LEO HEBRÆUS (Abravanel, Judah):

Physician, philosopher, and poet; born in Lisbon in the second half of the fifteenth century, and died at Venice in 1535. He accompanied his father, Isaac Abravanel, when the latter went to Spain and afterward to Naples, and became physician in ordinary to the Spanish captain-general Gonsalvo de Cordova. Thence he went to Genoa and later to Venice, where he finally settled. He never abandoned the faith of his forefathers (B. Zimmels, "Neue Studien," Vienna, 1892; E. Carmoly, "Oẓar Neḥmad," ii. 70; Steinschneider, "Monatsschrift," xlii. 420). His most important work, "Dialoghi di Amore" (Dialogues of Love), was written about 1502, and published at Rome 1535. Its polished Italian and the lofty Platonic spirit with which it is imbued made it very popular. In the space of twenty years it went through five editions and was translated twice into French, three times into Spanish, and once into Latin; later also into Hebrew. Beside this work, he wrote, at the request of Pico de Mirandola, an astronomical work, which has remained unpublished, and several Hebrew poems, which have been embodied in the works of his father. He wrote also an elegy on the vicissitudes of the age in which he lived. This book was quite recently published.

  • Carmoly, Médecins Juifs, pp. 142 et seq.;
  • Delitzsch, Orient, Lit. 1840, pp. 81 et seq.;
  • Geiger, Ozar Nechmad, ii. 225, similarly Grätz, Gesch. ix. 7 et seq., 236 et seq.;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1602.
G. M. K.
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