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Abba Mari ben Eligdor


ABBA MARI BEN ELIGDOR (Sen Astruc de Noves or de Sen Negre ; 14th century), French philosopher, astronomer, physicist, talmudist, and exegete. Born in Noves near Avignon, about 1320 he resided in Salon where Samuel b. Judah of Marseilles studied astronomy under him. In 1335 the latter mentions his teacher as still alive and very old. According to the conjecture of Perles and Gross, he is to be identified with Abba Mari of Salon, whom *Kalonymus b. Kalonymus mentions as his teacher and whose refutation of the philosophic views contained in Joseph *Kaspi's Sefer ha-Sod is quoted by Kalonymus (Responsa 5, 11, 13). Isaac b. Jacob de Lattes states in his Sha'arei Ẓiyyon that Abba Mari wrote commentaries on various tractates of the Talmud "combining interpretation of the text with halakhic decisions," as well as a commentary on the Pentateuch, an exhaustive interpretation of the Pirkei de-R. Eliezer, and various treatises on logic, metaphysics, and science. Abba Mari's commentary on Job (and on the story of the Creation), which follows the spirit of the religious-philosophical speculations of Maimonides, is extant (Mss. in Parma, De' Rossi, no. 1372, and Rome, Vatican, no. 244). A philosophical commentary on the Song of Songs (Neubauer, Cat, 1 (1886), 794, no. 2282 and Ms. Cambridge, Schiller-Szinessy, 215) may also be ascribed to Abba Mari. He may also be the author of a commentary to the "Introduction" of Euclid's Elements which is to be found at the beginning of the Ms. Munich, no. 91. Graetz's assertion that Abba Mari was arrested in Beaucaire together with Samuel b. Judah of Marseilles is based on a misunderstanding.


Michael, Or, no. 2, and Berliner's addendum, 610; Renan, Ecrivains, 548–52; Gross, Gal Jud, 380, 389–91, 655, 657; idem, in: rej, 4 (1882), 207; 9 (1884), 59; idem, in: mgwj, 28 (1879), 471; hb, 21 (1881/82), 116 ff.; Steinschneider, Uebersetzungen, 508, 543 ff.; Munk, Mélanges, 489; J. Perles (ed.), Kalonymos b. Kalonymos, Sendschreiben … (1879), 10–11; I. Lattes, Sha'arei Ẓiyyon, ed. by S. Buber (1885), 76.

[Jakob Naphtali

Hertz Simchoni]

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