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Type: Commentary

Gemara (Talmud)

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The main body of the page, occupying its centre and printed in formal block letters, is the Talmud, or Gemara. Both these synonymous terms derive from words meaning "study" or "learning." "Talmud" is Hebrew, whereas "Gemara" (in the present sense) is found only in the Aramaic dialect of the Babylonian Talmud.

The Talmud is composed in a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic (the latter was the spoken vernacular of Babylonian Jews). In general, formal statements by the Amora'im are formulated in Hebrew, whereas the explanations and discussions of those statements are worded in Aramaic.

The beginning of a Gemara passage, following the Mishnah passage to which it is attached, is designated by an abbreviated form of the word (GM') printed in large bold letters.



Babylonia was situated in the area that is presently occupied by Iraq and was known to the ancient Greeks as "Mesopotamia" ("Between the Rivers") The agricultural and economic lives of the populace were determined by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and the intricate network of canals emanating from them.
During most the Talmudic era, Babylonia was ruled by a Persian dynasty, the Sasanians.


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