Judah Leon Medigo Leon Abravanel, >Italy

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Judah Leon Medigo Leon Abravanel (Abarbanel), >Italy

Birthdate: (75)
Birthplace: Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Death: 1535 (75)
Immediate Family:

Son of Don Isaac Abarbanel דון יצחק אברבנאל and Rebecca Abarbanel
Husband of Unknown Abarbanel
Father of Luis Gomez de Medeiros (Joseph Abravanel); Samuel Abravanel; Isaac Abravanel and Samuel Abarbanel
Brother of Esther Abravanel; Joseph Abravanel, >Italy and Samuel Abravanel, > Italy

Occupation: physician, philosopher and writer
Managed by: Ilana Burgess
Last Updated:

About Judah Leon Medigo Leon Abravanel, >Italy

(note;-IB birthday according to Portuguese records) Judah Leon Abravanel, also Leon Hebreo, Leone Ebreo or Leo Hebraeus (c. 1460 – c. 1535), was a European Jewish physician, poet and philosopher, author of the "Dialogues of Love", the eldest son of Don Isaac Abravanel.

Judah Leon Abravanel (or Abrabanel, otherwise known as: in Latin, Leo Hebraeus; in Spanish, León Hebreo; in Italian, Leone Ebreo; in English, Leo the Hebrew; and in Hebrew, יהודה בן יצחק אברבנאל [Yehuda ben Yitzhak Abravanel]) (c. 1465 - c. 1523) was a Jewish Portuguese physician, poet and philosopher. His work Dialoghi d'amore (Dialogues of Love) was one of the most important philosophical works of his time. He was born of Spanish Jewish heritage in Lisbon, and wrote his most important work in Italian.

The year 1492 brought a turbulent change to the Abravanel family and to all Jews in Spain, as Isabel and Fernando ordered the conversion or expulsion of all Jews in Spain. Dom Isaac, in a desperate plea, threw himself at the feet of the Catholic Kings and begged them to revoke their decree, but to no avail. He made plans to move his family to Naples, Italy. A plot was hatched to kidnap Judah’s son as an attempt to persuade the Abravanel family to convert to Christianity and, ultimately, to remain in the service of Los Reyes Católicos. In an attempt to circumvent the plot, Judah sent his son to Portugal with a nurse, but by order of the king, the son was seized and baptized. This occurrence was a devastating insult to Judah and to his family, and was a source of bitterness throughout Judah’s life and the topic of his writings years later.

The Abravanel family chose exile over conversion, although it was not an easy choice, considering that there were not many places in Europe that Jews were welcomed and that living in exile required money, and the Jews were not allowed to take much with them. Originally intent on traveling to the Ottoman Empire, Isaac and his family settled in Naples. There, Dom Isaac became a financial advisor to the King of Naples, Ferrante, and his son Alfonso. The Abravanel family enjoyed a position of prestige in the court of Naples until 1494 when Charles VIII, king of France, invaded Naples. The Neapolitan royal family then fled to Sicily, accompanied by Dom Isaac. Wikipedia

1483-1492 - Judah Abravanel accompanied his father, Isaac Abravanel, when the latter went to Spain (1483), and afterward to Naples (1492).

1502 - His most important work, Dialoghi di Amore (Dialogues of Love), was written. Beside this work, he wrote, at the request of Pico de Mirandola, an astronomical work, which has remained unpublished, and several Hebrew poems, which have been embodied in the works of his father. He wrote also an elegy on the vicissitudes of the age in which he lived.

1505 - He became physician in ordinary to the Spanish captain-general Gonsalvo of Cordova. From there he went to Genoa and later to Venice, where he finally settled. He never abandoned the faith of his forefathers.

1505 to1507 - Served as De Cordova’s personal physician.

Judah practiced medicine to gain a livelihood (his he was also known as Leon Medigo); but his favorite pursuits were astronomy, mathematics and metaphysics. His one year old son, Isaac, was kidnapped by the King Joao of Portugal and never saw his family again. He was baptised and raised as a christian.

Alternate death date: 1523

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