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Migrating Tales$
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Richard Kalmin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520277250

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520277250.001.0001

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“Manasseh Sawed Isaiah with a Saw of Wood”

“Manasseh Sawed Isaiah with a Saw of Wood”

an Ancint Legend in Jewish, Christian, Muslim,and Persian Sources

(p.29) One “Manasseh Sawed Isaiah with a Saw of Wood”
Migrating Tales

Richard Kalmin

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the period of eastern provincial Romanization of Jewish Babylonia that began in the fourth century, as well as the cultural linkages between the Jews and Christians of late antique Mesopotamia. Focusing on the Ascension of Isaiah, it shows that the literature of rabbis and Mesopotamian Christians formed part of a common cultural sphere. More specifically, it examines the Ascension of Isaiah, the Bavli story of Manasseh’s execution of Isaiah, against the background of Christian, Jewish, Arabic, and Persian literature from the first to the eleventh centuries. It also looks at Iranian and Muslim versions of the legend. The chapter presents evidence showing that the chronological record of the various versions of the tradition is earlier in the Roman East than in Mesopotamia and Persia.

Keywords:   rabbis, Babylonia, Jews, Christians, Mesopotamia, Ascension of Isaiah, Manasseh, Persian literature, Roman East, Persia

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