LONGO, SAADIAH (first half of 16th century), poet. Born in Turkey, Saadiah lived in Salonika, where he was a member of the Hakhmei ha-Shir ("scholars of poetry"), a group of poets supported by Gedaliah ibn Yaḥya, a wealthy Salonikan. In addition to his Shivrei Luḥot (Salonika, 1594), consisting of poems of elegy and lament, he composed poems of friendship and jest in the spirit of his age. He also wrote poems of "beliefs," a type of poem which commences in a serious vein and then goes on to deal with the self-evident; they are banal and lack originality. Poems of this kind were composed in a spirit of rivalry by the poets of the group, who disagreed on the method of composition and the use of poetic conventions. The poets sharply criticized each other's work, and their criticism sometimes degenerated into personal attack. Longo's disputant in these poems was Jacob Tarfon, a local contemporary.
H. Brody, in: Minḥah le-David (1935), 205–20; A.M. Habermann, Toledot ha-Piyyut ve-ha-Shirah (1970), 232–4; ej, s.v.
[Abraham Meir Habermann]
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