Biography of Abrahán Ben Hasday (s. XII-XIII)

Jewish magnate, poet and translator Spanish, probably born in Barcelona at the end of the 12th century. He/She was a member of one of the Jewish families, distinguished from the Crown of Aragon and, as such, can be included among the intellectuals of Andalusian tradition, with good training in Arabic and even Latin culture. Led, as well as his brother Judah, the title of Nasi, «Prince». As a thinker leaned resolutely on the side of Maimonides and actively participated in the controversy at the beginning of the 13th century, which called into question the work of the great philosopher. He/She tried to even convince some notable Toledo contrary to Maimonides to allow show animosity against his perplexed guide work. He/She wrote with authority to numerous Jewish and Hispanic communities calling for the punishment of those who had distinguished in the fight against the thought of Maimonides, facing the Kabbalists of Gerona and the own Nahmanides, defending anti-racionalistas postures.

He translated from Arabic to the Hebrew works of al - Gazzali, as well as others attributed to Aristotle, the «sayings of the philosophers on the elements» doctor Isaac Israeli, and some writings of Maimonides, as the «letter to the Yemen». He/She translated and reworked in Hebrew the Arabic text of the Barlaam and Josaphat, which would take the Hebrew name Ben has-melek we-have-nazir, "the King and the hermit", collection of 35 short stories or "examples" of Eastern inspiration (translated from Sanskrit into Arabic), of clear intention to didactic and moral, of the type of works that enjoyed great popularity in Christian Europe, for "the education of princes". It has been translated into catalan by T. Calders (Sabadell: AUSA, 1987).


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A. Sáenz-Badillos