Simeon ben Megas Ha-Kohen

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SIMEON BEN MEGAS HA-KOHEN (sixth century?), Palestinian paytan. Though the precise period of Simeon's literary activity cannot be ascertained, certain structural elements in his piyyutim indicate that he preceded Eleazar b. *Kallir, but not *Yannai. Fragments of his work, which was evidently copious, are known only from Genizah finds. All the extant piyyutim belong to the category of kerovot. He probably composed a cycle of kedushta'ot (liturgical poems) for all the weekly portions of the Torah, in accordance with the triennial reading customs (see *Triennial Cycle) of Palestinian Jewry. Fragments of 30 such kedushta'ot are preserved in the manuscripts of the Genizah; several of his kedushta'ot for festivals have also survived. While the style and manner of his piyyutim are generally close to those of Yannai, Simeon's kedushta'ot excel in a number of unique structural details.


Zulay, in: ymḤsi, 2 (1936), 221–31; J. Schirmann, Shirim Ḥadashim min ha-Genizah (1966), 3–8.

[Ezra Fleischer]