NAḤMIAS (NAAMIAS, NEHMIAS):
One of the most ancient and prominent Jewish families of Toledo. The oldest member known is Joseph Naḥmias, son-in-law of Joshua ben Isaac ibn Saidum, who was living in 1112. In 1211 another of the same name is met with in the same city. In 1231 Abu al-Ḥajjaj Joseph ben Isaac ibn Naḥmias was a scribe of Arabic codices; and in the latter part of the same century lived Todros ibn Naḥmias, whose daughter was famed for her many excellent qualities.
The best-known of this family is Joseph ben Joseph (Jose) Naḥmias of Toledo, pupil of Rabbi Asher ben Jehiel. Between 1330 and 1350 he wrote the following works: an astronomical work in Arabic, still in manuscript, and entitled "Nur al'Alam" (Light of the World), which was translated by an anonymous scholar of the fourteenth century into Hebrew; a commentary on the Pentateuch; a commentary on Pirḳe Abot; a commentary on Proverbs. He may be identical with Joseph b. Abraham ibn Naḥmias, mentioned below; he was a contemporary of Joseph ben Joseph ibn Naḥmias, who also lived at Toledo, was a colleague of Judah and Jacob ben Asher, and wrote a commentary on Esther in 1326 or 1327.
- Zunz, Z. G. pp. 429 et seq.;
- Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. pp. 597, 686;
- idem, Hebr. Bibl. xii. 124 et seq.
Other members of the family are David ben Joseph Naḥmias, who, together with his three sons, died during the plague in Toledo (Tammuz, 1349); Moses Naḥmias, the colleague of R. Judah ben Asher, and whose son Judah also died of the plague at the age of twenty-seven (1350); and Joseph ben Abraham Naḥmias, who transliterated into Hebrew part of the commentary, written in Arabic characters, of Solomon ibn Ya'ish on Avicenna's "Canon."
In places other than Toledo lived the following members of the family (given in chronological order):
Isaac Naḥmias: Judge in Cordova, and later rabbi of Fez (c. 1420).
Abraham b. Joseph ibn Naḥmias: Translator; lived about 1490 at Ocaña, Castile. Naḥmias studied philosophy and advised his coreligionists to learn it from the Christians. Of his Hebrew translation of Thomas Aquinas' commentaries on Aristotle's "Metaphysics" only the preface has been published ("Kerem Ḥemed," viii. 110 et seq.). Albertus Magnus' sketch of physical philosophy, "Ḳiẓẓur ha-Filosofia ha-Ṭib'it," was translated into Hebrew not by Naḥmias, as Zunz assumes and Fürst asserts, but by his contemporary Abraham Shalom b. Isaac of Catalonia.
- Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii. 1;
- Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. pp. 465, 485.
David Naḥmias (d. 1511) and his son Samuel (d. c. 1522), who in 1505 established a Hebrew printing-office in Constantinople.
Abraham Naḥmias: Talmudist, died as a martyr (c. 1529). He, as well as Jacob ibn Naḥmias, is quoted by Jacob Berah and by Joseph Caro.
Abraham ibn Naḥmias: Physician; born in Lisbon; lived in Constantinople about 1530. He was the author of the medical works known as "Sifre Refu'ah," two of which, respectively, on the method of treating hematemesis and on the use of cold water in inflammatory fevers, were translated from Hebrew into Latin (Venice, 1591, 1604). Another medical work, still in manuscript, has been ascribed to him, but the authorship is doubtful.
A third Abraham ibn Naḥmias lived about 1600 in Salonica, being a contemporary of Aaron Shulam; while a fourth Abraham ibn Naḥmias, famous for his piety, was a pupil of Abraham Motal, and lived about 1640 at Constantinople, in which city he died.
- De Rossi-Hamberger, Hist. Wörterb. p. 240;
- Carmoly, Les Médecins Juifs, p. 163;
- Zunz, Z. G. p. 431;
- Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii. 1;
- Conforte, Ḳore ha-Dorot, pp. 43a, 44a, 45b, 52b.
Isaac Naḥmias: Burned at the stake in Ancona in 1556.
David Naḥmias, lived in Salonica (mentioned by Ḥayyim Shabbethai in "Torat Ḥayyim," Salonica, 1715), and Eliezer ben Hadriel Naḥmias in Constantinople; both of them prominent rabbis in 1573.
Isaac Naḥmias and his son David, who were prosperous merchants in Salonica in 1611. The father is perhaps identical with Isaac ben David, praised for his bounty by Lonzano ("Shete Yadot").
Joseph ibn Naḥmias: Lived in 1625. Leon of Modena dedicated to him his "'En Ya'aḳob."
Immanuel Naḥmias: Poet; was born in Amsterdam in 1632.
Between 1630 and 1660 lived Abraham, Israel, and Jacob Naḥmias (the last-named was perhaps Delmedigo's teacher in Cabala in Constantinople); Levi Naḥmias (of Sidon?) in Hebron; and David Naḥmias (of Salonica) in Jerusalem (c. 1652).
Solomon ben Moses ibn Naḥmias: Judge in Monastir in 1643.
Samuel ben David ibn Naḥmias: Born in Salonica; went to Venice, where, together with his son David and his brother Joseph, he turned Catholic (1649), and became known as "Giulio Morosino." He was made librarian of the Vatican and, later, lecturer in the College de Propaganda Fide. He was the author of the voluminous work (3 vols., containing 103 chapters and 1,453 pages) "Derek Emunah: Via Della Fede Demonstrata" (Rome, 1683), attacking the Jews.
The latest members of the Naḥmias family met with are Samuel Naḥmias of Ipsala; R. Joseph Naḥmias of Rhodes (1660), and the latter's son, who was living in 1695.
- Zunz, Z. G. i. 413, 419, 428-431, 570;
- Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. pp. 524, 597, 686, 723;
- J. Q. R. iv. 307; v. 290, 709-713;
- Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii. 8;
- Jacobs, Sources, pp. 172, 179, 188.