  • 1901. (Dec.) Rumanian law prohibiting Jews from holding saloons or stores in rural districts.
  • 1902. (March) Rumanian law prohibiting employment of Jewish working men.
  • I. Loeb, Josef Haccohen et les Chroniqueurs Juifs, pp. 79, 86;
  • S. Cassel, Juden, in Ersch and Gruber, Encyc. section ii., part 27, pp. 32-33;
  • Stern, Jüdische Zeitrechnung, ib., S. Poznanski, in Monatsschrift, xliv. 508;
  • H. Ellenberger, Die Leiden und Verfolgungen der Juden, Budapest, 1882;
  • E. H. Lindo, A Jewish Calendar, pp. 105-134, London, 1838;
  • H. Schlesinger, Chronologisches Handbuch zur Gesch. der Juden, Berlin, 1872;
  • Kohler, Chronology, in American Jews' Annual, 1884-85.
G. J.