Rabbi Jonah ben Abraham Gerondi known as Jonah of Girona and Rabbeinu Yonah, was a Catalan rabbi and moralist, cousin of Nahmanides. He is most famous for his ethical work The Gates of Repentance. Jonah Gerondi came in Spain. Gerondi was the most prominent pupil of Solomon of Montpellier, the leader of the opponents of Maimonides' philosophical works, was one of the signers of the ban proclaimed in 1233 against the Moreh Nevukim and the Sefer ha-Madda. According to his pupil, Hillel of Verona, Gerondi was the instigator of the public burning of Maimonides' writings by order of the authorities at Paris in 1233, the indignation which this aroused among all classes of Jews was directed against him. Subsequently, when twenty-four wagon-loads of Talmuds were burned at the same place where the philosophical writings of Maimonides had been destroyed, Gerondi saw the folly and danger of appealing to Christian ecclesiastical authorities on questions of Jewish doctrine, publicly admitted in the synagogue of Montpellier that he had been wrong in all his acts against the works and fame of Maimonides.
As an act of repentance he vowed to travel to Israel and prostrate himself on Maimonides' grave and implore his pardon in the presence of ten men for seven consecutive days. He left France with that intention, but was detained, first in Barcelona and in Toledo, he remained in Toledo, became one of the great Talmudical teachers of his time. In all his lectures he made a point of quoting from Maimonides, always mentioning his name with great reverence. Gerondi's sudden death from a rare disease was considered by many as a penalty for not having carried out the plan of his journey to the grave of Maimonides. However, some believe, he died in Toledo, Spain, in November 1263. Gerondi left many works; the Hiddushim to Alfasi on Berakot which are ascribed to "Rabbenu Yonah" were in reality written in Gerondi's name by one, if not several, of his pupils. The Ḥiddushim covered the entire work of Alfasi, but only the portion mentioned has been preserved. Gerondi wrote novellæ on the Talmud, which are mentioned in the responsa and decisions of his pupil Solomon Aderet and of other great rabbis, some of which are incorporated in the Shiṭṭah Mekubbeẓet of R. Bezalel Ashkenazi.
Azulai had in his possession Gerondi's novellæ on the tractates Baba Batra and Sanhedrin, in manuscript. His novellæ on the first-named tractate have since been published under the name Aliyot de-Rabbenu Yonah while those on the last-named tractate form part of the collection of commentaries on the Talmud by ancient authors published by Abraham ben Eliezer ha-Levi under the title Sam Ḥayyim, his commentary on Pirke Avot was first published by Simḥah Dolitzki of Byelostok and was translated into English for the first time by Rabbi David Sedley of TorahLab. The work Issur ve-Heter is wrongly attributed to Gerondi. A commentary by him on Proverbs, highly praised, exists in manuscript. Among other minor unpublished works known to be his are Megillat Sefarim, Hilkot Ḥanukkah and Hilkot Yom Kippur, but the fame of Gerondi chiefly rests on his moral and ascetic works, which, it is surmised, he wrote to atone for his earlier attacks on Maimonides and to emphasize his repentance. His Iggeret ha-Teshuvah, Sha'arei Teshuvah, Sefer ha-Yir'ah belong to the standard Jewish ethical works of the Middle Ages and are still popular among Orthodox Jewish scholars.
The Sefer ha-Yir'ah was published as early as 1490, as an appendix to Yeshu'ah ben Joseph's Halikot'Olam. The Sha'arei Teshuvah first appeared in Fano with the Sefer ha-Yirah, while the Iggeret ha-Teshuvah was first published in Cracow. All have been reprinted many times and together, as well as numerous extracts from them. A part of the Iggeret ha-Teshuvah first appeared, under the name Dat ha-Nashim, in Solomon Alami's Iggeret Musar. For an estimate of Gerondi's ethical works and his partial indebtedness to the Sefer Hasidim see Zur Geschichte der Jüdisch-Ethischen Literatur des Mittelalters, he is supposed to be mentioned, under the name of "R. Jonah," five times in the Tosafot. Jewish Encyclopedia bibliographyMoritz Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. No. 5859. 6, Königsberg, 1856. Vol. vii. Index. Jud. i. 327–328. Der Jüdischen Literatur, pp. 621 et seq.. 425–426, Treves, 1894. 1038, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1891 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Solomon Schechter and Peter Wiernik.
