(1089 - 1164)




Irene Lancaster

The cultural legacy of Abraham ibn Ezra (1089-1164)



Abraham ibn Ezra is regarded as one of the two or three greatest Jewish biblical exegetes. His oeuvre forms part of the canon of religious Biblical scholarship. However, he was also a poet, philosopher, astronomer, astrologer, grammarian, mystic and seer, who felt it his mission to transmit his Spanish Sephardi culture to the ignorant Ashkenazi Jews of northern Europe.


In 1139-40, he therefore left Spain for Rome and continued to Lucca, Verona, Mantua and other places in northern Italy. He then travelled through Provence and northern France, and finally reached England, where he is reputed to have been killed in an attack by anarchic English hordes on his way up north from London.


This seminar will look at ibn Ezras cultural legacy in context and will be accompanied by short readings from some of his writings.


Suggested reading


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