RABBI SAMUEL (Samuel Abu Nasr ibn Abba, Samuel of Morocco) (11th century)
Tractatus Rabby Samuelis, Errorem iudeorum indicans Impressum Venetiis, Per Alexandrum de Paganis Brixisien. 1514
§ 8vo (170 x 105); 32 leaves (last blank); signature: A-D1-8 (D8 blank). Vellum binding from an ancient manuscript leaf ,handwritten title on front cover, flyleaves renewed. Fine copy.
Anti-Semitic pamphlet, first printed in 1474; apparently written in Arabic at the beginning of the eleventh century and translated into Latin in the 14th century by the Spanish Dominican Alphonsus Bonihominis. Actually quite a lot is known about the translator (sometimes considered the actual author), the Dominican friar Alphonsus Bonihominis, appointed bishop of Marrakesh in 1344. Samuel of Morocco “... studied philosophy, mathematics, and medicine; and for purposes of study he traveled in Irak, Syria, Azerbaijan, and Kohistan. ... He composed a polemical treatise, "Ifham al-Yahud" (Confutation of the Jews), called also "Kitab-al-naḳd wal-ibram" (Hirschfeld, "Das Buch al-Chazari," p. v.). In this work he points out that from time to time the abrogation of the Law is necessary and that, in fact, it has often occurred in Judaism. He tries to prove the prophetic character of Jesus and of Mohammed ... He affirms that the Jews of his time possess the Torah of Ezra and not that of Moses...”. The work went through several editions and during the Reformation was printed in Germany in response to Luther’s “Das Jhesus Christus ain geborner Jude sey” of 1523.
Ref. Hartwig Hirschfeld, Richard Gottheil Abbas, Samuel Abu Nasr ibn In: Jewish Encyclopedia ; David M. Cheney Catholic-Hierarchy: Information on the Bishops and Diocese of the World, both current and historical .O. LIMOR-G.G. STROUMSA (editors), The Epistle of Rabbi Samuel of Morocco: A Best-Seller in the World of Polemics, in "Contra Iudaeos: Ancient and Medieval Polemics between Christians and Jews", Tübingen, 1996, pp. 177-194.
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