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FELIX PRATENSIS:

Jewish apostate; born at Prato, Italy, in the second half of the fifteenth century; died at Rome in 1539. He received a good education and acquired a perfect knowledge of three languages. In 1518 he embraced Christianity, becoming a member of the Augustine order, and thereafter devoted himself to the conversion of the Jews. Like all his congeners, he displayed in his sermons great intolerance of his former coreligionists, earning for himself the sobriquet "the Jews' scourge."

While still a Jew, Felix published a Latin translation of the Psalms, entitled "Psalterium ex Hebræo ad Verbum Translatum," Venice, 1515. He also arranged the Masorah for the "Biblia Veneta" (1518), published by his disciple Bomberg.

Bibliography:
  • Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. i. 918, iii. 935;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 2111;
  • Vogelstein and Rieger, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, ii. 37.
K. I. Br.
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