DANIEL BEN SOLOMON (BEN ḤASDAI):
Exilarch at Bagdad in the second half of the twelfth century. According to Pethahiah, Daniel's father, Solomon, was highly esteemed by the calif, a circumstance that for a time lent new dignity to the exilarchate, which had sunk into entire insignificance. Scholars assume that Daniel's father was also identical with the exilarch Ḥasdai, who, according to Benjamin of Tudela and Joseph Sambari ("Med. Jew. Chron." i. 123), was the teacher of the agitator David Alroy. The family, which traced its ancestry back to King David, lived in great splendor, to which Abraham ibn Ezra, who visited Bagdad in the middle of the twelfth century, alludes in his commentary to Zech. xii. 7, speaking of "the splendor of the house of David." Nothing is known of Daniel's political or literary activity. He doubtless approved the opposition to Maimonides led by the learned Samuel b. Ali of Bagdad, though Daniel himself did not come to the front. As he left no children, the exilarchate was transferred after his death to Mosul, where it was contested by two rival candidates, David ben Hodaya and Samuel. A fragment from the Cairo Genizah contains the colophon of a manuscript once in the possession of Daniel b. Solomon.
- Grätz, Gesch. vi., note 10;
- Schechter, in Jew. Quart. Rev. xiv. 221.