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Hebrew Poems from Spain$
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David Goldstein

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113669

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113669.001.0001

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Joseph Ibn Zabara

Joseph Ibn Zabara

(p.131) Joseph Ibn Zabara
Hebrew Poems from Spain

David Goldstein

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the poetry of Joseph Ibn Zabara. Joseph ben Meir Ibn Zabara was born in Barcelona in 1140. He appears to have lived there for most of his life, following the profession of physician. His main work, Sefer Sha’ashuim (The Book of Delights), is the first major Hebrew imitation of the Arabic makam literature, i.e. a romantic collection of stories attached to a main theme. His book is in rhymed prose interspersed with short poems, and contains popular fables as well as long dissertations on medical and anatomical details. The chapter then presents Joseph’s poem The Doctor. The date of his death is not known.

Keywords:   Joseph Ibn Zabara, Barcelona, Jewish physician, makam literature, rhymed prose, short poems, fables, dissertations, Jewish poet, Jewish poetry

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