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Abraham ben Solomon of Torrutiel


ABRAHAM BEN SOLOMON OF TORRUTIEL (b. 1482), chronicler. Born in Spain, after the Expulsion of 1492 he was brought to Fez by his 70-year-old father, Solomon of Torrutiel, an expert in Talmud and a pupil of R. Isaac *Canpanton. In Fez he participated actively in the life of the Jewish community. In 1510 he wrote his Hebrew chronicle, probably not preserved in its entirety. As he indicates in the introduction, his plan was to continue the Sefer ha-Kabbalah of Abraham *Ibn Daud. In the first part of his book he gives additions to that work, including some Jewish sages not enumerated by Ibn Daud. In the second part he continues the history of Jewish scholars and scholarship up to 1463, in his own time. The third section is a chronicle of Spanish kings seen from a Jewish perspective, followed by the history of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and their establishment first in Portugal and later on in Fez, until 1510.

In his introduction he speaks of his intention to include in his book the prognostications of Abraham *Zacuto. From this and other indications it has been concluded that Abraham used for his chronicle the works of Abraham Zacuto (Sefer Yuḥasin) and Joseph b. *Ẓaddik of Arévalo. Detailed analysis of the three works shows all used the same Hebrew source, consisting of a chronology of Jewish scholars and a scanty summary of a well-known Spanish world chronicle. Abraham also mentions traditions which are not found in the works of the other two authors. Particularly valuable are his notes on the fate of the Spanish exiles, based on his personal eyewitness observations. The work, first published in Neubauer's Chronicles (V. 101 ff.), has appeared in a Spanish translation by J. Bages (Granada, 1921). He seems to be also the author of a kabbalistic work, Avnei Zikkaron, translated into Spanish by F. Cantera (1928).


F. Baer, Untersuchungen ueber Quellen und Kompositionen des Schebet Jehuda (1936), 28; Roth, in: Sefarad, 9 (1949), 450. add. bibliography: A. David, Shetei Khronikot Ivriyot mi-Dor Gerush Sefarad (1979), for Joseph b. Ẓaddik of Arévalo; El libro de la cábala de Abraham ben Salomon de Torrutiel, tr. F. Cantera (1928); Y. Moreno (tr.), Dos crónicas hispanohebreas del siglo xv (1992).

[Encyclopaedia Hebraica /

Angel Saenz-Badillos (2nd ed.)]

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