Oldest Complete Torah Scroll Reportedly Found in Italy

University of Bologna says 850-year-old Jewish text, belonging to Babylonian tradition, was mislabeled by a librarian in 1889.

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Haaretz
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Haaretz

An Italian university has found what it claims to be the oldest complete Torah scroll known to exist, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

The scroll, which was found at the library of the University of Bologna, was believed to be no more than a few hundred years old, the report said. But recent carbon dating tests suggest it was written some 850 years ago, making it the oldest complete Torah ever found, Mauro Perani, the university's Hebrew professor said.

According to the university, the ancient text was not lost, but was mislabeled in 1889 after one of the its librarians dated it to the 17th century.

After re-examining the scroll, Perani determined it belongs to the Babylonian tradition. Perani also recognized in the writings features that were forbidden in later versions of the Torah.

A detail of the world's oldest complete scroll of the Torah.Credit: Reuters

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