ABRAHAM OF TOLEDO (called also Don Abraham Alfaquin = Arabic ḥakim, "physician" or "wise man"):
Physician of King Alfonso the Wise of Castile, who esteemed him highly; flourished in the second half of the thirteenth century. At the king's request he translated several books from Arabic into Spanish. One of these was Al-Heitham's treatise on the construction of the universe, the Latin translation of which ("De Mundo et Cœlo") is based on Abraham's Spanish version. It is not strictly a translation, but rather a paraphrase of the Arabic original, as observed by the anonymous Latin translator, who remarks in his preface that the king had requested Abraham "to arrange the work in better order than it was, and to divide it into chapters." More widely known is Abraham's Spanish translation (1277) of Zarkali's "Astrolabe," which furnished the foundation for the Latin and Italian translations. The French translation of the seventieth sura of the Koran, by Bonaventura de Sene, is also based on the Spanish translation made by Abraham in 1264. Some writers have tried to identify this Abraham with Abraham Judæus Tortuosensis, who, toward the end of the thirteenth century, translated several works from the Arabic and perhaps also from the Latin; for instance: "'De Simplicibus opus ex Dioscoride et Galeno aggregatum,' interprete Abrahamo Judæo Tortuosensi," and "'Liber Servitoris,' interprete Abrahamo Judæo Tortuosensi" (Venice, 1471). Compare Abraham b. Shem-Ṭob.
- Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. §§ 347, 370, 474b, 476, 581;
- idem, Hebr. Bibl. vi. 75;
- Grätz, Gesch. d. Juden, vii. 447.