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Dan Shapira

Bio: Dan Shapira is an academic researcher from Bar-Ilan University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Armenian & Hebrew. The author has an hindex of 5, co-authored 26 publications receiving 69 citations. Previous affiliations of Dan Shapira include Open University of Israel & Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Topics: Armenian, Hebrew, Georgian, Judaism, Zoroastrianism

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors studied an aggadic tradition from the Babylonian Talmud while trying to find traces of early Iranian mythological conceptions that were absorbed by the talmudic sages as a part of their own biblically enrooted knowledge.
Abstract: In this paper we shall study an aggadic tradition from the Babylonian Talmud while trying to find traces of early Iranian mythological conceptions that were absorbed by the talmudic sages as a part of their own biblically enrooted knowledge. We shall also attempt to gain a better understanding of the talmudic text by presuming that it reflects ideas absorbed from the Iranian—or, rather, “Iraqian”—environment. Occasionally, however, early Iranian myths do not always survive in their original, complete forms, and sometimes only fragmentary remains in medieval Zoroastrian literature can be used for their reconstruction. The so-called ninth-century books in Pahlavi were edited by Zoroastrian priests at a rather late date, and in a quite tendentious manner. Significantly, the bulk of the numerous “pagan” strains were excised, probably because the editing work took place in a Muslim environment, and our knowledge of the actual popular religions of Sasanian—or, for our purpose, talmudic—western Iran and Mesopotamia/Iraq is far from adequate. Thus, every piece of secondary evidence regarding the popular Iranian beliefs is precious.

12 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Dan Shapira1
31 Dec 2013
TL;DR: In this article, the author describes the nature of the 1840/1841 Turkic Karaim translation of the Bible, published at Gozleve / Jevpatorija, and especially, the translation of Nehemia, the last book in this publication.
Abstract: In this article, the author describes the nature of the 1840/1841 Turkic Karaim translation of the Bible, published at Gozleve / Jevpatorija, and especially, the translation of Nehemia, the last book in this publication. The author tries to identify the translator / copyist of Nehemia, who was working on the MS in 1672 in Mangup,having been based himself on the colophon, and surmised that the rest of the Bible translation may come from a MS copied by the same copyist. The author further speculates why the publisher of the Gozleve edition chose this particular MS. In order to define the Turkic language of the translation, the author goes in details about the earlier Jewish – both Rabbanite and Karaite – population of Cufut-Qal‘eh in the Crimea; his conclusion is that the earlier population was mostly immigrants from the North (the Duchy of Lithuania) and their language could not be originally any sort of Crimean Turkic. In the article, the author publishes and republishes different Judeo-Turkic Karaite Biblical translations and tombstone inscriptions.

11 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, some of Szapszal's assertions made in this work are analysed against their historical and linguistic background, touching on intellectual trends current during the Early Republican period, the state of the European, Russian and Tur...
Abstract: The paper examines a highly interesting workQirim Qarai Turkleri,published in Istanbul in 1928 by Seraya Sapsaloglu (Seraja Szapszal in Polish sources), the renowned Karaite communal leader, one of the leading Russian Turkologists of his time, a former Czarist diplomat and a Jewish Pan-Turkist. This popular and quasi-scientific work was typical of the Romantic Period of the “nation-building”stage in the history of many Eastern European minorities. It was, however, essential in the presentation of the Turkic-speaking Eastern European and Crimean Karaite Jews as remnants of some imagined ancient Turkic race, clandestinely preserving Altaic paganism. Written in an appealing style, this work made a deep impression on the Early Republican intellectuals. In the present paper some of Szapszal's assertions made in this work are analysed against their historical and linguistic background. The paper touches on intellectual trends current during the Early Republican period, the state of the European, Russian and Tur...

9 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2007
TL;DR: In this article, the authors treat the Armenian and Georgian sources dealing with the Khazars, and touch on some of the references to the Jews proper, hoping to demonstrate that both sujets are connected.
Abstract: The importance of Armenian and Georgian sources dealing with different aspects of the "Khazar question" is well acknowledged. Georgia and Armenia were for decades, if not centuries, battlegrounds for the Khazars, who repeatedly invaded these countries in order to pillage, or to confront their Arab enemies. However, much of this information, especially that found in the Georgian sources is legendary in character, and therefore must be treated with caution. Both the Armenian and Georgian historical traditions suggest a very early date for a Jewish presence in their respective countries, but there is a difference between the historical fates of these two Jewries. This chapter treats the Armenian and Georgian sources dealing with the Khazars, and touches on some of the references to the Jews proper, hoping to demonstrate that both sujets are connected. Keywords: Armenian sources; Georgian sources; Jewish presence; Jews; Khazars

7 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Dan Shapira1
31 Dec 2014
TL;DR: A Karaite manuscript in Istanbuli Turkish written in Hebrew characters has turned up in Germany recently as discussed by the authors, and the authors investigated the whereabouts of the manuscript and tried to place it in its historical and linguistic context.
Abstract: A Karaite manuscript in Istanbuli Turkish written in Hebrew characters has turned up in Germany lately. This article investigates the whereabouts of the manuscript and tries to place it in its historical and linguistic context. Although the manuscript was apparently written/copied in Constantinople, the Turkic language used in it has some Crimean connections. The novelty of this discovery lies in the fact that Turkish was used by the 19th century Constantinople Karaites as a literary language.

