Romano, Judah ben Moses ben Daniel

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ROMANO, JUDAH BEN MOSES BEN DANIEL (It. Leone de Ser Daniel ; 14th century), Italian philosopher and translator. Judah's contemporary, Immanuel of *Rome, wrote a poem and a composition in rhymed prose in his honor (Maḥbarot, vol. 1 (1957), no. 12, pp. 217ff.), and also praised him elsewhere in his maqāmāt and his biblical commentaries. According to information contained in manuscripts (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cod. Héb. 1079, and Budapest, Kaufmann Ms. 281), Judah prepared translations for Robert ii of Anjou, king of Naples, though this is not altogether certain. Moses *Rieti, who lived in the 15th century, reports that the king studied the Bible in the original Hebrew under Judah's guidance. Judah took pains to spread a knowledge of philosophy among the Jews, and to acquaint them in particular with the works of Christian scholars. He was the first to compare the language of Isaiah with that of Cicero. The Latin works, some of which were translations of Arabic originals, were translated by him into Hebrew for the purpose of making them known to the Jews.

As far as is known, they include the following: Pseudo – Aristotle's Liber de causis (Sefer ha-Illot; in some manuscripts also entitled Ha-Tov ha-Gamur or Pirkei ha-Elohut); Averroes' De substantia orbis (Ma'amar be-Eẓem ha-Shamayim); Thomas Aquinas' De ideologia (Ma'amar ha-Hemshelim); the treatise ascribed to Boethius, De unitate et uno (Ma'amar ha-Eḥad ve-ha-Aḥdut); some shorter works of Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Aegidius Colonna, Alexander of Alexandria and Angelo of Camerino. Judah often added his own observations and comments to his translations. He also wrote:

(1) a philosophical commentary on the story of creation in Genesis;

(2) explanatory notes on the Kaddish and Kedushah;

(3) an introduction to the prophetical books, written in a philosophic vein;

(4) Ben Porat, a commentary on the first four chapters of Maimonides' Sefer ha-Madda;

(5) a Hebrew-Italian glossary of philosophic terms;

(6) explanatory notes to various passages in the Bible. It is possible that he also wrote a commentary on the Ma'arekhet ha-Elohut of Perez ha-Kohen b. Isaac. Except for some fragments, none of Judah's translations or original works has been published.


J.B. Sermoneta, La dottrina dell'intelletto e la "fede filosofica" di Jehudàh e Immanuel Romano (1965); Zunz, Schr, 3 (1876), 155ff.; Perreau in: Jeschurun, 6 (1868), 50ff.; Steinschneider, ibid., 104; idem, Giuda Romano (1870), 3ff.; idem, Al-Farabi (1869), 114, 249; idem, Letteratura Italiana del Giudei (1876), 36; Kauffmann, Schr, 3 (1915), 427ff.; Guedemann, Gesch Erz, 2 (1884), 115, 151, 157; Vogelstein-Rieger, 1 (1896), 440–20. For bibliography of manuscripts, see catalogs of De' Rossi, Assemani, Biscioni, Neubauer, Perreau, Zotenberg, Steinschneider, Weisz, Hirschfeld, Bernheimer, and Margoliouth.

[Umberto (Moses David) Cassuto]