Search Results

A Parallel Latin-English Critical Edition of Liber Electionum, Liber Interrogationum, and Tractatus Particulares. Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Astrological Writings, Volume 7
Editor: Shlomo Sela
As a result of Abraham Ibn Ezra’s increasing popularity after his death, there were repeated waves of translation of collections of his Hebrew astrological treatises into Latin and into the emerging European vernaculars. A study of these versions affords us a golden opportunity to shed light on a significant missing link in our knowledge of Ibn Ezra’s astrological oeuvre. The present volume offers the first critical edition, accompanied by an English translation, a commentary, and an introductory study, of three Latin texts on the astrological doctrines of elections and interrogations, written by or attributed to Abraham Ibn Ezra: the Liber electionum, the Liber interrogationum, and the Tractatus particulares.
A Parallel Hebrew-English Critical Edition of the Book of the Beginning of Wisdom and the Book of the Judgments of the Zodiacal Signs. Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Astrological Writings, Volume 5
Author: Shlomo Sela
The present volume offers a critical edition of the Hebrew texts, accompanied by English translation and commentary of Reshit Ḥokhmah (Beginning of Wisdom) and Mishpeṭei ha-Mazzalot (Judgments of the Zodiacal Signs) by Abraham Ibn Ezra (ca. 1089–ca. 1161). The first, the summa and by far the longest of his astrological works, the target of the most cross-references from the rest of that corpus and the most influential, enjoyed the widest circulation among Jews in the Middle Ages and after. The second, by contrast, is the most obscure. It is never referred to elsewhere by its author and is the only work for which Ibn Ezra’s authorship must be substantiated. Reshit Ḥokhmah and Mishpeṭei ha-Mazzalot were written in order to explain concepts common to the various branches of astrology that Ibn Ezra addressed elsewhere and to elucidate the worldview that underlies astrology. These two treatises are the richest and most varied with regard to the astrological information they present. Reshit Ḥokhmah and Mishpeṭei ha-Mazzalot also exemplify the close collaboration between astronomy and astrology in medieval science and are the two components of Ibn Ezra’s astrological corpus with the most extensive, comprehensive, and significant astronomical content.

"A critical edition with English translation of Reshit Ḥokhmah was published in 1998 by Epstein. Sela has not only aspired to improve it but also supplied a commentary to render the text more comprehensible. Sela’s mission is successfully accomplished for both treatises. This multifarious book is another important contribution to a deeper understanding of the life and work of one of the most important medieval Jewish polymaths." - Ilana Wartenberg, Universität Bern, in: Journal for the History of Astronomy 50.1 (2019)
A Parallel Latin-English Critical Edition of Liber Nativitatum and Liber Abraham Iudei de Nativitatibus. Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Astrological Writings, Volume 6
Editor: Shlomo Sela
Abraham Ibn Ezra was “reborn” in the Latin West in the last decades of the thirteenth century thanks to a plethora of authored and anonymous Latin translations of his astrological writings. The present volume offers the first critical edition, accompanied by an English translation, a commentary, and an introductory study, of Liber nativitatum (Book of Nativities) and Liber Abraham Iudei de nativitatibus (Book on Nativities by Abraham the Jew), two astrological treatises in Latin that were written by Abraham Ibn Ezra or attributed to him, and whose Hebrew source-text or archetype has not survived. The first is undoubtedly an anonymous Latin translation of the second version of Ibn Ezra’s Sefer ha-moladot (Book of Nativities), whose Hebrew source text is otherwise lost. The second is the most mysterious specimen among the Latin works attributed to Ibn Ezra that have no extant Hebrew counterpart. The present volume shows not only that the Liber Abraham Iudei de nativitatibus underwent a significant metamorphosis over time and was transmitted in four significantly different versions, but also that its date of composition is not that previously accepted by modern scholarship.
A Parallel Hebrew-English Critical Edition of the Book of Elections (3 Versions), the Book of Interrogations (3 Versions), and the Book of the Luminaries
Author: Shlomo Sela
This volume offers the first critical edition of the Hebrew text, with English translation and commentary, of seven astrological treatises by Abraham Ibn Ezra: the Book of Elections (3 versions); the Book of Interrogations (3 versions); and the Book of the Luminaries. This volume, then, covers the astrological doctrine of elections, which is concerned with finding the best time to begin a particular activity; the doctrine of interrogations, designed to allow astrologers to reply to questions related to daily life; and the astrological theory behind the doctrine of the critical days, when marked changes take place in the symptoms of a disease. These three systems of astrology were combined in a single volume because Ibn Ezra considers them to be closely interrelated.

"Despite these quibbles, Shlomo Sela is to be congratulated for making Ibn Ezra’s astrological treatises available in a modern edition of very high quality."
Bernard Goldstein, University of Pittsburgh
A Parallel Hebrew-English Critical Edition of the Book of Nativities and the Book of Revolution. Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Astrological Writings, Volume 4
Author: Shlomo Sela
The present volume offers the first critical edition, accompanied with English translation and commentary, of Sefer ha-Moladot, which addresses the doctrine of nativities and the system of continuous horoscopy in nativities, and of Sefer ha-Tequfah, which is devoted exclusively to continuous horoscopy in nativities. The doctrine of nativities makes predictions about the whole of an individual’s subsequent life on the basis of the natal chart, and the system of continuous horoscopy in nativities is concerned with the interval between life and death and makes predictions based mainly on anniversary horoscopes, which are juxtaposed with the natal horoscope. To Abraham Ibn Ezra’s mind, not only are these two doctrines the core of astrology; they also epitomize the praxis of the astrological métier.

“Sela...has provided explanatory appendices and very interesting notes about Jewish attitudes toward the sciences and astrology in the middle ages.” Reference & Research Book News, 2013.
A Parallel Hebrew-English Critical Edition of the Two Versions of the Text
Author: Shlomo Sela
From the Middle Ages until the present, the development of astrology among Jews was associated mainly with the name of Abraham Ibn Ezra (1089–1167). His scientific corpus deals with mathematics, astronomy, scientific instruments and tools, and the Jewish calendar; but especially with astrology. This volume is the first product of a larger enterprise—a scientific edition of all twelve Ibn Ezra’s astrological treatises—and offers a critical Hebrew text of the two versions of Ibn Ezra’s Sefer ha-Te'amim, the Book of Reasons, accompanied by an annotated translation and commentary. The two treatises presented here were designed by Ibn Ezra to offer “reasons”, “explanations”, or “meanings” of the raw astrological concepts formulated in the introduction to astrology that Ibn Ezra entitled Reshit Hokhmah (Beginning of Wisdom).
A Parallel Hebrew English Critical Edition of the Two Versions of the Text. Abraham Ibn Era's Astrological Writings, Volume 2
Author: Shlomo Sela
The present volume offers the first critical edition of the Hebrew text of the two versions of Ibn Ezra’s Book of the World, accompanied by an English translation and a commentary. These twin treatises represent the first Hebrew work, unique in medieval Jewish science, to discuss the theories and techniques of historical and meteorological astrology that had accumulated from Antiquity to Ibn Ezra’s time, on the basis of Greek, Hindu, Persian, and Arabic sources. This volume also incorporates the first critical edition, translated and annotated, of MāshāÞallāh’s Book on Eclipses, a work dealing with mundane astrology whose Hebrew translation was ascribed to Ibn Ezra, as well as a study of three brief texts in which Ibn Ezra conveyed his own opinion about mundane astrology.