Rieti, Moses Ben-isaac Di

Rieti, Moses Ben-Isaac Di,

of Perugia, a noted Jewish writer, was born in 1388 and died after 1451. He was a physician and philosopher of some renown. and wrote very elegant verses in Hebrew and Italian. He is the author of ס8 מקדש מעט, a Great Paradiso in Terza Rima, with literary and historical notes. It consists of two parts, viz. the חלק האולם and החיכל חלק, which again are separated into divisions. The first part contains in the first division a prayer to God, and speaks of the plan, name, division, and grouping of the work; in the second the author treats of theology, revelation, the thirteen articles of faith, the phases of philosophy among Greeks and Hebrews, of the Cabala and its study; in the third he treats of the other sciences, the liberal arts, etc.; in the fourth he speaks of the introduction of Porphyry, the ten categories, the commentary of Ibn-Roshd, and the philosophical labors of Levi ben-Gershon, or Ralbag; in the fifth he continues to speak of philosophy. The second part, which is composed of eight divisions, speaks in the first of Paradise, with its patriarchs, prophets, Sanhedrim, the wise and pious; the second, which is also entitled למשה תפלה, is a grand confessional, penitential, and admonitory prayer; in the third, which is called עיר אלהים, The City of God, the bright abode of Ezra, Daniel, Zerubbabel, Zechariah, etc., is described; in the fourth, called אניות הנפש, the author of the Mishna and his work in the domain of the blessed are described; the fifth speaks of the chapters of the six orders of the Mishna and their contents; the sixth treats of the writings of the Tanaim, Amoraim, Saboraim, Geonim, etc., down to the author's own time; the seventh descants upon the teachers of the Talmud, the theology of the Midrashim, etc.; and, finally, the eighth narrates the exiles of the Jews and their sufferings. In the Paradiso, Di Rieti excludes Immanuel of Rome (q.v.) from the regions of the blessed, and he is also said to have repented of his own poetry as a waste of time. "This would show that he possessed more judgment than those who have published this unattractive work as the production of the 'Hebrew Dante'" (Steinschneider). This Divina Commedia was first edited after three MSS., by Jacob Goldenthal, with an Italian and Hebrew introduction (Vienna, 1851). Di Rieti wrote some other works, which, however, are yet in MS. See Fürst, Bibl. Jud. 3, 158 sq.; Bartolocci, Bibl. Rabb. 3, 945 a; Grätz, Gesch. d. Juden (Leips. 1875), 8, 143-145; Delitzsch, Gesch. d. jüdischen Poesie, p. 54, 145; Moses Rieti, in the Jewish Messenger (N.Y.), May 18, 1876. (B.P.)

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