Marini, Shabbethai Ḥayyim

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MARINI, SHABBETHAI ḤAYYIM (Vita ; c. 1690–1748), rabbi, poet, and physician. Born in Padua, Marini studied there under Isaac Ḥayyim Cohen de *Cantarini, whom he succeeded in the rabbinate of the town. Marini was renowned for his sermons which fascinated not only members of the Jewish community but many educated Christians as well. He was also held in high esteem as a physician.

Marini's main work is a Hebrew translation of the first three books of Ovid's Metamorphoses, based on the Italian paraphrase by Giovanni Andrea dell' Anguillara. Originally Marini planned a joint translation with Isaiah *Bassano. Marini, however, completed the translation alone, and it is not certain whether Bassano's 100 octaves are included in Marini's 850. The translation, entitled "Shirei ha-Ḥalifot le-Oved," was to have been published in Mantua, but Marini died when only one sheet had been printed. The original manuscript of the translation is in the municipal library in Mantua (Ms. 77 Comunità Israelitica). Others are: Parma, de Rossi, Ms. 1110 Budapest, Kaufmann Ms. 547; British Museum, Ms. Add, 26916, Vienna, Ms. 91. A longer excerpt of the translation was published in S.D. Luzzatto's letters.

Marini also wrote numerous poems for special occasions, including an elegy on the death of his teacher Cantarini and a wedding poem which could be read either as Italian or as Hebrew. The Mantua and the Vienna manuscripts of the Ovid translation contain 34 of Marini's poems (mostly sonnets), and a fragment of his poetic paraphrase of *Pirkei Avot. Isaiah Romanin wrote an elegy on Marini's death (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Mich. 439, fol. 376).


G.B. De' Rossi, Dizionario Storico degli Autori Ebrei, 2 (Parma, 1802), s.v. 39f.; Fuerst, in: Literaturblatt des Orients, 1 (1840), 124; Ghirondi-Neppi, 342–4; S.D. Luzzatto, Iggerot Shadal, 3 (1882), 394f., 404, 416, 419; Steinschneider, in: Vessillo Israelitico, 27 (1879), 3ff.; 28 (1880), 149; Schirmann, Italyah, 389–94.

[Jefim (Hayyim) Schirmann]