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Ibn Zabara, Joseph Ben Meir, (B. 1140?) ; & Davidson, Israel, Ed.

Published by New York: Beit Midrash Ha-Rabanim Asher Be-Amerika, 1913
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First edition. Period boards. 8vo, vii, 197, cxxix pages ; 24 cm. In Hebrew. Title translates to: "Book of Pleasures by Yosef Ben Meir Ben Zabar: With Changes Includes bibliographical references. Sefer Sha'shu'im by Joseph ben Meir Ibn Zabara: With Changes, Notes, and An Added Introduction by Israel Davidson." Ibn Zabara (b. About 1140 in Barcelona) was a physician and Hebrew writer. He was a contemporary of some of the Tibbon family, of Maimonides and of Judah Al-Harizi; Joseph Kimhi praised his scientific knowledge in his Commentary to Proverbs. Like his father, he studied medicine and lived as an honored physician in his native town. Ibn Zabara became known through his Sefer Sha'ashu'im ('Book of Amusements') , one of the best maqamat written. This book is a literary account of his journey to several countries (southern Spain and Provence) with a physician named Joseph (nicknamed 'Einan ha-Shed' in the book) who came from afar and joined Ibn Zabara on the journey. Consisting of a collection of stories and proverbs within the framework of a background story, the intention of Sefer Sha'ashu'im, as the title indicates, is to amuse the reader. As it is usual in the genre, some secular poems are included before and within the prose sections. In this work, Ibn Zabara reveals a considerable knowledge of Arabic literature – the source of most of his proverbs and pithy sayings – and also of the Babylonian and the Jerusalem Talmuds. More than any other work of this type, Sefer Sha'ashu'im shows Greek, Indian, and Arabic influence. Apart from its literary value, this book contains valuable information on medicine and hygiene, natural science, psychology, and physiognomy. The book includes the earliest example of questions and answers on scientific topics in Hebrew rhymed prose. The book was first printed in Constantinople (1577) by R. Isaac Akrish, together with other works. In 1865 it was published serially in Ha-Levanon. A scientific edition was prepared by I. Davidson (first with an introduction in English, 1914, and then with a Hebrew translation of the introduction, 1925) . Apart from Sefer Sha'ashu'im Ibn Zabara wrote 'Battei ha-Nefesh, ' a didactic poem of 126 verses on anatomy and the functions of the organs in the human body, and a short treatise in prose for physicians. " - EJ 2008. Subjects: Ibn Zabara, Joseph ben Meir, 1140? - Sefer sha’ashu’im. Sefer sha’ashu’im (Ibn Zabara, Joseph ben Meir). Title page and first leaf are a different size than rest of pages and may have been bound in from a different edition. Boards repaired. Some marginalia in pencil. Otherwise Good Condition. (GER-41-2A) amr6, HEB3, inbt ae. Bookseller Inventory # 37356

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: New York: Beit Midrash Ha-Rabanim Asher Be-Amerika

Publication Date: 1913

Edition: 1st Edition

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