"GERONDI, JONAH B. ABRAHAM, THE ELDER". In Singer, Isidore; the Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. Shaarei Teshuvah Sefer HaYirah Vilna print Sefer HaYirah Warsaw print Commentary on Proverbs Sefer HaYirah, Iggeret HaTeshuvah, Sod HaTeshuvah, Korban Taanis, Derashat HaNashim. Yesod HaTeshuva Free Engl
Abraham ibn Ezra
Abraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra was one of the most distinguished Jewish biblical commentators and philosophers of the Middle Ages. He was born in Tudela, Navarre, in northern Spain, one of the oldest and most important Jewish communities in Navarre, but the location of his death is uncertain: and for long it had been assumed that he died at Calahorra. Abraham Ibn Ezra was born in Tudela, in the present-day Spanish province of Navarre, when the town was under the Muslim rule of the emirs of Zaragoza, he lived in Córdoba. In Granada, it is said, he met his future friend Yehuda Halevi, he left Spain before 1140 to escape persecution of the Jews by the new fanatical regime of the Almohads. He led a life of restless wandering, which took him to North Africa, Palestine, Southern France, Northern France and back again to Narbonne in 1161, until his death on January 23 or 28, 1164, the exact location unknown: maybe at Calahorra at the border of Navarre and Aragon, or maybe in Rome or in Palestine. There is a legend that he died in England from a fever and a sickness that came upon him after an encounter with a pack of wild black dogs.
This legend is attached to the belief. At several of the above-named places, Ibn Ezra remained for some time and developed a rich literary activity. In his native land, he had gained the reputation of a distinguished poet and thinker but apart from his poems, his works, which were all in the Hebrew language, were written in the second period of his life. With these works, covering the first instance the field of Hebrew philology and Biblical exegesis, he fulfilled the great mission of making accessible to the Jews of Christian Europe the treasures of knowledge enshrined in the works written in Arabic that he had brought with him from Spain, his grammatical writings, among which Moznayim and Zahot are the most valuable, were the first expositions of Hebrew grammar in the Hebrew language, in which the system of Judah Hayyuj and his school prevailed. He translated into Hebrew the two writings of Hayyuj in which the foundations of the system were laid down. Of greater original value than the grammatical works of Ibn Ezra are his commentaries on most of the books of the Bible, of which, the Books of Chronicles have been lost.
His reputation as an intelligent and acute expounder of the Bible was founded on his commentary on the Torah, of which the great popularity is evidenced by the numerous commentaries that were written upon it. In the editions of this commentary, the commentary on the Book of Exodus is replaced by a second, more complete commentary of Ibn Ezra, while the first and shorter commentary on Exodus was not printed until 1840; the great editions of the Hebrew Bible with rabbinical commentaries contained commentaries of Ibn Ezra's on the following books of the Bible: Isaiah, Minor Prophets, Job, Daniel. Ibn Ezra wrote a second commentary on Genesis as he had done on Exodus. There are second commentaries by him on the Song of Songs and Daniel. Ibn Ezra wrote a commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes. Uncharacteristically of either Ibn Ezra's other commentaries on biblical works, or of Jewish exegesis of the time, the commentary on Ecclesiastes begins with an autobiographical poem relating his life experience to the material in Ecclesiastes.
Although the poem states that he fled "from home in Spain/Going down to Rome with heavy spirit", this does not resolve the question of what intermediate journeys Ibn Ezra may have made before settling in Rome in the company of R' Yehudah HaLevi. The importance of the exegesis of Ibn Ezra consists in the fact that it aims at arriving at the simple sense of the text, the Peshat, on grammatical principles, it is in this that, although he takes a great part of his exegetical material from his predecessors, the originality of his mind is everywhere apparent, an originality that displays itself in the witty and lively language of his commentaries. Ibn Ezra occupies a unique role among medieval commentators in that, on the one hand, his commentary has been cited by mainstream Orthodoxy, but on the other hand, his reluctance to reconcile problematic Biblical passages through midrashic exegesis at the expense of traditional dogma, put him in opposition to his contemporaries such as Rashi and provided early support for the type of textual criticism, now accepted by Reform and Conservative Judaism.
