Biography of Abrahán ibn Daud (ca.1110-1180)

Jewish philosopher, born in Córdoba under the Almoravids. In his formative years became familiar with Greek philosophy in Arabic version. Faced with the Almohad advance, he fled to Castile and settled in Toledo (towards 1148), where he developed most of his activity, until his death. Attempted to identify him with one of the translators of the toledan school in time of the Archbishop Don Raimundo (Avendaut), but there isn't enough data to fully test it. It highlighted as apologetic historian and one of the first Jewish philosophers who try to make the synthesis between faith and Aristotelian thought. For it is given a fundamental coincidence between the revealed faith and reason; faith can only fully understood from the categories of philosophy. His philosophical demonstrations are always substantiated with biblical quotes interpreted in literal sense or, when necessary, in allegorical sense.

In 1160-1 written in Hebrew his fundamental work, the Sefer has-qabbalah, "Book of tradition" (Spanish translation by L. Ferre. Barcelona: Riopiedras, 1990), exposing the transmission of the tradition in Judaism and rejecting the teachings of the Karaites. Stops in a particular way in the history of continuer, Spanish Judaism's most faithfully transmitted doctrines: the Jews of al - Andalus, and in particular, of Toledo, are entitled against the Karaites to serve as a spiritual guide of the communities of the time, as the most reliable tradition bearers. The historical work of Ibn Daud includes also other parties, less important and worst known: Zikron dibre Romi, «Chronicles of Rome», defending the New Testament writings not collected the teachings of Jesus, but that they are Constantinian coinage, and "Dibre malke.. .israel b?-bayit seni", "The history of the Kings of Israel during the second temple", against the Sadducees, the Karaites precursors.

In philosophy, Ibn Daud separates neoplatonic line which, until then, had dominated the Jewish thought of al - Andalus, and follows Aristotelianism flows through the version that ran between the philosophers of the Arabs, as it will some time later Maimonides. In his work in Arabic «Sublime faith», Ibn Daud defends the total agreement between the Torah and human reason, stressing that in writing is implicitly what other peoples have acquired after many centuries of efforts by the way of reason. God is the first, necessarily existing engine, and we know only his negative attributes, there is no contradiction between Divine omnipotence and freedom and responsibility of man, the rational soul is immortal and comes to knowledge thanks to the agent intellect, prophecy is the highest degree of union of human understanding and the agent intellect, his ethics combines neoplatonic and Aristotelian elements. His works on astronomy or an anticaraita controversial treaty have not been preserved.


BERTOLA, e. "philosophy e Religione in Abraham ibn David ha-Levi". (Sefarad, 50, 1980, 283-307).

SÁENZ-BADILLOS, A. Hebrew literature in medieval Spain. (Madrid: Fundación Amigos de Sefarad, 1991).

SÁENZ-BADILLOS, TARGARONA, J. Dictionary of Jewish authors (Sefarad. 10th - 15th centuries). (Córdoba: El Almendro, 1990).