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Encyclopedia > Samuel ben Judah ibn Tibbon

Samuel ben Judah ibn Tibbon, more commonly known as Samuel ibn Tibbon, was a Jewish philosopher and doctor. He was born about 1150 in Lunel (Languedoc), and died about 1230 in Marseilles. He is best known for his translations of Jewish rabbinic literature from Arabic to Hebrew. Ibn Tibbon (or ibn Tibbon), is a family of Jewish rabbis and translators that lived principally in southern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. ... Jews (Hebrew: יהודים, Yehudim) are followers of Judaism or, more generally, members of the Jewish people (also known as the Jewish nation, or the Children of Israel), an ethno-religious group descended from the ancient Israelites and converts who joined their religion. ... Events Åhus, Sweden gains city privileges City of Airdrie, Scotland founded King Sverker I of Sweden is deposed and succeeded by Eric IX of Sweden. ... Lunel is a commune of the Hérault département, in southern France. ... Coat of arms of the province of Languedoc, now being used as an official flag by the Midi-Pyrénees region as well as by the city of Toulouse Languedoc (Lengadòc in Occitan) is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc... Events Kingdom of Leon unites with the Kingdom of Castile. ... Rabbinic literature, in the broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of Judaisms rabbinic writing/s throughout history. ... The Arabic language (Arabic: ‎ translit: ), or simply Arabic (Arabic: ‎ translit: ), is the largest member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family (classification: South Central Semitic) and is closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ... Hebrew (עִבְרִית ‘Ivrit) is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by more than seven million people in Israel with the West Bank, the United States, and Jewish communities around the world. ...

Contents


Biography

He received from his father and other teachers in Lunel an education in Jewish rabbinic literature, medicine, Arabic and the secular knowledge of his age. Later he lived in several cities of southern France (1199 in Béziers, 1204 in Arles) and traveled to Barcelona, Toledo, and even to Alexandria (1210-1213). Finally he settled in Marseilles. After his death, his body was transported to the Land of Israel, and he is buried in Tiberias. Rabbinic literature, in the broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of Judaisms rabbinic writing/s throughout history. ... Béziers (Besièrs in Occitan, and Besiers in Catalan) is a town in Languedoc, in the southwest of France. ... Map of western Mediterranean, showing location of Arles Arles (Arle in Provençal) is a city in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône département, of which it is a sous-préfecture, in the former province of Provence. ... Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia, an autonomous region in Spain. ... Location of Toledo in Spain Toledo is a city and municipality located in central Spain, the capital of the province of Toledo and of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. ... This article needs to be updated. ... This article concerns the concept of The Land of Israel (Hebrew: ארץ ישראל Eretz Yisrael) in Jewish and Christian thought throughout the history from its Biblical sources to the present day. ... Tiberias in 1862, the ruins reminiscent of its ancient heritage. ...


Original writings

He composed in 1213, on shipboard, when returning from Alexandria, Biur meha-Millot ha-Zarot, an explanation of the philosophical terms of Guide for the Perplexed by Maimonides. Not to be confused with E.F._Schumachers similiarly titled 20th Century philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed (Hebrew: Moreh Nevuchim) is one of the major works of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides, or the Rambam. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Moshe ben Maimon (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher. ...


When finishing his Hebrew translation of the Guide (which was originally in Arabic), he wrote an alphabetical glossary of the foreign words that he had used in his translation. In the introduction to the glossary he divides these words into five classes:

  1. Words taken mainly from the Arabic;
  2. Rare words occurring in the Mishnah and in the Gemara;
  3. Hebrew verbs and adjectives derived from substantives by analogy with the Arabic;
  4. Homonyms, used with special meanings; and
  5. Words to which new meanings were given by analogy with the Arabic.

He gives also a list of corrections which he desired to be made in the copies of his translation of the "Guide". The glossary gives not only a short explanation of each word and its origin, but also in many cases a scientific definition with examples.


Samuel wrote a commentary on the whole Bible, but only the following portions are known:

  • Ma'amar Yikkawu ha-Mayim, a philosophical treatise in twenty-two chapters on Gen. i. 9. It deals with physical and metaphysical subjects, interpreting in an allegoric-philosophical manner the Bible verses cited by the author. At the end of the treatise the author says that he was led to write it through the propagation of philosophy among Gentiles and the ignorance of his coreligionists in philosophical matters.
  • A philosophical commentary on Ecclesiastes, quoted by Samuel in the foregoing work (p. 175), and of which several manuscripts are extant.
  • A commentary on the Song of Solomon. Quotations from this work are found in his commentary on Ecclesiastes; in Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 1649, 2, fol. 21; and in his son's commentary on the Song of Solomon. These make it evident that he really composed this work; but its contents are unknown.

Samuel ibn Tibbon was an enthusiastic adherent of Maimonides and his allegorical interpretation of the Bible; he held that many Bible narratives are to be considered simply as parables ("meshalim") and the religious laws merely as guides ("hanhagot") to a higher, spiritual life. Such statements, not peculiar in his age, aroused the wrath of the adherents of the literal interpretation of the Bible, the anti-Maimonidean party (see Maimonides for more details). Ecclesiastes, Kohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ... Song of Solomon is also the title of a novel by Toni Morrison. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Moshe ben Maimon (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher. ...