For example, in his commentary, Ibn Ezra adheres to the literal sense of the texts, avoiding Rabbinic allegories and Cabbalistic interpretations, though he remains faithful to the Jewish traditions. This does not prevent him from exercising an independent criticism that, according to some writers, exhibits a marked tendency toward rationalism, to the extent that he judged other biblical commentary "against his twin standards of accuracy, grammatical precision and reliability", in that regard "Ibn Ezra determined that, aim notwithstanding, Rashi had grasped and imparted the contextual sense'but one time in a thousand'."Indeed, Ibn Ezra is claimed by the proponents of the higher biblical criticism of the Torah as one of its earliest pioneers. Baruch Spinoza, in concluding that Moses did not author the Torah, that the T
Moses ben Nahman known as Nachmanides, referred to by the acronym Ramban and by the contemporary nickname Bonastruc ça Porta, was a leading medieval Jewish scholar, Sephardic rabbi, physician and biblical commentator. He was raised and lived for most of his life in Girona, Catalonia, he is considered to be an important figure in the re-establishment of the Jewish community in Jerusalem following its destruction by the Crusaders in 1099. "Nachmanides" is a Greek-influenced formation meaning "son of Nahman". He is commonly known by the Hebrew acronym רמב״ן, his Catalan name was Bonastruc ça Porta "Mazel Tov near the Gate". Ramban was born in Girona in 1194, where he grew up and studied, died in the Land of Israel about 1270, he was a descendant of cousin of Jonah Gerondi. Among his teachers in Talmud were Judah ben Yakar and Nathan ben Meïr of Trinquetaille, he is said to have been instructed in Kabbalah by his countryman Azriel of Gerona, in turn a disciple of Isaac the Blind. According to the responsa of Shlomo ibn Aderet Nachmanides studied medicine.
During his teens he began to get a reputation as a learned Jewish scholar. At age 16 he began his writings on Jewish law. In his Milhamot Hashem he defended Alfasi's decisions against the criticisms of Zerachiah ha-Levi of Girona; these writings reveal a conservative tendency that distinguished his works — an unbounded respect for the earlier authorities. In the view of Nachmanides, the wisdom of the rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud, as well as the Geonim was unquestionable, their words were to be neither criticized. "We bow," he says, "before them, when the reason for their words is not quite evident to us, we submit to them". Nachmanides' adherence to the words of the earlier authorities may be due to piety, or the influence of the northern French Jewish school of thought. However, it is thought that it may be a reaction to the rapid acceptance of Greco-Arabic philosophy among the Jews of Spain and Provence; this work gave rise to a tendency to allegorize Biblical narratives, to downplay the role of miracles.
Against this tendency Nachmanides strove, went to the other extreme, not allowing the utterances of the immediate disciples of the Geonim to be questioned. Called upon, about 1238, for support by Solomon ben Abraham of Montpellier, excommunicated by supporters of Maimonides, Nachmanides addressed a letter to the communities of Aragon and Castile, in which Solomon's adversaries were rebuked. However, the great respect he professed for Maimonides, reinforced by innate gentleness of character, kept him from allying himself with the anti-Maimonist party and led him to assume the role of a conciliator. In a letter addressed to the French rabbis, he draws attention to the virtues of Maimonides and holds that Maimonides' Mishneh Torah – his Code of Jewish Law – not only shows no leniency in interpreting prohibitions within Jewish law, but may be seen as more stringent, which in Nachmanides' eyes was a positive factor; as to Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed, Nachmanides stated that it was intended not for those of unshaken belief, but for those, led astray by the non-Jewish philosophical works of Aristotle and Galen.
"If," he says, "you were of the opinion that it was your duty to denounce the Guide as heretical, why does a portion of your flock recede from the decision as if it regretted the step? Is it right in such important matters to act capriciously, to applaud the one to-day and the other tomorrow?"To reconcile the two parties Nachmanides proposed that the ban against the philosophical portion of Maimonides's Code of Jewish law should be revoked, but that the ban against the study of the Guide for the Perplexed, against those who rejected allegorical interpretation of the Bible, should be maintained and strengthened. This compromise, which might have ended the struggle, was rejected by both parties in spite of Nachmanides' authority; the book Iggeret ha-Kodesh on the topics of marriage and sexual relations was attributed to Nachmanides, who wrote it for his son as a wedding gift. However, modern scholarship attributes it to a different author Rabbi Joseph ben Abraham Gikatilla. In this book, the author criticizes Maimonides for stigmatizing man's sexual nature as a disgrace to man.
