Elijah ben Moses Abba Delmedigo

Delmedigo, Elijah ben Moses Abba (dālmĕˈdēgō) [key], c.1460–1497, Jewish philosopher and Talmudist, b. Crete, known also as Elijah Cretensis. He emigrated to Italy as a young man. He studied the Jewish, Islamic, Greek, and Latin classics, composing numerous translations and lecturing on philosophy in Padua, where he was the head of the yeshiva. Giovanni Pico della Mirandola was among his Christian pupils, protecting him from his Christian enemies. After Pico's death (1494) he was forced to return to Crete, where he remained until his own death. In the controversy surrounding the question of religion versus philosophy, Delmedigo held that the two were not incompatible, and that any conflict should be resolved in favor of a philosophic interpretation of the religious text. His chief importance in the history of philosophy derives from his making the works of Averroës available in Latin to the Italian philosophers of the Renaissance.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Judaism: Biographies