“To Breathe Life into the Past as a Means of Bringing New Blood to the Present”:The Instructional Poetry of Abraham Ibn Ezra

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Abstract

Abraham Ibn Ezra (1092-1167), the renowned exegete and grammarian who was as well a mathematician and an astronomer, a liturgist and an author of secular Hebrew poetry left his mark on the pages of history as a consummate Renaissance man who greatly contributed to diverse knowledge areas. He was the first to introduce to Hebrew secular poetry the debate genre, realism, humor, and the instructional genre. All of these already existed in Arabic poetry, but they had not been adopted by the Hebrew poets of Spain during the classical period. Ibn Ezra made use of them in his poetry. The introduction at this moment of features from Arabic literature that previously had passed over the Spanish Hebrew classics is at first glance perplexing, and worthy of our interest.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAl-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Abraham ibn Ezra
  • Didactic poems
  • chess poem
  • debate poems
  • instructional genre
  • medical poems
  • riddles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies

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