Lattes, Bonet

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LATTES, BONET (Jacob b. Emanuel Provenzale ; 15th–16th century), rabbi, astronomer, and physician. He was born in southern France, possibly Marseilles. By 1498 he was living in Rome where he acted as rabbi and dayyan of the community with the approval of the papal court. A believer in astrology, as was typical among Renaissance scientists, Lattes published annually (1493–98) a prognosticon in which he tried to predict the immediate future. He foretold the coming of the Messiah in 1505. While still in France, he had invented a "ring" astrolabe which could be worn on the finger. This astrolabe he described in a Latin tractate Annuli per eum Compositi super Astrologiam… (Rome, c. 1493), frequently republished. Lattes served as physician to Pope Alexander vi and his successors. In 1513 the Christian humanist Johannes *Reuchlin asked Lattes to use his influence with Pope Leo x to help him during his controversy with the Dominicans.


Milano, Ghetto di Roma (1964), 67–68, 419; Vogelstein-Rieger, 2 (1896), 35, 83; C. Roth, Jews in the Renaissance (1959), 162, 210, 232–4; J.R. Marcus, The Jew in the Medieval World (1938), 159–164.

[Daniel Carpi]