Alfonsus Bonihominis°

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ALFONSUS BONIHOMINIS ° (Buenhombre ; d. 1353), Spanish Dominican, born in Cuenca or Toledo. From a stay in Morocco, where he had been imprisoned, Alfonsus claimed to have brought back the Arabic original of the De adventu Messiae, an anti-Jewish epistle allegedly written by one Samuel of Fez. He said that he had translated this text in Paris in 1339. Known as the "Epistola Samuelis Maroccani," it was later translated into several languages and widely circulated in Europe. In fact, it seems that he himself was the author, drawing largely from another tract in Arabic written by a Jewish convert to Islam, *Samau'al b. Judah ibn Abbas, probably with the intent of presenting it as a Christian rather than a Muslim polemic. Alfonsus also translated another Arabic treatise by Samuel (or possibly wrote it himself): Disputatio Abutalib Saraceni et Samuelis Judaei quae fides praecellat: christianorum, an iudeorum, an saracenorum (Ms. Madrid Nac. 4402, fol. 103–10), a disputation between a Saracen and a Jew.


A.L. Williams, Adversus Judaeos (Eng., 1935), 228–32; Loeb, in: rhr, 17 (1888), 311; M. Steinschneider, Polemische und apologetische Literatur in arabischer Sprache… (1877), 27, 187, 408; Moersseman, in: Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 10 (1940), 77ff.; Blumenkranz, in: jjs, 15 (1964), 125.

[Bernhard Blumenkranz]