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Ibn Danan (Dannan), Saadiah ben Maimun


IBN DANAN (Dannan), SAADIAH BEN MAIMUN (second half of 15th century), grammarian, philosopher, poet, and halakhist. He lived first in Granada, where he functioned as dayyan, and later, after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, in Oran (Algeria) where he died. Ibn Danan's responsa include one on the status of the Marranos (Edelman, Ḥemdah Genuzah (1856), 13a–16b), and Ma'amar al Seder ha-Dorot ("Treatise on the Order of the Generations"), listing a chronology of the Jewish kings (ibid., 25a–31a). His Al-Ḍarūri fial-Lugha al-ʿIbrāniyya ("The Necessary [Rule] of the Hebrew Language") contained a chapter on Hebrew prosody and was the first attempt at comparing the Hebrew meter with the Arabic. It was written in Arabic, and a part was translated by the author himself into Hebrew at the request of his pupils (published by A. Neubauer, in: Melekhet ha-Shir (1865), 1–18). Ibn Danan also wrote a talmudical lexicon called Arukh (in manuscript); several poems (e.g., one in honor of Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed); a Hebrew dictionary in Arabic; and a commentary on Isaiah 53.


Steinschneider, Arab Lit, 172, no. 139; Halper, in: jqr, 4 (1913/14), 153–224; Schirmann, Sefarad, 2 (1956), 665–6, 700; N. Slouchz, in: Sura, Sefer Shanah Yisre'eli Amerika'i, 3 (1958), 183–91.

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