The Aim and Structure of Gershom ben Solomon’s Shaʿar ha-shamayim

in Zutot
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Gershom ben Solomon’s very popular Shaʿar ha-shamayim (The Gate of Heaven), written in the Midi in the last quarter of the 13th century, differs from the two earlier 13th-century Hebrew encyclopedias in that it lays very strong emphasis on the empirical sublunar world (beginning with the elements and especially with the two Aristotelian exhalations), nearly ignoring the theory of the soul and metaphysics. This article argues that the clue to Gershom’s distinctive approach to the study of the world is to be found in Samuel ibn Tibbon’s Maʾamar yiqqawu ha-mayim (A Treatise on ‘Let the Water Gather’) of 1231. With this insight, we also realize that Gershom’s is an ‘encyclopedia’ of a new genre, really a personal philosophical work, whose numerous building blocks are arranged in accordance with a philosophical principle. In this respect, the work is that of a true philosopher-scientist, not of a mere compiler.


Perspectives on Jewish Culture



Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 19 19 9
Full Text Views 13 13 4
PDF Downloads 2 2 0
EPUB Downloads 2 2 0