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CATALAN, GERSON B. SOLOMON:

Author; lived at Arles in the middle of the thirteenth century; died (possibly) at Perpignan toward the end of the thirteenth century. According to Abraham Zacuto and others, he was the father of Levi b. Gerson (Gersonides). He compiled, about 1280, an encyclopedia entitled "Sha'ar ha-Shamayim" (Door of Heaven), which contains many quotations and even whole treatises from previous translations of works written in Arabic. Following Ibn Palquera, he divided his work into three parts, dealing respectively with: (1) physics, including a chapter on dreams; (2) astronomy, taken chiefly from Al-Fergani; and (3) theology or metaphysics, which part, as Catalan expressly says, contains nothing new, but is a copy of Maimonides' "Book of the Soul." The Greek authors cited are: Alexander of Aphrodisias, Aristotle, Empedocles, Galen, Hippocrates, Homer, Plato, Ptolemy, Pythagoras, Themistius, and Theophrastus; the Arabic: Ali ibn al-Abbas, Ali ibn Ridhwan, Averroes, Avicenna, Costa ibn Lucca, Al-Farabi, Al-Fergani, Ḥonain, Isaac Israeli, Ibn Tufail, and Ibn Zuhr. The work was published in Venice, 1547, Rödelheim, 1801.

Bibliography:
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1014;
  • idem, Hebr. Uebers. pp. 9 et seq.;
  • Gross, in Monatsschrift, xxx. 20 et seq.;
  • idem, Gallia Judaica, p. 82;
  • Sen. Sachs, Kerem Ḥemed, viii. 153 et seq.;
  • De Rossi-Hamberger, Wörterbuch, p. 69;
  • Rev. Et. Juives, v. 278, xvi. 186. A number of citations are to be found in Kaufmann, Die Sinne (see Index).
G. M. K.
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