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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Public domain English Talmud translations

Just messing around in Google Books, and I discovered:

Rodkinson's translation of Rosh Hashanah (Rabbi J. Leonard Levy, 1895)
Rodkinson's translation of Shabbath (Rodkinson and Isaac Wise, 1896)
Rodkinson's Shekalim and Rosh Hashanah (1901)
A Christian translation of Chagigah (Annesley William Streane, 1891)

Rodkinson usually only translated an abridged form of each mesechta, ignoring aggadata and what he considered irrelevant segues.

I didn't look too closely at the Streane Chagigah but just its existence is interesting. There were a number of Christian books about the Talmud in the late 19th century, all seemingly in the wake of a book about the Talmud written by Emanuel Deutsch in 1874. One interesting one was "The Criminal Code of the Jews: According to the Talmud Massecheth Synhedrin" by one Philip Berger Benny, who originally wrote it as a series of columns for a British newspaper!

But if you are really interested in such things, look at the English Hebraica blog.