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MILES OF MARSEILLES, or SAMUEL BEN JUDAH BEN MESHULLAM (surnamed Barbaveira):

Provençal physician and philosopher; born at Marseilles 1294. In some manuscripts he is designated by the name "Bongodos," the Provençal equivalent of "Ben Judah." From early youth he devoted himself to the study of science and philosophy. While still young he left his native place for Salon, where he studied astronomy under the direction of Abba Mari Senior Astruc de Noves. In 1322 he is met with at Beaucaire as a prisoner together with other Jews in the tower of Rodorte. Later he sojourned successively at Murcia, Tarascon, Aix, and Montélimar.

Miles became known through his Hebrew translations from the Arabic of scientific and philosophical works. These include: (1) "Ha-She'elot ha-Dibriyyot meha-Derushim Asher le-Filusufim," translation of questions or dissertations concerning some obscure points in the commentary of Averroes on certain parts of the "Organon," finished May 8,1320; (2) translation of the Middle Commentary of Averroes on Aristotle's "Ethics," completed at Beaucaire Feb. 9, 1321; (3) translation of the commentary of Averroes on Plato's "Republic," finished Sept. 3, 1321, at Beaucaire, in the tower of Rodorte; (4) translation of the compendium made by Averroes of Aristotle's "Organon," completed at Tarascon Dec. 13, 1329; (5) translation of the text of the figures 30 and 31 of the treatise of Euclid on the five bodies (in completion of the translation of Kalonymus, where these figures are wanting), finished Aug. 23, 1335; (6) commentary on the "Almagest," parts i.-iii.; (7) translation of a compendium of the "Almagest" by Abu Mohammed Jabar ibn Aflaḥ, translated from the Arabic into Hebrew by Jacob ben Machir and corrected by Miles, finished Dec. 17, 1335, at Aix; (8) "Ma'amar Alexander ha-Firdusi," treatise of Alexander of Aphrodisias on the soul, translated from the Greek into Arabic by Isḥaḳ ibn Ḥunain, finished July 4, 1340, at Montélimar; (9) translation of the astronomical works of the vizier Abu Abdallah Mohammed ibn Mu'adh of Seville, in two parts: (1) treatise in seven chapters on the eclipse of the sun July 3, 1079; (2) "Iggeret be-'Ammud ha-Shaḥar," treatise on the aurora; (10) "Ma'amar be-Tenu'at ha-Kokabim ha-Ḳayyamim," treatise on the movement of the fixed stars by Abu Isḥaḳ al-Zarkala.

Bibliography:
  • Zunz, G. S. iii. 189;
  • Munk, Mélanges, p. 489;
  • Neubauer, in R. E. J. ix. 215;
  • Kaufmann, ib. xiii. 300 et seq.;
  • Renan, Averroès et l' Averroïsme, p. 191;
  • Renan-Neubauer, Les Ecrivains Juifs Français, pp. 207 et seq.;
  • Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. pp. 131, 138, 152, 222;
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 379.
G. I. Br.
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