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Don Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508) was a major historical figure during the waning of the Middle Ages. Statesman, diplomat, courtier and financier, he was, at the same time, a scholar of encyclopaedic learning, a philosopher, an exegete, a prolific author, a mystic and an apocalyptist. In Abravanel, B. Netanyahu suggests, two long lines of tradition met and concluded: that of medieval Jewish statesmen and that of medieval Jewish philosophers. In what is both a biography and an exploration of Abravanel's thought and influence, Netanyahu describes how Abravanel illuminated the grave crisis and profound transformation experienced by the Jewish people after the Spanish expulsion.
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'A basic reference and one which cannot be ignored by any responsible scholar in the fields of Spanish and Jewish studies. It is one of those rare books which make interesting reading both for scholars and for the general reader interested in Judaism and its rich cultural and religious history.' Francisco Marquez, Harvard University
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