Chapters on Jewish Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 120 pages of information about Chapters on Jewish Literature.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Steinschneider.—­Jewish Literature, p. 75, seq., 250
  seq.

A. Neubauer.—­Introductions to Medieval Jewish Chronicles,
  Vols.  I and II (Oxford, 1882, etc.).

SELICHOTH.

Zunz.—­Sufferings of the Jews in the Middle Ages (translated by
  A. Loewy, Miscellany of the Society of Hebrew Literature,
  Vol.  I).  See also J.Q.R., VIII, pp. 78, 426, 611.

ABRAHAM IBN DAUD.

Graetz.—­III, p. 363 [373].

ABRAHAM ZACUTO.

Graetz.—­IV, pp. 366, 367, 391 [393].

ELIJAH KAPSALI.

Graetz.—­IV, p. 406 [435].

JOSEPH COHEN, USQUE, IBN VERGA.

Graetz.—­IV, p. 555 [590].

Chronicle of Joseph ben Joshua the Priest (English translation
  by Bialoblotzky.  London, 1835-6).

ELIA DELMEDIGO.

Graetz.—­IV, p. 290 [312].

DAVID GANS.

Graetz.—­IV, p. 638 [679].

GEDALIAH IBN YACHYA.

Graetz.—­IV, p. 609 [655].

AZARIAH DI ROSSI.

Graetz.—­IV, p. 614 [653].

CHAPTER XXII

ISAAC ABARBANEL

     Abarbanel’s Philosophy and Biblical Commentaries.—­Elias
     Levita.—­Zeena u-Reena.—­Moses Alshech.—­The Biur.

The career of Don Isaac Abarbanel (born in Lisbon in 1437, died in Venice in 1509) worthily closes the long services which the Jews of Spain rendered to the state and to learning.  The earlier part of his life was spent in the service of Alfonso V of Portugal.  He possessed considerable wealth, and his house, which he himself tells us was built with spacious halls, was the meeting-place of scholars, diplomatists, and men of science.  Among his other occupations, he busied himself in ransoming Jewish slaves, and obtained the co-operation of some Italian Jews in this object.

When Alfonso died, Abarbanel not only lost his post as finance minister, but was compelled to flee for his life.  He shared the fall of the Duke of Braganza, whose popularity was hateful to Alfonso’s successor.  Don Isaac escaped to Castile in 1484, and, amid the friendly smiles of the cultured Jews of Toledo, set himself to resume the literary work he had been forced to lay aside while burdened with affairs of state.  He began the compilation of commentaries on the historical books of the Bible, but he was not long left to his studies.  Ferdinand and Isabella, under the very eyes of Torquemada and the Inquisition, entrusted the finances of their kingdom to the Jew Abarbanel during the years 1484 to 1492.

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