FRIZZI, BENEDETTO (BENZION RAPHAEL KOHEN):
Italian physician and writer; born at Ostiano, Mantua, in 1756; died there May 30, 1844. In his youth he was instructed by Jesuits at Mantua, where he was the first Jew to attend a public school; there he showed a special predilection for mathematics. Later he took the degree of M.D. at Pavia. He was especially noticed by Emperor Joseph II. on the latter's visit to the University of Pavia. In 1789 he settled as a physician in Triest, and in 1831 returned to his native city.
Frizzi's works include: "Dissertazione di Polizia Medica sui Riti e Cerimonie del Pentateuco," a large work in six volumes on the Mosaic law: the first and second volumes dealing with forbidden food; the third with marital laws; the fourth with laws on pregnancy, birth, and education; the fifth with diseases, mourning, and burial; and the sixth with streets and houses (Pavia, 1787-90); "Sulla Lebbra degli Ebrei," Triest, 1795; "Difesa contro gli Attacchi Fatti alla Nazione Ebrea nel Libro Intit. 'Della Influenza del Ghetto nello Stato,'" appearing anonymously in answer to an anonymous book attacking the Jews, Pavia, 1784. This polemic led Frizzi to further studies of Jewish life and law, resulting in the following works: "Dissertazione in cui si Esaminano gli Usi ed Abusi degli Ebrei nei Luoghi ed Effetti Sacri," Milan, 1809; "Dissertazione sulle Leggi Mosaiche Relative al Publico Diritto," Venice, 1811. He finally devoted himself to the Talmud, writing Hebrew notes thereto to show the extent and importance of its information, covering all branches of knowledge, and the correctness of its views. This work appeared under the title "Petaḥ 'Enayim" (1st ed., Leghorn, 1815; complete in 8 parts, ib. 1878-1880). Frizzi was also the author of a number of important works on medicine, mathematics, and music.
- Vessillo Israelitico, 1881, p. 40;
- Steinschneider, in Monatsschrift, xliv. 82.