Translations

Samuel's reputation is based not on his original writings, however, but on his translations, especially on that of Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed in 1190 (the Hebrew translation is Moreh Nevukhim). His opponents satirically changed the title into "Nevukhat ha-Morim", or "Perplexity of the Rebelious". Not to be confused with E.F._Schumachers similiarly titled 20th Century philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed (Hebrew: Moreh Nevuchim) is one of the major works of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides, or the Rambam. ... Events March 16 - Massacre and mass-suicide of the Jews of York, England prompted by Crusaders and Richard Malebys kill 150-500 Jews in Cliffords Tower June 10 - Third Crusade: Frederick I Barbarossa drowned in the Saleph River while leading an army to Jerusalem. ...


Before finishing this difficult work, Samuel consulted Maimonides several times by letter regarding some difficult passages. Maimonides' answers, some of which were written in Arabic and were later on translated into Hebrew, perhaps by Samuel himself, praise the translator's ability and acknowledge his command of Arabic, a skill very surprising in a country like France. After having given some general rules for translation from the Arabic into Hebrew, Maimonides explains the doubtful passages, which he renders into the latter language.


Samuel ibn Tibbon's translation is preceded by an introduction. As the motive for his undertaking he mentions that the scholars of Lunel asked him for a translation of the "Moreh". As aids in his work he indicates the Hebrew translation by his father (whom he calls "the Father of the Translators"), works on the Arabic language, and the Arabic writings in his own library. Samuel also wrote an index to the Biblical verses quoted in the "Moreh".


Characteristics of his works

The distinction of Samuel's translation is its accuracy and faithfulness to the original. Whether one approves or disapproves his introduction of a number of Arabic words into Hebrew, and the fact that, by analogy with the Arabic, he gives to certain Hebrew words meanings different from the accepted ones, the magnitude of his work can not be questioned.


Especially admirable is the skill with which he reproduces in Hebrew the abstract ideas of Maimonides, which is essentially a language of a people expressing concrete ideas.


When the struggle between the Maimonists and anti-Maimonists arose, Samuel did not escape reproach for having spread the ideas of Maimonides, his chief accuser being Judah al-Fakhkhar.


Samuel also translated the following works of Maimonides:

  1. A treatise on Resurrection under the Hebrew title "Iggeret" or "Ma'amar Tehhiyath ha-Metim";
  2. Mishnah commentary on Pirkei Avoth, including the psychological introduction, entitled "Shemonah Perakim" (the Eight Chapters);
  3. Maimonides' "Thirteen articles of faith" (originally part of his Mishnah commentary on tractate Sanhedrin, 10th chapter)
  4. A letter to his pupil Joseph ibn 'Aḳnin,

Samuel also translated the following writings of other Arabic authors: The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... Pirkei Avoth (Hebrew: Chapters of the Fathers, פרקי אבות ) or simply Avoth is a tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis of the Mishnaic period. ... For the tractate in the Mishnah, see Sanhedrin (tractate). ...

  1. 'Ali ibn Ridwan's commentary on the "Ars Parva" of Galen (according to Paris MS. 1114), finished in 1199 in Béziers (Steinschneider, "Hebraeische Uebersetzung" p. 734).
  2. Three smaller treatises of Averroes, under the title "Sheloshah Ma'amarim" (edited by J. Herez, with German translation: "Drei Abhandlungen über die Conjunction des Separaten Intellects mit den Menschen von Averroes, aus dem Arabischen Uebersetzt von Samuel ibn Tibbon," Berlin, 1869). Samuel translated these three treatises both as an appendix to his commentary on Ecclesiastes (see above) and separately (Steinschneider, ibid p. 199).
  3. Yachya ibn Batrik's Arabic translation of Aristotle's "Meteora," under the title "Otot ha-Shamayim" (also quoted under the title "Otot 'Elyonot"), translated on a voyage from Alexandria, between the two islands Lampedosa and Pantellaria. It is extant in several manuscripts. The preface and the beginning of the text have been printed by Filipowski (c. 1860) as a specimen. Samuel made this translation, at the request of Joseph ben Israel of Toledo, from a single and bad Arabic translation of Batrik (Steinschneider, ibid p. 132.).

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Ibn Tibbon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1447 words)
Ibn Tibbon (or ibn Tibbon), is a family of Jewish rabbis and translators that lived principally in southern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
He induced his relative Jacob ben Machir ibn Tibbon to support the Maimonidean party by pointing out that the anti-Maimonideans were the opponents of his grandfather Samuel ibn Tibbon and of the son-in-law of the latter, Jacob ben Abba Mari ben Samson ben Anatoli.
Samuel ibn Tibbon, who at that time was probably living at Marseille, contested the legality of the marriage to Isaac ben Isaac, saying that he had made Bionguda his legal wife while she was still living at Naples.
Samuel ben Judah ibn Tibbon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1060 words)
Samuel ben Judah ibn Tibbon, more commonly known as Samuel ibn Tibbon, was a Jewish philosopher and doctor.
Samuel ibn Tibbon was an enthusiastic adherent of Maimonides and his allegorical interpretation of the Bible; he held that many Bible narratives are to be considered simply as parables ("meshalim") and the religious laws merely as guides ("hanhagot") to a higher, spiritual life.
Samuel's reputation is based not on his original writings, however, but on his translations, especially on that of Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed in 1190 (the Hebrew translation is Moreh Nevukhim).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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