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Leusden, Johannes

Index: La muerte y la brújula, Artificios, Ficciones, OC,Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1974. 502, 507.

German theologian and Hebraist, 1624-1699, author of Philologus Hebraeo-Graecus and other works

Fishburn and Hughes: A Calvinist theologian, professor of Hebrew at the university of Utrecht and one of the foremost biblical scholars of his time, who wrote several treatises on the bible and Hebrew philology. The 1739 edition of his Philologus Hebraicus, published in Basel, consists of three treatises: the Philologus Hebraeus, the Hebraeo-Graecus and the Mixtus. The 33rd dissertation mentioned by Borges is to be found in the Mixtus, and not in the Hebraeo-Graecus as alleged, and the passage is quoted almost verbatim, the original reading: 'Vel dies est sacer destinatus exercitiis sacris, qui incipit a solis occasu usque ad solis occasum diei sequentis' ('This day, which commences when the sun goes down and continues until sunset the following day, is a holy day dedicated to spiritual pursuits'). The dissertation discusses the basic difference in the division of hours or prayer times between the Jewish day, reckoned from dusk to dusk, and the Christian day reckoned from dawn to dawn. This difference, it argues, would explain a discrepancy in the account of the hour of Jesus's crucifixion as related by Mark (15:25) and John (19:14). Because the Jewish calendar is calculated on a lunar basis, its months do not run parallel to the Christian (solar) months. Thus the murders in 'Death and the Compass' should not be understood as having taken place on the fourth day of either a Christian or a Jewish month, but according to a private code existing between criminal and detective in which the beginning of the day was reckoned at dusk according to Jewish custom and the date of the month according to Christian. Death and the Compass