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ABUN (also Abuna, Bun ), a variation of the Aramaic name "Abba," common in Palestine, France, and Spain. Several scholars and poets by this name were known in the Middle Ages, but there is little information available about them. (1) The father of a Palestinian liturgical poet, Eleazar, whose style and method are similar to those of Kallir, was called both Abun and Bun. (2) The grandfather of the Franco-German liturgical poet Simeon b. Isaac bore the name Abun, also Abuna. A native of Le Mans, France (it is conceivable that (Le) Mans is in fact a corruption of Mainz), who lived at the end of the ninth century, he may be the one to whom Solomon *Luria refers in his responsum 29 (Lublin, 1575): "R. Abun who excels in Torah, wisdom, wealth, and in all the innermost secrets, expounding every letter in 49 different ways." Some scholars identify him with Abun, a physician who was head of a school for medicine in Narbonne, some of whose disciples taught medicine in Montpellier. (3) A Spanish poet by the name Abun b. Sharada lived around the 11th century, first in Lucena and then in Seville. His poems were praised by his contemporaries as well as by later writers. Solomon ibn *Gabirol mentions him in his poems alongside *Menahem b. Saruk, *Dunash b. Labrat, and *Samuel ha-Nagid (Shirei Shelomo ibn Gabirol, ed. by Ḥ.N. Bialik and Y.H. Ravnitzky, 1 (19282), 65, no. 28). He is also mentioned in Moses *Ibn Ezra's Shirat Yisrael (ed. by B. Halper (1924), 69) and in Judah *Al-Ḥarizi's Taḥkemoni (ed. by A. Kaminka (1899), 40). From Moses Ibn Ezra it can be gathered that the poems of Abun were no longer current in his day and it seems evident that even he did not see them. (4) A Spanish scholar and philanthropist of the 12th century, to whom Moses Ibn Ezra addressed many poems and about whom he composed several lamentations on his death, calling him "Rabbana Abun," "Ha-Gevir" ("the Magnate"), and "Abun, the words of whose mouth were like a watercourse in a dry land." (5) A Spanish liturgical poet known from five poems written in the spirit and style of early paytanim of Spain. He may be the Abun b. R. Saul also known as "the pious R. Abun of Majorca."


Spiegel, in: ymḤsi, 5 (1939), 269–91; Davidson, oẒar, 4 (1933), 347.

[Abraham Meir Habermann]

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