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Ibn Ezra, Isaac (Abū Ibrāhῑm)

(463 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Born around 1045, Isaac (Abū Ibrāhῑm) ibn Ezra was the older brother of Moses ibn Ezra. He lived in Granada quite probably until the arrival of the Almoravids in 1090, when he had to leave for Lucena. He may have been married to a daughter of Samuel ibn Naghrella, according to the heading of a poem ( Shire ha-Ḥol, vol. 1, pp. 184 ff.). Another heading indicates that Moses ibn Ezra dedicated an elegy to Isaac’s daughter on her death in Cordova in 1114 (ibid., vol. 1, p. 204). Moses ibn Ezra’s ars poetica, Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara (Halkin ed., p. 76), describes Isaac as an able poet …

Ibn Qamniʾel, Joseph (Abū ʿAmr)

(365 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Almost nothing is known about Joseph ibn Qamniʾel  (Abū ʿAmr), who lived in the latter part of the eleventh century and the earlier part of the twelfth. He was a member of a distinguished family from Seville and very likely related to one of its most distinguished members, Me’ir ibn Qamniʾel. He seems to have practiced medicine. Three poems dedicated to Ibn  Qamniʾel by Moses ibn Ezra are the only source of information about him. One of these is a qaṣῑda ( Shire ha-Ḥol, vol. 1, no. 72) in which, after a prelude on wine and a fragment of complaint about the separation of friend…

Ibn Abī ʾl-ʿAysh, Moses (Abū Harūn)

(342 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Almost nothing is known about the poet Moses ibn Abī ʾl-ʿAysh. The only reference to him is made by Moses ibn Ezra in the Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara (ed. Halkin, p. 74). His name is mentioned after an excursus on memory as a notable quality of Judah ibn Balaam of Toledo, linguist and author of commentaries on almost all of the books of the Bible, who was active in the second half of the eleventh century. Ibn Abī ʾl-ʿAysh is introduced as a native of Toledo, along with Abraham (Abū Isḥāq) ibn al-Ḥarīzī, a poet dated to the beginning of the twelfth century. With this scant inf…

Ibn al-Dayyan, Abū ʿAmr

(372 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
According to Moses ibn Ezra in the Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ’l-Mudhākara (Halkin ed., p. 76), Abū ʿAmr ibn al-Dayyan lived between the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Ibn Ezra mentions him after a reference to Ibn al-Marah, a poet from Granada who lived at the end of the eleventh century, and before a passage pertaining to his brother Isaac ibn Ezra which specifies that he lived in Lucena and died in 1121. This date gives a chronological position for Ibn al Dayyan, who is stated to have been a resident of eastern al-Andalus without …

Ibn Qamni’el, Me’ir (Abū ’l Ḥasan)

(365 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Me’ir (Abū ’l Ḥasan) ibn Qamni’el, born in Saragossa, belonged to one of the foremost Jewish families of Seville. What little information there is about his life comes largely from poems dedicated to him by Judah ha-Levi. These make it evident that the two were lifelong close friends. They seem to have first met when Ibn Qamni’el was quite young, as can be deduced from an allusion in Ha-Levi’s panegyric Lo’ He’emin Amun ( Dîwân, vol. 1, pp. 127 ff.). The poem begins with a harsh satire of the leading families of Seville Jewry that juxtaposes their ignorance with Ibn …

Abū ʾl-Rabīʿ ben Barukh

(388 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Nothing is known about the life and work of Abū ʾl-Rabīʿ ben Barukh, mentioned by Moses Ibn Ezra in the Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara as a poet from Lucena (Cordova). A contemporary of the scholars and men of letters connected to this city by birth or training from the middle of the eleventh century, he must have been one of the group of authors who made this enclave a prestigious center of Jewish cultural and religious life. His name is mentioned along with two other poets, Isaac ibn Lev and Abraham ibn Ḥayyāt, both from Granada and without known writings. Abū ʾl-Rabīʿ ben Barukh belonged…

Ibn Muhājir, Ohev ben Me'ir ha-Nasi

(416 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
The little-known author Ohev ben Me’ir ha-Nasi ibn Muhājir is mentioned in only one source known today, the Sefer ha-Qabbala of Abraham Ibn Da'ud, who mentions him as one of the most outstanding personalities of the era of splendor for the Jews of al-Andalus that began in the time of Samuel ibn Naghrella. Ohev is named alongside the great poets Solomon ibn Gabirol, Judah ibn Ghiyyāth, and Moses ibn Ezra, to whose generation he probably belonged. The important place given him in Ibn Da’ud’s work contrasts sharply w…

