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ALATINO (Alatini ), Italian family of physicians and scholars from Spoleto (Umbria). jehiel rehabiyah (vitale) alatino was physician to Pope Julius iii (1550–55) and to the cardinal of Urbino. His half-brother, moses amram (d. 1605), a celebrated physician, translated into Latin the paraphrase by Themistius of Aristotle's lost work De Coelo (Venice, 1574) from a Hebrew manuscript, and Galen's commentary on Hippocrates' De aere, aquis et locis from Hebrew into Latin (anonymously, Paris, 1679). When the Jews were expelled from the minor centers of the papal states in 1569, Moses left Spoleto. He settled in Ferrara, and then in Venice, where he died. Moses' son azriel pethahiah (bonaiuto), also a physician, assisted his father in his later translation. In 1617 Azriel, who had remained in Ferrara after his father's departure, was compelled to conduct a public disputation there with the Jesuit Alfonso Caracciolo, in the presence of 2,000 persons. He defended the Jewish view concerning the eternity of the Jewish Law, and argued that Jesus did not fulfill the essential prerequisites of the Messiah. Azriel's account of the disputation, Vikku'aḥ al Niẓḥiyyut ha-Torah ("Debate on the Eternity of the Law"), was first published by Jarè (1875). In 1624 he was a member of a delegation sent to the papal legate in a futile attempt to prevent the establishment of a ghetto at Ferrara. He wrote Torat ha-Mukẓeh (unpublished). His views were liberal; he supported Leone *Modena's argument permitting Jews to go bareheaded. Recently, it has been suggested by scholars that Angelo Alatini, the author of the pastoral drama I Trionfi, published in Venice in 1611, was probably a member of this family, and should not be confused with the almost homonymous Angelo Alatrini, whose Italian verse translation of Hebrew liturgical texts was published in the book L'Angelica Tromba (Venice, 1628).


C. Roth, Jews in the Renaissance (1959), 82–85, 223; H. Friedenwald, Jews and Medicine (1944), index; Margulies, in: Festschrift… A. Berliner (1903). add. bibliography: M.S. Shulvass, The Jews in the World of the Renaissance (1973), 208, 291n, 319n; R.C. Melzi, "Una Commedia Rinascimentale di Angelo Alatini: I Trionfi," in: Italia, 13-15 (2001), 344–45.

[Cecil Roth]