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Afia, Aaron


AFIA, AARON (16th century), Sephardi physician and philosopher in practice in Salonika. With wide linguistic and scientific knowledge, he collaborated in the Hebrew translation by *Daniel b. Perahyah of the "Perpetual Almanac" of Abraham *Zacuto (Salonika, 1543), and in Moses *Almosnino's still unpublished version of the "Treatise on the Sphere" by Johannes de Sacrobosco and other works. His own treatise on the nature of the soul (Opiniones sacadas de los philosophos sobre la alma…) was appended to Los dialogos de Amor (Venice, 1568), the Spanish translation of Judah *Abrabanel's (Leone Ebreo) "Dialogues of Love." Afia was friendly with the great physician *Amatus Lusitanus, who records (Centuria 7, 24th cure) how they discussed together with a colleague recently arrived from Portugal the source of laughter, which Afia, following Aristotle, placed in the heart. Afia is a remarkable exemplification of the fashion in which European culture in its broadest sense continued to flourish for a time among the descendants of the exiles from Spain.


Steinschneider, Uebersetzungen, 645; Neubauer, Cat, 1 (1886), 699; Rosanes, Togarmah, 2 (1938), 105–7; H. Friedenwald, Jews and Medicine, 2 (1944), 707; J. Nehama, Histoire des Israélites de Salonique, 4 (1936), 159.

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