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The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela
written by "Benjamin, of Tudela, 12th cent."
... must have been El-'Adid, who died on Monday, September 13, 1171—being the last of the Fatimite line. A short time before his death, Saladin had become the virtual ruler of Egypt, and had ordered the Khotba to be read in the name of the Abbaside Caliph el-Mostadi of Bagdad. (See the Life of Saladin, by Bohadin: Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society, p. 61.) It is clear, therefore, that Benjamin's absence from Europe must be placed between the years 1166 and 1171. Benjamin on his return journey passed through Sicily when the island was no longer governed by a viceroy. King William II (the Good) attained his majority in 1169, and Benjamin's visit took place subsequently. It will be found in the course of the narrative that not a single statement by Benjamin is inconsistent with this determination of date; see p. 3, n. 4; p. 9, n. 2; p. 15, n. 4; p. 61, n. 1; and p. 79, n. 2. [3] Saragossa was called in Benjamin's time Sarakosta (= Caesar-Augusta). Charisi, in Tachkemoni, 46, refers to some of the Rabbis. [4] The imposing ruins at Tarragona comprise prehistoric walls of enormous unhewn blocks of stone, as well as the remains of Roman aqueducts, tombs, amphitheatres, &c. Here and generally in this narrative the letter R is used as an abbreviation for Rabbi. [5] See Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, vol. VI, pp. 230 et seq.; also notes 1 and 10 at the end of vol. VI. [6] The ancient name of Gerona was Gerunda. [7] See Geiger's Jüdische Zeitschrift für Wissenschaft und Leben, p. 281. The Records of Narbonne bear evidence of sales of lands standing in the name of R. Kalonymos (Archives Israelites, 1861, p. 449). His ancestor, R. Machir, came to Europe in the time of Charlemagne. [8] R. Abraham ben Isaac (Rabad II) was author of the Rabbinic code; Ha-Eshkol, and was one of the intermediaries between the Talmudists of France and the Scholars of Spain. He ...

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