Modena, Avtalyon

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MODENA, AVTALYON (da; 1529–1611), Italian scholar, and son of Mordecai (Angelo da) Modena, the eminent physician. After studying in Padua, Avtalyon settled in Ferrara, where he became noted as a talmudist and scholar; Azariah dei *Rossi mentions him with deference in his Me'or Einayim. He took part in the famous controversy on the ritual propriety of the mikveh constructed at *Rovigo. When the papal attack on Jewish literature was renewed in 1581, he went to Rome as delegate of the Italian Jewish communities and is said to have made a two-hour oration in Latin before the assembled Curia, as the result of which the edict was modified. He was known also as a writer of verse. Letters addressed to him are preserved among the correspondence of his nephew, Leone *Modena.


L. Blau, Leo Modenas Briefe und Schriftstuecke… (1905), 41, 81 (Heb.); Ghirondi-Neppi, 26–29.

[Cecil Roth]