Ancient family, originally from Spain, which settled in Turkey and produced several physicians. The following were among its more important members:

1. Aaron b. Isaac Hamon:

Physician at Constantinople about 1720.

2. Joseph Hamon:

A near relative of Isaac Hamon; born, probably, at Granada, Spain. Expelled from his home, he went at an advanced age to Constantinople, where, according to "Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah" (p. 50b), he was physician to Sultan Salim I.

3. Joseph Hamon:

Son of Moses Hamon (No. 5) and grandson of Joseph Hamon (No. 2); died before 1578. Like his father, he was physician at the court of the sultan, and a patron of Jewish learning. He was also a member of a society at Constantinople formed for the cultivation of Jewish poetry, other members being Saadia Longo, who addressed a poem to Hamon, and Judah Sarko, who addressed to him a rhetorical composition on his marriage. Hamon was one of those to whom the Jews of Salonica were indebted for having theirancient privileges restored by Salim II. in 1568. Hamon's widow addressed a letter to Judah Abravanel in January, 1578.

  • Carmoly, Dibre ha-Yamim li-Bene Yaḥya, p. 39;
  • Almosnino, Me'ammeẓ Koaḥ, p. 7a;
  • Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibl. ii. 84.
4. Judah Hamon:

Physician at Adrianople; died there May 17, 1678 ("El Progreso," i. 194 et seq.).

5. Moses Hamon (Amon):

Son of Joseph Hamon (No. 2); born in Spain about 1490; died before 1567. Going with his father to Constantinople, he became physician to Sultan Sulaiman I. This "famous prince and great physician," as he is called by Judah ibn Verga, accompanied the monarch on all his expeditions, enjoying great favor on account of his knowledge and skill. He was a fine linguist, versed in Arabic, Turkish, and Persian, and was a patron of Jewish learning. He printed some Hebrew works at Constantinople as early as 1515 and 1516. He also built in that city, at his own cost, a school which was presided over by the learned Joseph Taitazak of Salonica. He did not, however, translate the Pentateuch into Persian, nor the prayers of the Israelites into Turkish, as Manasseh b. Israel records; but he had Jacob Tavus' Persian Pentateuch translation, together with Saadia's Arabic translation, printed at his own expense in 1546.

Hamon, who was everywhere highly respected on account of his firm character and philanthropy, was a fearless advocate of his coreligionists. When about 1545 the Jews of Amasia were falsely accused of having murdered a Christian for ritual purposes, and the innocence of those that had been executed was established soon after by the reappearance of the missing man, Hamon induced the sultan to decree that thenceforward no accusation of the kind should be entertained by any judge of the country, but should be referred to the royal court (see Danon in "El Progreso," i. 148 et seq., where a legendary account of the event is given, probably taken from "Me'ora'ot 'Olam," Constantinople, 1756).

Hamon was also called upon to decide communal difficulties. After an affray which arose in the Jewish community of Salonica Hamon summoned the instigators to Constantinople and induced the sultan to send a judge to Salonica to investigate the affair and to punish the guilty ones (see Danon, l.c. i. 162 et seq., 178 et seq., where several of Hamon's Hebrew letters are reprinted). The sultan, at Hamon's request, exempted the latter's descendants from all taxes.

  • Conforte, Ḳore ha-Dorot, ed. Cassel. pp. 32b, 34b;
  • Shebeṭ Yehudah, pp. 33, 53, 111;
  • Joseph ha-Kohen, 'Emeḳ ha-Baka, p. l05;
  • Samuel Usque, Consolaçao as Tribulaçoens de Yisrael, p. 208a;
  • M. A. Levy, D. Joseph Nasi, Herzog von Naxos, und Zwei Jüdische Diplomaten Seiner Zeit, p. 6;
  • Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibl. ii. 67, 83;
  • Carmoly, Histoire des Médecins Juifs, p. 159;
  • Grätz, Gesch. ix. 33, 339;
  • R. E. J. xl. 230.
6. Moses Hamon:

Physician at Constantinople; nephew of Moses Hamon (No. 5). He was one of the signers of the document drawn up by the Jewish scholars of Constantinople in 1587, asking that they be exempted from the communal taxes.

  • Samuel de Avila, Keter Torah, p. 2a.
D. M. K.
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