World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Abraham de Balmes

Article Id: WHEBN0011356056
Reproduction Date:

Title: Abraham de Balmes  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Italian Jews, Hebrew astronomy, Averroes
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Abraham de Balmes

Abraham de Balmes ben Meir (born at Lecce, in the kingdom of Naples; died at Venice, 1523) was an Italian Jewish physician and translator of the early 16th century.

A short time before his death he was physician in ordinary to the cardinal Dominico Grimani at Padua. See Steinschneider, "Hebr. Bibl." xxi. 7 and 67; "Hebr. Uebers." p. 62; Perles, "Beiträge," pp. 193, 197, etc.

Through his Latin translations of many Hebrew works on philosophy and astronomy he attained a great reputation in the Christian world. He dedicated to Cardinal Grimani two of these translations: (1) of an astronomical work in Arabic by Ibn al-Heitham (died 1038), which had been translated into Hebrew by Jacob ben Machir, in 1372, under the title "Liber de Mundo"; (2) of the "Farewell Letter" of the Arabic philosopher Ibn Bajjah (Avempace), which he translated from the Hebrew under the title "Epistolæ Expeditionis" (MS. Vat. No. 3897. The dedication is published in "Revue des Études Juives," v. 145). In Padua Abraham delivered philosophical addresses to Christian audiences.

He also compiled a book on Hebrew grammar, in which he attempted to treat philosophically the construction of the Hebrew language and to refute the opinions of the eminent grammarian David Kimhi. In this work Abraham was the first to treat the syntax (which he called in Hebrew harkabah) as a special part of the grammar. The book was published, with a Latin translation and a supplementary treatise on the Hebrew accents, under the title "Miḳneh Abram," by Maestro (Calo) Ḳalonymos ben David, a well-known translator. Grätz ("Gesch. der Juden," ix. 215) suggests, without evidence, that the printer Daniel Bomberg (who is supposed to have learned Hebrew from Balmes) translated this grammar.

At his death, honors were paid to his memory by his Christian pupils.


  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 667;
  • idem, Hebr. Uebers. §§ 206, 348, 581;
  • idem, Bibliographisches Handbuch, No. 164, Leipsic, 1859;
  • T. Willesz's dissertation, Budapest, 1895

Further Bibliography

Saverio Campanini, Peculium Abrae. La grammatica ebraico-latina di Avraham de Balmes, in «Annali di Ca’ Foscari» XXXVI, 3, Serie orientale 28 (1997), pp. 5–49.


  • Source (


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.