For full appredation of Saadia's life and work we should know the condition of the Egyptian Jews during the ninth century; that is to say, the social and intellectual atmosphere in which the future Gaon grew up. Here again the few details at our command have not been derived from the commonly known Jewish and general sources; it has been necessary to cull them from recently unearthed, fragmentary documents. And valuable as they are, they are not direct information; they only afford a basis for certain inferences. Therefore, so far as concerns Saadia's surroundings during his formative period, we must confine ourselves to general re marks showing the points of contact between the culture and learning which we later find represented in Saadia, and the culture and learning of his immediate predecessors and con temporaries. An attcmm at a more detailed description of the various channels through which Saadia received the many-sided education that made it possible for him to be come the highest exponent of Jewish culture in the Ortent would lose itself in vague hypotheses, adventurous rather than informative.