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Which sefer did the Ramabm author first, was it his Mishnah Torah (Yad HaChazaka) or his commentary to Mishnayos?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

The Commentary on the Mishnah came first. In his colophon at the end of it, Rambam writes that he began writing the commentary at age 23, and finished it at age 30, in the year 1479 of the "Era of Documents" (4928 since Creation, 1168 CE).

The Mishneh Torah, on the other hand, was written in the 4930s. In the introduction he says that the current year is 4937; in Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh he gives examples using the years 4930 and 4938 (chs. 9 and 11ff, respectively), and in Hilchos Shemittah VeYovel (10:4) he says that the current year is 4936.

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What event began "the age of the documents"? – Shalom Nov 28 '11 at 19:11
And when they conflict (and yes occasionally they do), the Mishneh Torah is considered his most-authoritative work. (Not to mention you're reading his original Hebrew, vs. a translation from Arabic ...) – Shalom Nov 28 '11 at 19:12
@Shalom: the "Era of Documents" (מנין שטרות) begins in 3449 since Creation (312 BCE). Jewish history gives this as the year when Alexander the Great conquered Eretz Yisrael (and met with Shimon Hatzaddik, as described in Yoma 69a); secular history calls it the Seleucid Era, and attributes it to the founding of the Seleucid empire by one of Alexander's generals. – Alex Nov 28 '11 at 19:33

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