In the view of the author, the body with all its functions being the work of God, is holy, so none of its normal sexual impulses and actions can be regarded as objectionable. In Nachmanides's Torat ha-Adam, which deals with burial customs, etc.. Nachmanides criticizes writers who strove to render man indifferent to both pleasure and pain. This, he declares, is against the Law, which commands man to rejoice on the day of joy and weep on the day of mourning; the last chapter, entitled Shaar ha-Gemul, discusses reward and punishment and kindred subjects. It derides the presumption of the philosopher
Isaac Aboab I
Isaac Aboab was a Jewish Talmudic scholar. He was known by the pen name Menorat ha-Maor or Menoras HaMaor, a work which he authored, he lived in Spain during the 14th century. As shown by Zunz, he is not to be confused with Isaac Aboab, rabbi of Castile, the supercommentator of Naḥmanides, who died in 1493, he was a man of affairs, towards the end of his life, devoted much time to literary work and to preaching, as he found that great Talmudic scholars and important seats of learning were rare. In his time, the Jews for whom he wrote still spoke Arabic, he belonged to a period of intellectual decline when men took to eclecticism. He combined extensive rabbinical knowledge with philosophical erudition, was fond of mystic interpretation of the Mosaic laws and ceremonies, he quoted Aristotle and Plato, though only from secondary sources, endeavored to illustrate passages from the Talmud and the midrashic literature, with which he was familiar, by utterances taken from the philosophical, the ethical, the mystic literature of his time.
His chief aim was the elevation of the masses. Aboab wrote three books: The first, on Jewish rites, under the title of Aron ha-'Edut, was divided, after the manner of the Decalogue, into ten sections, each again subdivided into chapters and paragraphs; the various ritual laws were therein traced to their Talmudic sources, the decisions of the Geonim and interpretations added. His second book, on the prayers and benedictions, was called Shulḥan ha-Panim, was divided into twelve sections, symbolizing the twelve loaves of the showbread in the Tabernacle, his third book has survived, has won considerable fame for the author, though in his humility he assures his readers that he composed it chiefly for his own use as a public speaker. But besides this it has contributed more than any other medieval book to the popularization of rabbinical lore and to the religious edification and elevation of the masses, it belongs to that class of ethical works which sprang up in the 13th century in a time of reaction against the one-sided manner in which Talmudic studies had been pursued."These Talmudists," he says in the preface, "consider it their duty to propose difficult questions and answer them in a witty and subtle manner, but leave unnoticed the precious pearls that lie upon the bed of the Talmudic ocean, the haggadic passages so rich in beauty and sweetness."
He conceived, the plan of grouping together the rich material stored up in the vast treasure-house of the Haggadah - from the religious and ethical point of view, of presenting it in a book which he called Menorat ha-Maor ), intending by it to illumine the minds and the hearts of his coreligionists. With reference to the seven-armed candlestick in the Tabernacle, he divided the book into seven sections, each of which bears the title of Ner or "Lamp" subdivided into separate parts and chapters, it can hardly be said that the division of the matter treated is logical and systematic, nor indeed does the work lay any claim to originality. Its skillful arrangement of the various Biblical and rabbinical topics and its warm tone of deep earnestness and sincerity could not fail to appeal to the popular heart, and as in the course of time the sermon still in use among the Spanish Jews, ceased to be a part of the divine service because the preacher had to give way to the Hazzan, or precentor, the Menorat ha-Maor became a substitute for the living voice of the preacher.
It was translated into Spanish and read to attentive assemblies of the people to those not versed in the Law. It thus became the household book of the medieval Jews, it was published with a Spanish translation, with a Hebrew commentary and a Judæo-German translation by Moses Frankfurter, with a modern German translation by Jacob Raphael Fürstenthal and Benzion Behrend. It was translated into modern Yiddish, in Wilna, 1880; the book should not be confused with a work of the same name by Israel Alnaqua. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Isidore. "Aboab". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls
Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona and Tarragona; the capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia, it is bordered by France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan and the Aranese dialect of Occitan. In the late 8th century, the counties of the March of Gothia and the Hispanic March were established by the Frankish kingdom as feudal vassals across and near the eastern Pyrenees as a defensive barrier against Muslim invasions; the eastern counties of these marches were united under the rule of the Frankish vassal, the count of Barcelona, were called Catalonia.
