Hebrew manuscript wall calendar for the year רצ"ז 5297 (1536-1537), entitledז'ש'ג' פשוטה . This abbreviation indicates the type of year (out of the 14 possible types), which is a Regular (פשוטה, Peshuta) as well as a Perfect Year (ש, Shelema) of 355 days. In this type of year the first day of New Year falls on the Sabbath (ז) and Passover on a Tuesday (ג). The calendar includes the non-Jewish counterparts, and consists of 13 horizontal sections, 12 for the months, staring with the month of Tishrei and its first day, the Jewish New Year, Rosh ha-Shanah, and one for the next New Year, and 6 vertical columns. The Jewish dates appear on the right; Christian dates are shown on the left.
The first and second columns on the right indicate the date of the new moons (moladot). The first column calculates the hour and its divisions ((דקים, either of the day or night of the new moons. The second column commencing with 'the real one' (והאמיתי), specifies the astronomical dates and zodiac signs, beginning with Libra for Tishrei. The third and wider column includes the name of the new Jewish month, the name of each week's Torah portions (according to the Italian rite), the holidays or fast days and the main ritual events in the Jewish year which occur during that month. The fourth column commencing with 'contrary to' (וניגודו) calculates the dates of the new moons in the Christian calendar in correlation with the Hebrew dates. The fifth column marking the new tekufot according to the 2nd-century Babylonian school of Mar Shmuel (ותקופתו כמר שמואל), and notes the proper day on which Jews begin to recite the prayer for rain (שאלת מטר). The final column on the left contains the Hebrew date of the beginning of the Christian months and the movable Easter feast in this year. The names of the Christian months are in Italian in Hebrew characters: Sitimri, Otobri (September, October), etc.
Meshulam of Volterra son of Isaac of Reggio יצחק מארייו)).
Written in cursive Italian script in black ink, except for various titles in built-up square script.
Number of Lines
6 columns of varying widths. The 12 monthly sections are written in 4-5 lines; specifications on the year 1537 at the top and the 13th section at the bottom are in 6-7 lines.
Ruling in pencil: usually for the first horizontal line of each of the section; and 1+ 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 vertical lines.
Pricking is noticeable in the left, upper and lower margins in accordance with the ruled lines.
The back of the sheet is blank.
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Women's Section
Direction Toward Jerusalem
At the bottom of the page is the scribe's colophon: הצעיר משולם מוולטירה בכמ'ר' יצחק מארייו ז'צ'ל' (The young Meshulam of Volterra, son of Isaac of Reggio (יצחק מארייו), the righteous of blessed memory). The name of his father's town ארייו is identified by Steinschneider (Ibid.) as Arezzo and by Beit-Arié (2013:132) as
The date at the top of the sheet, the year 5297 (שנת רצ"ז) from the creation of the world (1536-1537), is followed by chronological dates from the creation to the destruction of the Temple.
The calendar is folded in 40 and kept within a sheet of folded blue paper (235 x185 mm).
The scribal decoration at the top of the calendar consists of blessings and biblical quotations in dark brown built-up letters within red and blue frames. The initials and Christian months are marked in blue and red.
- Two text illustrations.
- Decorated initial word (שנת, The Year).
- Decorated frames.
Annotations by Steinschneider in pencil:
In the upper margin, the year 1535-1536 (should be 1536-1537, see Colophon).
Next to the date of the calendar, numerical values for the years 5296 (should be 5297 for (שנת חמשת אלפים ורצ"ז and 1466 (for אלף תס"ו, underlined in pencil).
The Calendar is kept within a sheet of folded blue paper. In the upper left-hand corner in pencil and on sticker with the library shelf-mark: Cod.Hebr. 154.
In the centre is a German inscription: Wandkalender für das Jahr 5296 (1535) (Wall Calendar for the year 5296 (1535)), probably written by Steinschneider.
On the verso of the calendar is the former library shelf-mark in pencil: Zu Cod. hebr. 425. The number 425 has been crossed off and replaced by the present one 154.
Below is another inscription in pencil: Hebraeisch (?) als besond.(ere) N.(ummer) aufzustellen.
The Calendar reached the BSB in 1909 from Neuburg in the Pfalz. It was kept as a separate sheet in
Cod.hebr. 425, a miscellany including a Book of the Customs (ספר המידות), which belonged to the library of the elector Ottheinrich von der Pfalz (Róth 1965, Cat. 330).
Main Surveys & Excavations
Beit-Arié 2012 M. Beit-Arié, Hebrew Codicology, Historical and Comparative Typology of Hebrew
Medieval Codices based on the Documentation of the Extant Dated Manuscripts in Quantitative
Approach, Pre-publication internet version 0.2 (2013).
Carlebach 2008 E. Carlebach, "Palaces of Time: Illustration of Sifre Evronot", Images 2 (2008):21-44.
Carlebach 2011 E. Carlebach, Palaces of Time: Jewish Calendar and Culture in Early Modern Europe,
Róth 1965 E. Róth, Hebräische Handschriften, part 2 (Verzechnis der Orientalischen Handschriften in
Deutschland vol. VI, 2, ed. H. Striedl), Wiesbaden 1965.
Steinschneider 1895 M. Steinschneider, Die Hebräischen Handschriften der K. Hof- und
Staatsbibliothek in München, Munich 1895, No. 154.
Straus 2006 J. P. Straus, Calculating Celestial Cycles, Courses and Conjunctions: An Introduction to
Sifrei Evronot (Books of Intercalculation), unpublished thesis, Washington, University, Saint Louis