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In the entry for Talmud Bavli/Yerushalmi in Chida's Shem Hagedolim Hashalem (c.1800, the older versions do not have this paragraph), he references a theory from maskilim of his time that the Rabbis chose the Talmud Bavli over the Talmud Yerushalmi since the Yerushalmi might have been corrupted by the early Karaites, although Chida himself strongly opposes this view:

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Do we have any other records of this suggestion, and who might have made it? In other words, who might the "maskilim haacharonim" be?

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    The fact that it’s from the Maskilim doesn’t give it very much credence, now, does it? :) – DonielF Oct 18 at 2:44
  • @DonielF unless this portion/book was written very late in Chida's life (which is possible, especially since this section only appears in later versions), it likely wasn't from "formal" maskilim. – רבות מחשבות Oct 18 at 2:50
  • This is mentioned here (see footnote 17 for citation). – Alex Oct 18 at 3:55
  • What does it mean "Rabbis chose the Talmud Bavli over the Talmud Yerushalmi"? Did we choose Shu"A over Rambam? IMHO we simply follow the latter/latest. – Al Berko Oct 18 at 8:08
  • @AlBerko: it is not clear if we chose the later talmud because it was later. Halakhah kebasra'i is only when the later authority saw the earlier one and could factor it into his decision. It's a machloqes whether the Y-mi got to Bavel by R' Ashi's day. In any case, given the authority of the ge'onim, the Babylonian mesorah was going to get primacy during those centuries either way. – Micha Berger Oct 18 at 17:12

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