In the 10th century the County of Barcelona became independent de facto. In 1137, Barcelona and the Kingdom of Aragon were united by marriage under the Crown of Aragon; the de jure end of Frankish rule was ratified by French and Aragonese monarchs in the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258. The Principality of Catalonia developed its own institutional system, such as courts, constitutions, becoming the base for the Crown of Aragon's naval power and expansionism in the Mediterranean. In the Middle Ages, Catalan literature flourished. During the last Medieval centuries natural disasters, social turmoils and military conflicts affected the Principality. Between 1469 and 1516, the king of Aragon and the queen of Castile married and ruled their realms together, retaining all of their distinct institutions and legislation. During the Franco-Spanish War, Catalonia revolted against a large and burdensome presence of the royal army in its territory, being proclaimed a republic under French protection. Within a brief period France took full control of Catalonia, until it was reconquered by the Spanish army.
Under the terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, the Spanish Crown ceded the northern parts of Catalonia the County of Roussillon, to France. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Crown of Aragon sided against the Bourbon Philip V of Spain; this led to the eclipse of Catalan as a language of literature, replaced by Spanish. Along the 18th century, Catalonia experienced economic growth, reinforced in the late quarter of the century when the Castile's trade monopoly with American colonies ended. In the 19th century, Catalonia was affected by the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars. In the second third of the century, Catalonia experienced significant industrialisation; as wealth from the industrial expansion grew, Catalonia saw a cultural renaissance coupled with incipient nationalism while several workers movements appeared. In 1914, the four Catalan provinces formed a commonwealth, with the return of democracy during the Second Spanish Republic, the Generalitat of Catalonia was restored as an autonomous government.
After the Spanish Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship enacted repressive measures, abolishing Catalan self-government and banning the official use of the Catalan language again. After a first period of autarky, from the late 1950s through to the 1970s Catalonia saw rapid economic growth, drawing many workers from across Spain, making Barcelona one of Europe's largest industrial metropolitan areas and turning Catalonia into a major tourist destination. Since the Spanish transition to democracy, Catalonia has regained considerable autonomy in political, educational and cultural affairs and is now one of the most economically dynamic communities of Spain. In the 2010s there has been growing support for Catalan independence. On 27 October 2017, the Catalan Parliament declared independence from Spain following a disputed referendum; the Spanish Senate voted in favour of enforcing direct rule by removing the entire Catalan government and calling a snap regional election for 21 December. On 2 November of the same year, the Spanish Supreme Court imprisoned 7 former ministers of the Catalan government on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds, while several others—including then-President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont—fled to other European countries.
The name Catalonia—Catalunya in Catalan, spelled Cathalonia, or Cathalaunia in Medieval Latin—began to be used for the homeland of the Catalans in the late 11th century and was used before as a territorial reference to the group of counties that comprised part of the March of Gothia and March of Hispania under the control of the Count of Barcelona and his relatives. The origin of the name Catalunya is subject to diverse interpretations because of a lack of evidence. One theory suggests that Catalunya derives from the name Gothia Launia, since the origins of the Catalan counts and people were found in the March of Gothia, known as Gothia, whence Gothlan
Moses ben Maimon known as Maimonides and referred to by the acronym Rambam, was a medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. In his time, he was a preeminent astronomer and physician. Born in Córdoba, Almoravid Empire on Passover Eve, 1135 or 1138, he worked as a rabbi and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt, he died in Egypt on December 12, 1204, whence his body was taken to the lower Galilee and buried in Tiberias. During his lifetime, most Jews greeted Maimonides' writings on Jewish law and ethics with acclaim and gratitude as far away as Iraq and Yemen. Yet, while Maimonides rose to become the revered head of the Jewish community in Egypt, his writings had vociferous critics in Spain. Nonetheless, he was posthumously acknowledged as among the foremost rabbinical decisors and philosophers in Jewish history, his copious work comprises a cornerstone of Jewish scholarship, his fourteen-volume Mishneh Torah still carries significant canonical authority as a codification of Talmudic law.