Ibn Mori’el, Samuel

(336 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
There is very little information about Samuel Ibn Mori’el, a Jewish dignitary who lived in al-Andalus, probably in Cordova, between the eleventh and twelfth centuries. He was acquainted with Judah ha-Levi, who dedicated at least three poems to him. These compositions, to which we owe the scant information we have about Ibn Mori’el, reveal that there was a notable age difference between the two, Ha-Levi being the elder. A significant allusion is made to this in the long prelude to one of the poems Ha-Levi wrote in his honor ( Dîwân, I, pp. 129–131). In this introduction, the poet make…

Ibn Ṣaddīq, Joseph (Abū ʿAmr) ben Jacob

(748 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
The poet, philosopher, and distinguished talmudist  Joseph (Abū ʿAmr)  Ibn Ṣaddīq was born around 1075, probably in Cordova. According to the Sefer ha-Qabbala by Abraham Ibn Daʾud, he was a dayyan in the rabbinical court there from 1138 until 1149, the year of his death. According to the same source, his father, Jacob, was also a learned scholar. Moses Ibn Ezra includes Ibn Ṣaddīq in his ars poetica, Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara (p. 79), as one of the most outstanding members of his generation and expressly praises his affable nature, poetic gifts, and wisdom.…

Ibn al-Rabῑb, Abraham (Abū Isḥāq)

(359 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
The poet  Abraham (Abū Isḥāq) Ibn al-Rabῑb, a contemporary and friend of Judah ha-Levi, lived in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in al-Andalus, although, according to some scholars, it may not have been his birthplace. Only one incomplete poem remains of his opus (Schirmann 1966, p. 218): the first ten verses of an elegy written in honor of members of the Ibn Muhājir clan, an important family in Seville to which he was related by his marriage to the daughter of Isaac ibn Muhājir, leader of the Jewish community there. This union served as the motive for the three  poems that Judah ha-Levi d…

Ibn Ghiyyāth (Ibn Ghayyāth), Judah (Abū Zakariyyā)

(478 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Judah Ibn Ghiyyāth, the son of Isaac Ibn Ghiyyāth, the famed maestro of Lucena, lived at the beginning of the twelfth century (ca. 1110). Connected to Granada, where he lived for a long time, he was a notable member of the Jewish elite of al-Andalus, as seen in the works addressed to him. There is no evidence confirming the suggestion that he was the father of the poet Solomon Ibn Ghiyyāth. Judah Ibn Ghiyyāth wrote at least a dozen poems edited mainly by Schirmann (1936, pp. 186-194; 1946, p. 228). These include liturgical pieces, such as seliḥot (penitential poems) and a beautiful and original ah…

Ha-Kohen ben Al-Mudarram

(387 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Ha-Kohen ben al-Mudarram was an Andalusian Hebrew poet and grammarian. According to Moses ibn Ezra in his work on the art of poetry, Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara (p. 58), Ben al-Mudarram was a scholar related to the first generation of Hebrew authors of the tenth century. He was specifically included in a second group that sprang up within the first group and that followed and overtook the prose writers, poets, and other writers who came before them. He is mentioned after Isaac ibn Qapron, disciple of Menaḥem ibn Sa…

Samuel ben Hananiah

(409 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Almost nothing is known about Samuel ben Hananiah, who lived in al-Andalus in the eleventh century, possibly in the second half. The only information about him is from Moses ibn Ezra, who states in Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa 'l-Mudhākara (p. 72 ) that he was a contemporary of Isaac Ibn Ghiyyāth, the renowned religious scholar and poet from Lucena, which may indicate that Samuel ben Hananiah was connected to this important center of Jewish life and culture, although there is no confirming evidence. Ibn Ezra describes him as virtuous, devout,…

Ibn Muhājir, Abū Sulaymān David (?)

