Torre, Alfonso de la
TORRE, ALFONSO DE LA
TORRE, ALFONSO DE LA (1421–1461), Spanish Converso author. Torre, a humanist, is known principally for his Vysyon Delectable de la Philosophia y artes liberales, a kind of universal encyclopedia presented in the form of a series of dialogues which he wrote c. 1450. It quoted *Maimonides extensively and was in its turn frequently cited by Solomon ibn Verga in his Shevet Yehudah. The sixth chapter of the work, dealing with arithmetic, includes a detailed discussion of the numerological aspects of the Kabbalah.
The Vysyon has been termed a link between the Judeo-Arabic thinkers of the Middle Ages and *Spinoza, and it enjoyed great influence in its own day and for the subsequent two centuries. First published in Burgos in 1485, it was one of the few non-Hebrew books printed by Abraham *Usque, who produced an Italian version in Ferrara in 1554. The Italian text was ultimately retranslated into Spanish by the Marrano Francisco (Joseph) de *Caceres (Frankfurt, 16231, 16632), who was probably unaware that its original author was himself a Spaniard and a Converso.
[Kenneth R. Scholberg]