He is sometimes known as "ha Nesher ha Gadol" in recognition of his outstanding status as a bona fide exponent of the Oral Torah. Aside from being revered by Jewish historians, Maimonides figures prominently in the history of Islamic and Arab sciences and is mentioned extensively in studies. Influenced by Al-Farabi and his contemporary Averroes, he in his turn influenced other prominent Arab and Muslim philosophers and scientists, he became a prominent polymath in both the Jewish and Islamic worlds. His full Hebrew name is Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, whose acronym forms "Rambam", his full Arabic name is Abū ʿImrān Mūsā bin Maimūn bin ʿUbaidallāh al-Qurtabī, or Mūsā bin Maymūn for short. In Latin, the Hebrew ben becomes the Greek-style patronymic suffix -ides, forming "Moses Maimonides". Maimonides was born in Córdoba during what some scholars consider to be the end of the golden age of Jewish culture in the Iberian Peninsula, after the first centuries of the Moorish rule. At an early age, he developed an interest in sciences and philosophy.
He read those Greek philosophers accessible in Arabic translations, was immersed in the sciences and learning of Islamic culture. Though the Gaonic tradition in its North African version, formed the basis of his legal thought, some scholars have argued in the 21st century that Muslim law, including Almohad legal thought had a substantial influence. Maimonides was not known as a supporter of mysticism, although a strong intellectual type of mysticism has been discerned in his philosophy, he expressed disapproval of poetry, the best of which he declared to be false, since it was founded on pure invention. This sage, revered for his personality as well as for his writings, led a busy life, wrote many of his works while travelling or in temporary accommodation. Maimonides studied Torah under his father Maimon, who had in turn studied under Rabbi Joseph ibn Migash, a student of Isaac Alfasi. A Berber dynasty, the Almohads, conquered Córdoba in 1148, abolished dhimmi status in some of their territories.
The loss of this status left the Jewish and Christian communities with conversion to Islam, death, or exile. Many Jews were forced to convert, but due to suspicion by the authorities of fake conversions, the new converts had to wear identifying clothing that set them apart and made them subject to public scrutiny. Maimonides's family, along with most other Jews, chose exile; some say, that it is that Maimonides feigned a conversion to Islam before escaping. This forced conversion was ruled invalid under Islamic law when brought up by a rival in Egypt. For the next ten years, Maimonides moved about in southern Spain settling in Fez in Morocco. During this time, he composed his acclaimed commentary on the Mishnah, during the years 1166–1168. Following this sojourn in Morocco, together with two sons, he sojourned in the Holy Land, before settling in Fustat, Egypt around 1168. While in Cairo, he studied in a yeshiva attached to a small synagogue. In the Holy Land, he prayed at the Temple Mount, he wrote that this day of visiting the Temple Mount was a day of holiness for him and his descendants.
Maimonides shortly thereafter was instrumental in helping rescue Jews taken captive during the Christian King Amalric's siege of the Egyptian town of Bilbays. He sent five letters to the Jewish communities of Lower Egypt asking them to pool money together to pay the ransom; the money was collected and given to two judges sent to Palestine to negotiate with the Crusaders. The captives were released. Following this triumph, the Maimonides family, hoping to increase their wealth, gave their savings to his brother, the youngest son David ben Maimon, a merchant. Maimonides directed his brother to procure goods only at the Sudanese port of ‘Aydhab. After a long arduous trip through the desert, David was unimpressed by the goods on offer there. Against his brother's wishes, David boarded a ship for India, since great wealth was to be found in the East. Before he could reach his destination, David drowned at sea sometime between 1169 and 1177; the death of his brother caused Maimonides to become sick with grief.
In a letter, he wrote: The greatest misfortune that has befallen me during my entire life—worse than anything else—was the demise of the saint, may his memory be blessed, who drowned in the Indian sea
Vladislaus II of Hungary
Vladislaus II known as Vladislav II, Władysław II or Wladislas II, was King of Bohemia from 1471 to 1516, King of Hungary and Croatia from 1490 to 1516. As the eldest son of Casimir IV Jagiellon, he was expected to inherit Lithuania. George of Poděbrady, the Hussite ruler of Bohemia, offered to make Vladislaus his heir in 1468. Poděbrady needed Casimir IV's support against the rebellious Catholic noblemen and their ally, Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary; the Diet of Bohemia elected Vladislaus king after Poděbrady's death, but he could only rule Bohemia proper, because Matthias occupied Moravia and Lusatia. Vladislaus tried to reconquer the three provinces with his father's assistance, but Matthias repelled them. Vladislaus and Matthias divided the Lands of the Bohemian Crown in the Peace of Olomouc in 1479; the Estates of the realm had strengthened their position during the war between the two kings. Vladislaus's attempts to promote the Catholics caused a rebellion in Prague and other towns in 1483, forcing him to acknowledge the dominance of the Hussites in the municipal assemblies.