(463 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Abū Sulaymān (David?) ibn Muhājir was a member of the illustrious Ibn Muhājir family of Seville, linked to this city at least from the middle of the eleventh century. In the Romance language, his family is called Ibn Shortmeqash or Shartamiqash. Nothing is known about his degree of relationship with the better-known members of the family, like the brothers Abraham Ibn Muhājir, Joseph, and Isaac, outstanding leaders of Andalusian communities and linked to the court of the Abbadid taifa ruler al-Muʿtamid. It has been suggested that he could have been their grandfather and the father of Me’ir…

Ibn Eleazar, Ezra (Abū ʾl-Ḥasan)

(389 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Ezra (Abū ’l-Ḥasan) ibn Eleazar was an Andalusian poet of the late eleventh to twelfth century mentioned as an older contemporary by Moses ibn Ezra in his ars poetica, Kitāb al-Muhāḍara wa ’l-Mudhākara (Halkin ed., p. 76). The text offers no details about Ibn Eleazar’s life or activity beyond the fact that he was a poet. It was once suggested that he was the recipient of a poem by Moses ibn Ezra dedicated to one “Ibn Eleazar” ( Shire ha-Ḥol, no. 63), but this notion has been discarded. New manuscripts as well as the content of the poem, a brief composition praising a book …

Ibn Ezra, Isaac (Abū Saʿῑd ) ben Abraham ben Meʾir

(706 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Isaac (Abū Saʿῑd ) ibn Ezra, the son of the poet and exegete Abraham Ibn Ezra, was born in Cordova at the beginning of the twelfth century, but not before 1109. He lived for a time in Seville, where he apparently began his friendship with the merchant and friend of scholars and literati, Ḥalfon ben Nathanel, and later in Almeria. It was once thought that he might have married a daughter of Judah ha-Levi while in al-Andalus, but this now seems very unlikely (Scheindlin 2008, p. 268). Thanks to documents from the Cairo Geniza, it is known that in 11…

Ibn Ghiyyāth (Ibn Ghayyāth), Solomon ben Judah

(422 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Solomon Ibn Ghiyyāth (fl. 12th century) was one of the authors and friends with whom Judah ha-Levi exchanged poetry. The fruit of this poetic exchange was an extensive monorhythmic composition ( Dîwân I, p. 137) in response to a poem, not preserved, by Ibn Ghiyyāth. As was common between poets at that time, ha-Levi sent his verses accompanied by a letter in rhymed prose ( Dîwân II, p. 329). The poem, a formally quite elaborate qaṣῑda (ode), consists of a long prelude (Ar. nasīb) using traditional motifs from Arabic poetry (pangs of love and sleeplessness, the remnants or trace…

Ibn Matqa, Joseph (Abū ʿUmar)

(368 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Joseph (Abū ʿUmar) ibn Matqa was a poet in twelfth-century al-Andalus. Nothing is known about his life, and we are aware of him only thanks to his poetic correspondence with Judah ha-Levi. The latter’s dīwān preserves a short poem addressed to him by Joseph ibn Matqa and included by Brody in the notes to his edition of Ha-Levi’s secular poetry ( Dîwân, I, p. 182). According to the heading, the poem was written by Abū ʿUmar ibn Matqa; it consists of two pessimistic verses. The poem with which Judah ha-Levi responded to his friend has not been identified with any certainty. The h…

Abun ben Sherara

(426 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Abun ben Sherara is known only from Moses Ibn Ezra’s Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara (fol. 36). According to the information it provides, he was a poet who was active in the second half of the eleventh century, a native or resident of Lucena who later settled in Seville. Why he left Lucena, a flourishing center of Jewish culture that brought together the most renowned poets and teachers of the time, is unknown. It has been suggested that, like other Jewish contemporaries, he moved to Seville because this large urban center offered greater poss…

Ibn Azhar, Eleazar (Abū ʾl-Fatḥ) ben Naḥman

(389 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
According to his somewhat older contemporary Moses ibn Ezra in the Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara (Halkin ed., p. 74), Eleazar (Abū ʾl-Fatḥ) ben Naḥman ibn Azhar lived during the eleventh century in Seville. Some scholars think that Seville was his birthplace, but others propose Granada. Ibn Azhar is mentioned with Abū Sulayman ibn Muhājir, a member of one of the noblest Jewish families in Seville. Both are described as poets and as authorities in certain branches of learning who belonged to the circle of intellectuals that made Seville a center of Jewish culture after the decl…

Ibn Jaw, Barukh

(431 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Nothing is known of the life and work of Barukh ibn Jaw, whose name is preserved in the heading of a poem of friendship dedicated to him by Abraham ibn Ezra ( Diwân 1886, pp. 85 f.). This circumstance makes it possible to position him chronologically in the latter part of the eleventh century and the first decades of the twelfth. It has been suggested ( Schirmann 1997, p. 17), but cannot be corroborated, that he was a descendant of an Ibn Jaw family known to have lived in Cordova since the tenth century. A member of this family, Jacob ibn Jaw, succeeded Ḥasday ibn Shapruṭ as nasi of the Jews of al-Andalus…

