Oldest Torah Scroll Found

Oldest Torah Scroll Found

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In the Library of the University of Bologna the oldest parchment in the world belonging to the Hebrew Pentateuch. Called "roll 2", it is made with sheepskin leather and has dimensions of 36 meters long and 64 centimeters high, housing inside the full text of the Torah.

Roll 2 was copied between the centuries XII and XIII which makes it the oldest scroll found to contain the Torah. The parchment was discovered during the preparation of a new catalog of Hebrew manuscripts by Professor Mauro Perani, belonging to the Department of Cultural Heritage of the University of Bologna.

The age of the parchment was confirmed after carbon testing carried out by the Department of Innovation Engineering at the University of Salento and the University of Illinois.

Roll 2 had not been properly cataloged by the former librarian Leonello Modona. Modona dated the parchment to the 17th century and clumsily deciphered its translation. On the contrary, Professor Perani, while examining the book for the new catalog, realized that the oriental writing belonging to the Babylonian tradition was very elegant and well written, whose graphic and textual structure, being totally atypical, must correspond to a century long before the eighteenth. The text does not take into account the rules established by Maimonides who prohibited many of the characteristics to the copyists after its codification.

Since it is not known when and how roll 2 was acquired by the Library of the University of Bologna, this arouses the interest of researchers to find its origin.

The director of the library Dr. Biancastella Antonino welcomed the Perani project. The new catalog co-written with Dr. Diacomo Corazzol will be available at the end of June 2013.

The BUB collection of Hebrew manuscripts includes the famous canon of medicine by Avicenna with fantastic miniatures that have been reproduced in a large number of books. This collection is the result of donations made by people like Ferdinando Marsili, founder of the Institute of Sciences, the naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi, and Pope Benedict XIV.

I was born in Madrid on August 27, 1988 and since then I started a work of which there is no example. Fascinated by both numbers and letters and a lover of the unknown, that is why I am a future graduate in Economics and Journalism, interested in understanding life and the forces that have shaped it. Everything is easier, more useful and more exciting if, with a look at our past, we can improve our future and for that… History.

Video: the Torah Scroll, Israel Museum, Jerusalem


  1. Shadrach

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  2. Wolf

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  3. Kaeden

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  6. Malakree

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  7. Gaynor

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