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GAI, SOLOMON:

Italian scholar and Hebraist; born at Mantua 1600; died there Aug., 1638. Gai is chiefly known as the correspondent and friendof Johannes Buxtorf the Younger. In a letter which he wrote to Buxtorf from Mantua (Nov. 6, 1637), Gai declared that, owing to the war, he had emigrated to Botzen, a town in Tyrol, where he had become the tutor of the two sons of a rich man named Jacob Moravia. At Botzen he studied German, and after a stay of five years and a half returned to Mantua. It was Buxtorf's Latin translation of the "Moreh" which won Gai's admiration. Attributing the translation to Buxtorf the Elder, Gai wrote to the son a Latin letter (Aug. 6, 1637) full of expressions of admiration for the father. Buxtorf undeceived Gai, telling him that he himself was the translator, and sent him his dissertation "Diatribe" as a present. Gai wrote to him another letter in Latin, with a Hebrew introduction (Nov. 6, 1637), drawing his attention to certain works which had not come to Buxtorf's knowledge. Buxtorf subsequently commissioned Gai to purchase Hebrew books for him. Gai insisted particularly on obtaining from Buxtorf his lexicons, as he himself contemplated writing a lexicon in collaboration with a cleric to whom he was giving Hebrew lessons.

Bibliography:
  • Kayserling, in R. E. J. xiii. 261 et seq.
E. C. M. Sel.
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