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MANETTI, GIANNOZZO:

Italian statesman and Christian Hebraist; born in Florence 1396; died at Naples Oct. 26, 1459. At the suggestion of Pope Nicholas V., who had made him one of his secretaries, Manetti learned Hebrew from a Jew named Manuel. He is said to have had a Jewish servant with whom he spoke Hebrew; and his son Agnolo from an early age was taught Hebrew besides Latin and Greek.

Manetti translated the Psalms at Nicholas' request, but had to defend the principles of his translation in a special treatise. In the hope of gaining the 5,000 ducats promised by the pope for the discovery of the original Hebrew of the Gospel of Matthew, Manetti collected many Hebrew manuscripts which are now in the Vatican. He also began a large apologetic work against the Jews.

Bibliography:
  • Burckhart, Renaissance in Italy, i. 270;
  • Steinschneider, in Zeit. für Hebr. Bibl. i. 87;
  • Michaud, in Biographie Universelle;
  • Nuova Enciclopedia Italiana.
T. J.
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