That “classical rabbinic literature was never intended as historiography” goes without saying, as evidenced not only by the fact that the sages refrain from a detailed presentation of contemporary events, but also in the decidedly a-historical license they granted themselves when taking up biblical history. Attempts to categorize Talmudic works such as Seder Olam as “Jewish historiographic literature” have justifiably been rejected, with that work more accurately defined as a “chronographical midrash”, an attempt at the synchronization of Biblical events, with almost no interest in what transpired in the post-Biblical period.

Isaiah Gafni, “Concepts of Periodization and Causality in Talmudic Literature”, Jewish History, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Spring, 1996), 22.

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