Kalonymus ben Kalonymus

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Kalonymus ben Kalonymus ben Meïr (* 1286 in Arles (?); † after 1328) was a Provencal Jewish author and translator. The name is the Graecization of the Hebrew name Shem Tov ben Shem Tov ben Meïr .

Kalonymus , presumably born in Arles, came from the respected Jewish family Kalonymus , he and his father carried the title Nasi . He studied philosophy and rabbinic literature in Salon-de-Provence under Astruc de Noves and Moses ben Solomon von Beaucaire . A medical degree is also considered likely, even though he did not practice as a doctor. Even as a teenager he translated Arabic texts into Hebrew .

In 1314 he came as a translator to the court of King Roberts of Anjou in Avignon , where he translated into Latin.

He stayed in Rome from 1319 to 1321 on behalf of Robert von Anjou , where he enjoyed a high reputation in the local Jewish community. Presumably in 1322 he left Rome again, despite protests from the community. A trip to Catalonia is mentioned in 1322 . The dating of the trip to Rome is not certain. Possibly it only took place after the trip to Catalonia. An indication of this is that Rome is not mentioned in Kalonymus' major work Eben Bohan .

After he was mentioned again in Arles in 1328, his trace is lost.


In addition to numerous translations, Kalonymus wrote four secure works of his own in Hebrew, whereby a large number of writings were erroneously ascribed to him.

  • The Eben Bohan ( The Touchstone ), which is considered to be his main work, addresses the moral life. It is an important source on the life of the Jewish communities in southern France in the early 14th century. The work was written between 1319 and 1322. The book was first published in 1489 in Naples.
  • Masseket Purim , a parody of the Purim festival . This work, created during his stay in Rome, follows the style and language of the Talmud as a parody . This type of parody found numerous imitators.


  • Even Chen, AM Haberman (Ed.) Kalonymus ben Kalonymus , Pp. 187. Tel Aviv, 1957 (in Hebrew)


  1. a b Entry in the Jewish Encyclopedia (Engl.)