ʿAnan ben David
(2,595 words)

ʿAnan ben David was active in Baghdad during the reign of the city’s founder, the second Abbasid caliph, al-Manṣūr (r. 754–775). Starting in the twelfth century, Karaite historiography held that ʿAnan was an Exilarch and credited him with founding the Karaite movement in IraqIraq/Babylonia and the Karaite community in Jerusalem. Prior to the twelfth century, however, Karaites made a definite distinction between themselves and Anan. They described him as having founded the ʿAnanites (Heb. ʿananiyyim; Ar. al-ʿananiyya), one of the many religious sects in Babylonia and Persia (Iran/…

Cite this page
Yoram Erder, “ʿAnan ben David”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 20 January 2019
First published online: 2010

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