Eldad ha-Dani
(400 words)

Eldad ha-Dani (Eldad the Danite) was a quasi-messianic adventurer who turned up in Qayrawān, Ifrīqiya (present-day Tunisia), apparently in 883, claiming to belong to the ancient Israelite tribe of Dan (hence “ha-Dani”). The name Eldad is scarcely found at this time; tribal identities had disappeared a thousand years earlier; and Dan was in any case one of the so-called Ten Lost Tribes taken away in the eighth century B.C.E. and disappearing from history. Thus, both name and affiliation can safely be regarded as inventions. So too the assertions that he …

Cite this page
David J. Wasserstein, “Eldad ha-Dani”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 25 April 2017
First published online: 2010



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