Abraham ben Isaac of Granada

(319 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Abraham ben Isaac of Granada probably lived in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, but there is no conclusive support for this dating, and nothing is known about his life. His name is cited in the introduction to the long commentary on the Sefer Yeṣira by Moses ben Isaac Botarel, a kabbalist with messianic pretensions who lived in Spain and France at the end of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth century. Botarel mentions a Hebrew work entitled Sefer ha-Berit (Book of the Covenant) and attributes it to an author named Abraham ben Isaac of Granada. The work has …

Abun (of Granada)

(380 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Lack of information and the existence of several writers of the same name make it difficult to identify Abun of Granada. None of his works has been preserved. He does not seem to be the tenth-century Abun cited by al-Ḥarīzī in the Taḥkemoni (chap. 3) or the Abun ben Sherara, a resident of Granada in the second half of the eleventh century, mentioned in the Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara (ed. Halkin, p. 66). Based on the poems that Moses Ibn Ezra dedicated to him in his dīwān, Abun of Granada was probably a judge, connected by birth or residence to the city of Granada, and a me…

Ibn Mar Saul, Levi ben Isaac

(403 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
According to Moses ibn Ezra ( Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara; Halkin ed., p. 66), Levi ben Isaac ibn Mar Saul was a native of Cordova, where he seems to have lived until 1013. The civil war known as the Fitna that occurred in al-Andalus at that time led him to leave his home and settle in Tortosa, an important nucleus of Jewish culture. He was probably the son of the Lucena poet and philologist Isaac ibn Mar Saul, although no sources confirm this hypothesis. Levi ben Isaac is cited as an author of panegyrics in the Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara alongside Joseph ibn Qaprel from Cordova, w…

Ibn Migash, Me´ir (Abū Yūsuf)

(431 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
According to Moses Ibn Ezra's Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa 'l-Mudhākara (Halkin ed., p. 76), Me'ir Ibn Migash was born in Granada in the eleventh century and later settled in Seville. He is mentioned alongside Judah Ibn Mar Abbun, also from Seville, a poet and friend of Judah ha-Levi, with whom he exchanged some compositions. Thanks to Abraham ibn Da'ud ( Sefer ha-Qabbalah, p. 63), the circumstances of his leaving Granada are known. When Ḥabbūs, the ruler of the Zirid Berber kingdom, died without designating a crown prince, Ibn Migash, along with other Jewish notables like …

Ibn Qapron, Isaac

(684 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
There is little biographical information about Isaac ibn Qapron, a grammarian and poet of the second half of the tenth century in al-Andalus during the Umayyad caliphate. According to the Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa 'l-Mudhākara (p. 58) of Moses Ibn Ezra, he was a member of an important family and a native of Cordova, the center of Jewish life and Hebrew cultural activity during the reign of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III. The meaning of his surname in Latin and Romance (goat) was used in wordplays by his adversaries, especially Yehudi Ibn Sheshet, to ridicule and insult him. Ibn Qapron was actively involve…

David (Abū ʾl-Ḥasan) ben al-Dayyan

(362 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Almost nothing is known about David (Abū ʾl-Ḥasan) ben al-Dayyan, who lived during one of the most fecund periods of Hebrew culture in al-Andalus (11th-12th century). We have no information about his profession, and nothing to suggest that he himself wrote poetry, as did so many distinguished Jews of the era. He probably belonged to the same family as Abū ʿAmr ibn al-Dayyan, mentioned by Moses ibn Ezra in his Kitāb al-Muhāḍara wa ’l-Mudhākara as an inhabitant of eastern al-Andalus (Halkin ed., p. 76). David was a member of the wide circle of friends of Judah ha-Levi and the addressee of t…

Judah (Abū Zakariyyā) ben Ḥanigā

(365 words)

Author(s): Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio
Judah (Abū Zakariyyā) ben Ḥanigā lived in al-Andalus between the tenth and eleventh centuries. He is mentioned by Moses ibn Ezra in his Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara (Abumalham ed., p. 31) along with Abū ʿAmr ibn Yaqwā. Both are included among the authors from Cordova who followed in the footsteps of Isaac ibn Qapron and Ha-Kohen ben al-Mudarram, second-generation poets and grammarians. All of them belonged to the group of Hebrew intellectuals who contributed to making the city the center of Jewish life in Islamic Spain. In addition to this succinct reference, Judah ben Ḥanig…
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