ABRAHAM BEN SHEM-ṬOB:
By: Moïse Schwab
Medical writer; born in the middle of the thirteenth century, probably at Marseilles, where his father, Shem-Ṭob ben Isaac of Tortosa, practised medicine. He is author of a medical handbook ( ) in ninety-one paragraphs. Of this, two manuscripts are in the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris (Hebr. MSS. Nos. 1181, 1182), in which the scribe adds after the name of the author the eulogy ("God preserve him"). He is also called "Abraham the Hebrew of Tortosa," by Bonafos Bonfil Astruc, the Hebrew translator of the "Liber Practicæ" of Zahrawi, and "Abraham Judæus Tortuosensis," by Simon of Genoa, also known as a medical writer. He studied probably in Italy, as the last chapter of his handbook shows the influence of the Italian physician Gentile. Abraham ben Shem-Ṭob assisted in the translation of "Serapion de Simplicibus" (printed in 1473), and also translated chapter twenty-eight of the "Liber Practicæ," under the special title "Liber Servitoris." It treats of the preparation of simple medicaments. The Hebrew translation is lost, but the Latin version still exists under the title "Liber Servitoris XXVIII. de Præparatione Medicinarum Simplicium, translatus a Simone Januensi, interprete Abrahamo Judæo," Venice, 1471. Abraham was the actual translator and Simon merely added his name.
- Neubauer, in Rev. Ét. Juives, v. 45;
- Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. pp. 657, 972;
- Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 376.