Donnolo, Sabbathai

Donnolo, Sabbathai an Italian Hebrew writer, was born at Oria, near Otranto, in 913. At the time when Oria was plundered by the Mohammedans of the Fatimite kingdom, he was taken captive with his parents. While the latter were taken to Palermo and Africa, Donnolo was redeemed at Trani. Destitute of all means for support, he paved his own way by studying medicine and astrology, in which branches he soon became famous. Though a practitioner of medicine for he was physician to the Byzantine viceroy Eupraxioshe owes his reputation to his erudite works on astronomy. He wrote, Sefer Tachkemoni (ס8 תחכמוני), a commentary on the Boraita of Samuel of Nehardea; in which he embodies what he had personally learned in the East about the zodiac and the constellations, and the horoscopes of astrology, as well as what he had read in the writings of Greek, Arabian, and Indian astronomers: — Zophnath Paaneach (ס8 עפנת פענח), an astronomical commentary on the book Jezirah, the introductory portion of which is printed in Geiger's Melo Chofwayim (Berlin, 1840): — Sefer Hammazaloth (ס8 המזלות), an astronomy. See Gritz, Gesch. d. Juden, 5:316; Etheridge, Introduction to Hebrew Literature, page 281; Steinschneider, Jewish Literature, page 181; Furst, Bibl. Jud. 1:211; Geiger, Sabb. Donnolo, in Melo Chofnayim, page 95-99; Fiirst, in Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte der Juden in Asien, 1:49; Jellinek, Der Menschals Gottes Ebenbild von R.S. Donolo (Leipsic, 1854); De' Rossi, Dizionario Storico, page 89 (Germ. transl.). (B.P.)

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