6 citations


Cited by
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Dissertation
01 Dec 2018
TL;DR: The authors study top-down, monotheistic conversions in Pontic-Caspian Eurasia and their respective mythologizations, preserved both textually and archaeologically, which serve as a primary factor for what we might call state formation.
Abstract: What is the line between the “ancient” world and the “medieval” world? Is it 476? 330? 632? 800? Most historians acknowledge there is no crisp line and that these are arbitrary distinctions, but they are made anyway, taking on lives of their own. I believe they are much the same world, except for the pervading influence of one flavor of monotheism or another. This thesis endeavors to study top-down, monotheistic conversions in Pontic-Caspian Eurasia and their respective mythologizations, preserved both textually and archaeologically, which serve as a primary factor for what we might call “state formation.” These narratives also function, in many cases, as the bases of many modern nationalisms, however haphazard they may be. I have attempted to apply this idea to Christian Rome (Byzantium)’s diachronic missionary policy around the Black Sea to reveal how what we today call the “Age of Migrations” (the so-called “Germanic” invasions of the Roman Empire), was actually in perpetual continuity all the way up to the Mongolian invasions and perhaps even later. In this way, I hope to enhance the context by which we understand the entirety of not only Western history, but to effectively bind it to a broader context of global monotheization.

104 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The findings support the Khazarian hypothesis and portray the European Jewish genome as a mosaic of Near Eastern-Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, thereby consolidating previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry.
Abstract: The question of Jewish ancestry has been the subject of controversy for over two centuries and has yet to be resolved. The “Rhineland hypothesis” depicts Eastern European Jews as a “population isolate” that emerged from a small group of German Jews who migrated eastward and expanded rapidly. Alternatively, the “Khazarian hypothesis” suggests that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8th century. Mesopotamian and Greco–Roman Jews continuously reinforced the Judaized empire until the 13th century. Following the collapse of their empire, the Judeo–Khazars fled to Eastern Europe. The rise of European Jewry is therefore explained by the contribution of the Judeo–Khazars. Thus far, however, the Khazars’ contribution has been estimated only empirically, as the absence of genome-wide data from Caucasus populations precluded testing the Khazarian hypothesis. Recent sequencing of modern Caucasus populations prompted us to revisit the Khazarian hypothesis and compare it with the Rhineland hypothesis. We applied a wide range of population genetic analyses to compare these two hypotheses. Our findings support the Khazarian hypothesis and portray the European Jewish genome as a mosaic of Near Eastern-Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, thereby consolidating previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. We further describe a major difference among Caucasus populations explained by the early presence of Judeans in the Southern and Central Caucasus. Our results have important implications for the demographic forces that shaped the genetic diversity in the Caucasus and for medical studies.

58 citations

Book
17 Sep 2014
TL;DR: In Intangible Spirits and Graven Images as discussed by the authors, Shenkar offers a comprehensive treatment of divine iconography in pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia and presents a detailed analysis of the main sources of inspiration.
Abstract: In Intangible Spirits and Graven Images , Michael Shenkar offers a comprehensive treatment of divine iconography in pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia.

44 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The results suggest that AJs originated from a Slavo-Iranian confederation, which the Jews call “Ashkenazic” (i.e., “Scythian”), though these Jews probably spoke Persian and/or Ossete, compatible with linguistic evidence suggesting that Yiddish is a Slavic language created by Irano-Turko-Slavic Jewish merchants along the Silk Roads as a cryptic trade language.
Abstract: The Yiddish language is over 1,000 years old and incorporates German, Slavic, and Hebrew elements. The prevalent view claims Yiddish has a German origin, whereas the opposing view posits a Slavic origin with strong Iranian and weak Turkic substrata. One of the major difficulties in deciding between these hypotheses is the unknown geographical origin of Yiddish speaking Ashkenazic Jews (AJs). An analysis of 393 Ashkenazic, Iranian, and mountain Jews and over 600 non-Jewish genomes demonstrated that Greeks, Romans, Iranians, and Turks exhibit the highest genetic similarity with AJs. The Geographic Population Structure analysis localized most AJs along major primeval trade routes in northeastern Turkey adjacent to primeval villages with names that may be derived from "Ashkenaz." Iranian and mountain Jews were localized along trade routes on the Turkey's eastern border. Loss of maternal haplogroups was evident in non-Yiddish speaking AJs. Our results suggest that AJs originated from a Slavo-Iranian confederation, which the Jews call "Ashkenazic" (i.e., "Scythian"), though these Jews probably spoke Persian and/or Ossete. This is compatible with linguistic evidence suggesting that Yiddish is a Slavic language created by Irano-Turko-Slavic Jewish merchants along the Silk Roads as a cryptic trade language, spoken only by its originators to gain an advantage in trade. Later, in the 9th century, Yiddish underwent relexification by adopting a new vocabulary that consists of a minority of German and Hebrew and a majority of newly coined Germanoid and Hebroid elements that replaced most of the original Eastern Slavic and Sorbian vocabularies, while keeping the original grammars intact.

40 citations