The Gemara in Rosh Hashana 26a says:

ואמר רבי עקיבא כשהלכתי לאפריקי...

Rabbi Akiva said: when I went to Afriki

Is this referring to the continent of Africa?

Was Africa in this time period known by that name?

Are there any other Gemaras which talk about a trip to Africa that the Tanaim went on?

  • 1
    טט פת בלשון אפריקי Did you try a simple search for the word? cse.google.com/…
    – Double AA
    May 17, 2017 at 14:18
  • @DoubleAA bkitzur, I looked in physical indexes but not a word search May 17, 2017 at 14:30
  • The word germamia appears in the Gemara and the Vilna Gaon corrects it to say germania, in reference to Germany, so I wouldn't be surprised if Africa appeared as well.
    – ezra
    May 17, 2017 at 14:58
  • 1
    Mihi ne illud quidem accidit, ut Alexandrino atque Africano bello interessem. But I had not even the good fortune to share in the Alexandrian or African war. -- From Book 8 of Gallic Wars, by Julius Caesar
    – Chaim
    May 17, 2017 at 15:00
  • 1
    I think place names are often a hard problem.
    – Chaim
    May 17, 2017 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Yes! we definitely find this name in other Rabbinic literature. See Sanhedrin 94a. Yerushalmi Sheviis chapter 6.

Yitzchak Meitlis in the appendix to his book Excavating the Bible writes that this refers to Africa as the same story is found in the works of Procopius (Byzantine historian) where it is related that the Canaanites were afraid of Joshua Bin Nun (Girgashites according to Yerushalmi) and settled in Libya.


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