About Kalonymus "Maestro Calo" ben Meir ben Kalonymus
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Kalonymus ben Kalonymus ben Meir (Arles, 1286 – died after 1328) was a Provençal Jewish philosopher and translator. He studied philosophy and rabbinical literature at Salonica, under the direction of Senior Astruc de Noves and Moses ben Solomon of Beaucaire. He also studied medicine, although he seems never to have practised it.
He was from a prominent and distinguished Provençal Jewish family. The father of Kalonymus and Kalonymus himself each bore the title "Nasi" (president).
About 1314 Kalonymus settled at Avignon, where he later became associated with Robert of Anjou, who sent him, provided with letters of recommendation, on a scientific mission to Rome. Kalonymus's learning and character gained for him the consideration of the Roman Jewish notables; and when his family, finding that his sojourn at Rome was longer than had been anticipated, recalled him, the poet Immanuel ben Solomon of Rome wrote a letter to Nasi Samuel of Arles, protesting in the name of the Jewish community of Rome against Kalonymus' return ("Maḥberot," p. 23). According to Steinschneider and Gross, Kalonymus was the poet referred to by Immanuel (ib. p. 28) as having pleaded the cause of the Roman Jews before the pope at Avignon in 1321. But this assertion needs confirmation, inasmuch as the exact dates of Kalonymus' stay in Rome can not be ascertained. Heinrich Graetz and Adolf Neubauer believe that Kalonymus went to Rome after his sojourn in Catalonia, which was in 1322; and the fact that he does not mention Rome in his "Eben Boḥan" confirms their supposition. In 1328 Kalonymus was in Arles, where he probably remained until his death, the exact date of which is unknown.
- Leopold Zunz, G. S. iii. 150-155;
- Kayserling, Leben Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, prefixed to Meisel's German transl. of the Eben Boḥan;
- Gross, in Monatsschrift, 1879, pp. 470 et seq.;
idem, Gallia Judaica, p. 84;
- Moritz Steinschneider, in Ersch and Gruber, Encyc. section ii., part 28, pp. 169–175;
- Heinrich Grätz, Gesch. vii. 288;
- Renan-Neubauer, Les Ecrivains Juifs Français, pp. 71 et seq.