Abraham Ibn Ezra and the Rise of Medieval Hebrew Science

Author: Shlomo Sela
The main focus of this book is the study of Abraham Ibn Ezra’s (1089-1167) scientific thought within the historical and cultural context of his times. His scientific contribution may be understood as the very embodiment of ‘the rise of medieval Hebrew science’, a process in which Jewish scholars gradually adopted the holy tongue as a vehicle to express secular and scientific ideas. The first part provides a comprehensive picture of Ibn Ezra’s scientific corpus. The second part studies his linguistic strategy. The third and fourth parts study Ibn Ezra’s introductions to his scientific treatises and the fifth part is devoted to studying four ‘encounters’ with Claudius Ptolemy, the main scientific character featuring in Ibn Ezra’s literary work.

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Shlomo Sela is a Lecturer in the Bible and Philosophy Departments at Bar-Ilan University and in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Tel Aviv University. His research focuses on Jewish attitudes toward the sciences. He has recently published Astrology and Biblical Exegesis in the Thought of Abraham Ibn Ezra (Hebrew), (Ramat Gan, 1999).
Those interested in the history of science in general and medieval history of science in particular, Jewish history, medieval history, Jewish philosophy and biblical exegesis.