Canpanton, Judah ben Solomon

views updated


CANPANTON, JUDAH BEN SOLOMON (14th century), ethical writer and philosopher. Very little is known about his life; only a few scattered remarks in his work, Arba'ah Kinyanim, give information about him. He was a pupil of R. *Yom Tov b. Abraham Ishbili whom he quotes extensively. His specific reference to Sefer ha-Zikkaron, a work in defense of Maimonides, as having been written by his teacher, proves that R. Yom Tov b. Abraham Ishbili is its author. It seems that Canpanton lived in Molina, at least while he wrote the book, and witnessed persecutions of the Jews in Spain (the date is unknown). He also seems to have taken part in disputations with Christians, but it has not been ascertained whether he wrote a treatise on these polemics. It has also not been established whether he belonged to the same Canpanton family as the 15th century talmudist Isaac b. Jacob *Canpanton. Arba'ah Kinyanim, his major extant work, is a philosophical and ethical treatise which has mystical and kabbalistic overtones. It is divided into four parts, each of which is designed to deal with a special subject. Canpanton, however, does not faithfully follow the structure he outlined and he discusses many subjects that are not directly related to the main theme. His sources were mostly the works of the Spanish Jewish philosophers: Abraham ibn Ezra, Maimonides, and others. He also drew on great rabbinic writers, e.g., Naḥmanides and Jonah b. Abraham Gerondi, on heikhalot literature, and it is assumed that he knew the Zohar, though he does not actually mention the work. His works, except for a few sections of Arba'ah Kinyanim (published by E.H. Golomb, 1930), have not been published. Lekaḥ Tov, which seems to be a kabbalistic treatise, has been neither published nor studied.


E.H. Golomb (ed.), Arba'ah Kinyanim, (1930).

[Joseph Dan]