The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

The Rabbinic Citation Network

This presentation explores the potential for using digital methodologies for the study of rabbinic Talmud. I will focus here on one experimental case study, a network analysis of the citation chains reported in the Bavli, a project that I have worked on with Michael Sperling. We were able to map and visualize nearly every reported citation in the Bavli. This analysis can provide insight into the social structure of the rabbinic network (along with how knowledge moved within it, particularly between Palestine and Persia) and how the rabbis transmitted their sayings. In so doing, it also raises several additional questions and avenues for further research.