Maes, Andreas°

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MAES, ANDREAS ° (Masius; 1515?–1573), Flemish Hebraist and Orientalist. A lawyer and a diplomat, Maes spent much of his life in Italy, where he met Guillaume Postel, under whom he studied Arabic and with whom he thereafter maintained an interesting correspondence. In Venice, Maes joined the humanist circle of Daniel Bomberg and was in touch with the pioneer grammarian Elijah Levita. Maes contributed to the Antwerp polyglot Bible (1568–72), in which he published an edition of the Targums and the first printed grammar and lexicon of Syriac. His Hebrew-Greek edition of Joshua, Josuaeimperatoris historia… (Antwerp, 1574), which appeared post-humously, aroused controversy because of its independence in regard to the masoretic text. This work lists the rabbinic and kabbalistic manuscripts in Maes' library, which must have been one of the major collections of Judaica in the Renaissance. Maes was apparently a member of the heretical Flemish sect ("The Family of Charity") led by Postel, Arias Montano, and the printer Christophe Plantin. Maes opposed the papal condemnation of the Talmud and the burning of rabbinic books at Rome in 1559.


J. Perles, Beitraege zur Geschichte der hebraeischen und aramaeischen Studien (1884), index; M. Lossen (ed), Briefe von Andreas Masius und seinen Freunden, 1538 bis 1573 (1886); U. Cassuto, I Manoscritti Palatini Ebraici della Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (1935), 48, 65f.; C. Roth, The Jews in the Renaissance (1959), 149; B. Rekers, Benito Arias Montano (Dutch, 1961), index; F. Secret, in: Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, 23 (1961), 524–40; idem, Les Kabbalistes Chrétiens de la Renaissance (1964), 54–56.

[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]