The Diet confirmed the right of the Bohemian noblemen and commoners to adhere either to Hussitism or Catholicism in 1485. After Matthias Corvinus seized Silesian duchies to grant them to his illegitimate son, John Corvinus, Vladislaus made new alliances against him in the late 1480s. Vladislaus laid claim to Hungary after Matthias's death; the Diet of Hungary elected. The other two claimants, Maximilian of Habsburg and Vladislaus's brother, John Albert, invaded Hungary, but they could not assert their claim and made peace with Vladislaus in 1491, he settled in Buda, enabling the Estates of Bohemia, Moravia and Lusatia to take full charge of state administration. In Hungary, Vladislaus always approved the decisions of the Royal Council, hence his nickname Dobzse László. Due to the concessions he had made before his election, the royal treasury could not finance a standing army and Matthias Corvinus's Black Army was dissolved after a rebellion, although the Ottomans made regular raids against the southern border.
They annexed territories in Croatia after annihilating the united army of the Croatian barons in the Battle of Krbava Field in 1493. Vladislaus was the eldest son of Casimir IV, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Elizabeth of Habsburg, she was the daughter of Albert, King of the Romans and Bohemia. Vladislaus was born in Kraków on 1 March 1456, his mother and father laid claim to Hungary and Bohemia after her childless brother, Ladislaus the Posthumous, died on 23 November 1457. However, their claims were ignored in both Bohemia; the Diet of Hungary elected Matthias Corvinus king on 24 January 1458. The Bohemian Estates of the realm proclaimed the Hussite George of Poděbrady king on 2 March. Vladislaus was his father's heir in Lithuania. Casimir IV wanted to prepare all his sons for ruling a realm and tasked renowned scholars with their education; the historian Jan Długosz was Vladislaus's tutor. Pope Paul II proclaimed a crusade against him; the Czech Catholic noblemen rose up against the "heretic" George of Poděbrady and sought assistance from Matthias Corvinus.
Matthias invaded Moravia. On 16 May 1468, George of Poděbrady offered Casimir IV to make Vladislaus his heir if Casimir mediated a peace treaty between Bohemia and Hungary. Matthias refused Casimir's offer, but George of Poděbrady forced him to sign a truce in early 1469. Fearing of losing Matthias's support, the Catholic nobles proclaimed him king of Bohemia in Olomouc on 3 May. After George of Poděbrady repeated his offer of bequeathing Bohemia to Vladislaus, Casimir IV entered into negotiations with the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick III on George of Poděbrady's behalf. George of Poděbrady died on 22 March 1471. After the fifteen-year-old Vladislaus pledged to respect the liberties of the Estates of the realm, the Bohemian Diet elected him king at Kutná Hora on 27 May 1471, he was required to acknowledge the existence of two "nations" in his realm in accordance with the Compacts of Basel, although the Holy See had condemned the Compacts in 1462. The Holy See regarded Vladislaus's election invalid and the papal legate, Lorenzo Roverella, confirmed Matthias Corvinus's claim to Bohemia on 28 May.
However, Emperor Frederick III refused to acknowledge Matthias as the lawful king of Bohemia. Vladislaus was crowned king in Prague on 22 August 1471, he could only secure his position with the noblemen's support, because no army had accompanied him to Bohemia. The Diet developed into the most influential body of state administration during his reign; the Diet started to work as a legislative assembly and passed decrees that were recorded in specific registers. Casimir IV supported Vladislaus, he allowed his second son, Vladislaus's brother Casimir, to invade Upper Hungary from Poland after a group of Hungarian barons and prelates offered Casimir the Hungarian throne in late 1471. Matthias forced him to withdraw from Hungary before the end of the year. On 1 March 1472, Pope Sixtus IV authorized his legate, Marco Barbo, to excommunicate Vladislaus and his father if they continued to wage war against Matthias; the first truce