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Richard Gottheil, Ph.D.

Professor of Semitic Languages, Columbia University, New York; Chief of the Oriental Department, New York Public Library; New York City.

Contributions:
SEPPHORIS – City in Palestine which derived its name from the fact that it was perched like a bird on a high mountain. It is first mentioned by Josephus, who records ("Ant." xiii. 12, § 5) that Ptolemy Lathyrus vainly endeavored to conquer...
SEVERUS, JULIUS – Roman general; consul in 127. Later he held a number of offices in the provinces, and was legate of Dacia, Mœsia, and, according to an inscription ("C. I. L." iii., No. 2830), of Britain. This is confirmed by Dion Cassius, who...
SEVERUS, LUCIUS SEPTIMIUS – Emperor of Rome from 193 to 211 C.E. At the beginning of his reign he was obliged to war against his rival, Pescennius Niger, who had proclaimed himself Emperor of the East. Which ruler the Jews preferred is unkown, but the...
SEVILLE – Early History. Capital of the former kingdom of Seville; after Madrid the greatest and most beautiful city of Spain. The community of Seville is one of the oldest and largest in the country. Jews are said to have settled there,...
SEXTUS, JULIUS AFRICANUS – His Knowledge of Languages. Byzantine chronographer, noted for his surprisingly lucid interpretations of some Biblical questions; flourished in the first half of the third century of the common era. Suidas (s.v. Ἀφρικανός) says...
SHALAL (SHOLAL), ISAAC HA-KOHEN – Head ("nagid") of the community of Cairo, Egypt, in succession to his uncle Nathan ha-Kohen Shalal; died, according to Grätz ("Gesch." 3d ed., ix. 496), at Jerusalem 1525. The appointment of "dayyanim" being one of his...
SIBYL – Number. Woman who prophesied, while in a state of frenzy, under the supposed inspiration of a deity. In the Jewish sense of persons who felt themselves spiritually impelled to speak to the people in the name of God, prophets...
SICARII – Term applied, in the decades immediately preceding the destruction of Jerusalem, to the jewish Zealots who attempted to expel the Romans and their partizans from the country, even resorting to murder to attain their object....
SILAS – 1. A Jew who made himself tyrant of Lysias, a district of the Lebanon. Pompey subjugated him, together with other petty rulers, on his march to Palestine in 63 B.C. (Josephus, "Ant." xiv. 3, § 2).2. Friend of Agrippa I., whose...
SILVA, LUCIUS FLAVIUS – Governor of Judea in 73; consul in 81. He accomplished the difficult task of taking the fortress of Masada from the Sicarii. See Procurators.Bibliography: Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., i. 644; Prosopographia Imperii Romani, ii. 75.G....
SIMEON B. EZRON – One of the principals in the war of the Jews against the Romans in the year 66 of the common era, and a partizan of the leader of the Zealots, Eleazar b. Simeon. He was of noble descent (Josephus, "B. J." v. 1, § 2), and may be...
SIMON MACCABEUS – Hasmonean prince and high priest; died 135 B.C.; second son of Mattathias. In I Macc. ii. 3 he is called Thassi; in Josephus, "Ant." xii. 6, § 31, Thatis (with the variant Matthes). The meanings of these names are obscure. His...
SOSIUS, CAIUS – Roman general. Although Herod had been made king of Judea by the Romans, he was forced to wrest the country from the Hasmonean Antigonus; and as the aid which he had received from Rome was insufficient, he went to Samosata to...
SPAIN – Early Settlement. Jews lived in Spain in very early times, although the legend that Solomon's treasurer Adoniram died there, as well as the story that the Jews of Toledo, in a letter addressed to the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem,...
SPITZER, FRIEDRICH (SAMUEL) – French art collector and dealer; born in Presburg 1814; died in Paris 1890. He was the son of the official grave-digger of the community and went penniless to Vienna. In 1848 he accompanied the Austrian army to Italy, and upon...
SYENE – Ancient city of Egypt on the Ethiopian frontier in the Thebaid; situated on the eastern bank of the Nile, equidistant from Alexandria and Meroe. In the Bible it is called "Sweneh" ( ; Egyptian, "Sun"; Coptic, "Suan," whence it...
TANUJI, ISHMAEL HA-HOREN – Egyptian rabbi and author of the sixteenth century. He was a descendant of the Tanuji (from "Tanjah" ="Tangiers") family of Tunis, to which belonged R. Samuel ha-Kohen and his son R. Judah, both rabbis of Jerusalem. In 1543 he...
TARRAGONA – Capital of the province of Tarragona, Spain; the ancient Tarraco. It was called the "City of the Jews" by Edrisi (ed. Conde, p. 64), and contained a community at an early date, as is shown by Jewish coins discovered in the...
TREVES – Family which derived its name from the Prussian city of Treves, famous for its prominentmen. No other family can boast such a continuous line of scholars as this one, branches of which have been known under the names Treves,...
USQUE – Family deriving its name from the Spanish city of Huesca (the ancient Osca; Hebr. ), where it originated, its members emigrating thence to Portugal, and finally to Italy, to escape the Inquisition.Abraham Usque: Italian printer;...
UZIEL – Family name occurring principally among the Sephardim in Spain, where it is found as early as the fifteenth century. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal, the Uziels were scattered throughout northern Africa,...
VALENCE – Chief town of the department of the Drome and former capital of the county of Valentinois in the ancient province of Dauphiné, France. Several Jewish families that had been expelled from the Comtat-Venaissin in 1323 sought...
VESPASIAN – Emperor of Rome from 69 to 79; founder of the Flavian dynasty. The defeat of Cestius Gallus convinced Nero that the Jewish uprising was a serious matter, and he transferred the command of his army to the veteran Flavius...
VIENNE – Town in the ancient province of Dauphiné, France. Jews dwelt there as early as the tenth century (Gross, "Gallia Judaica," p. 191). They lived in a special quarter, still (1905) called "the Jewry," and in the thirteenth century...
XERES (JEREZ) DE LA FRONTERA – City in the Spanish province of Cadiz. It had a Jewish community with a separate Juderia as early as the time of the Moors. When Alfonso X., the Wise, conquered the city in Oct., 1264, he assigned houses and lands to the Jews....