Moses (ben Nethanel) Nathan

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MOSES (ben Nethanel) NATHAN

MOSES (ben Nethanel ) NATHAN (14th century), communal worker and poet. Moses, who lived in Tarrega, Catalonia, left a collection of moral parables in rhymed meter, entitled Toẓe'ot Ḥayyim, which was published in the Shetei Yadot (Venice, 1618, 142–50) of Menahem b. Judah de *Lonzano. It contains 58 sections with aphorisms on counsel, quickness, industry, humility, and other virtues. A short acrostic poem prefaces the proverbs, each word ending with a letter of his name. While the work contains no original ideas, it is composed in a clear and beautiful style. A manuscript of the book is extant in Paris (Bibliothèque Nationale, no. 1284). It is possible that its author is identical with the communal worker Moses Nathan who lived in the 14th century, known from Hebrew sources and also from Christian documents, where he is referred to as Moses Naçan (Nazan). In the takkanot issued in 1354 by the representatives of the communities of Aragon when they met in Barcelona, Moses Nathan was the first of the signatories. He may also be identical with the Mosse Açan (Azan), who wrote a poem on chess that has survived in a Castilian translation.


Schirmann, Sefarad, 2 (1956), 541–3, 697; Davidson, Oẓar, 4 (1933), 449; Baer, Urkunden, 1 (1929), 306–7, 350–9.

[Abraham David]

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Moses (ben Nethanel) Nathan

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