Joab the Greek

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JOAB THE GREEK (Ha-Yevani ; c. 1400), liturgical poet. His Arabic surname Shuau (Heb. שעאע) and the fact that his poems are known only from manuscripts and the printed texts of the Aleppo rite, indicate that he must have lived in the Near East, apparently in Aleppo. In a religious poem Joab expressly mentions the Jewish community of this city. The surname ha-Yevani may indicate that he was born in Greece or was the son of Greek parents. In the acrostics of his 12 poems he always introduces his Arabic surname. It is possible that he may be identical with the אבן שעאע, a fragment of whose Arabic translation of Samuel ha-Nagid's Ben Kohelet is extant.


Zunz, Lit Poesie, 517; S. Krauss, Studien zur Byzantinisch-juedischen Geschichte (1914), 139; Davidson, Oẓar, 4 (1933), 397; Margoliouth, Cat, 3 (1965), 236f.; Allony, in: Tarbiz, 17 (1945/46), 74–86; S. Poznański, in: rej, 65 (1913), 157.

[Jefim (Hayyim) Schirmann]