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ḤAFZ (IBN AL-BIRR) AL-ḲUṬI:

Author of the eleventh century, or earlier; according to Steinschneider, possibly identical with Ḥafz (Ḥefeẓ) b. Yaẓliaḥ. Ḥafz al-Ḳuṭi translated the Book of Psalms into Arabic rime. Moses ibn Ezra, in his "Kitab al-Muḥaḍarah," quotes a passage from the introduction, and Ps. lv. 22-23 of this translation ("Bodl. Libr. Hunt.," No. 599; Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 1974; see Schreiner in "R. E. J." xxi. 106). Steinschneider recognized a manuscript in the library of the Escurial ("Codex Ambros." No. 86, copied in 1625 by Colville) as this translation of Ḥafz al-Ḳuṭi. As it contains evidences of Christian influence, Hammer designated Ḥafz as a "Jewish renegade"; for the same reason Neubauer makes him an Arabicor Syrian Christian, while Steinschneider maintains that the author was a Jew, and that the traces of Christian influence are due to later additions or emendations. Solomon ibn Gabirol quotes sentences of Ḥafz al-Ḳuṭi.

The name "al-Ḳuṭi" is doubtful. In one instance the reading is "al-Fuṭi," which Schreiner (l.c.) regards as correct; "al-Ḳuṭi," however, appears more probable. It is generally supposed to mean "the Goth," i.e., the Spaniard, but according to Neubauer the author might have come from Ḳuṭ in Balkh (see Yaḳut's "Mushtarik," iv. 251; but comp. Harkavy in "R. E. J." xxx. 318).

Bibliography:
  • Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. p. 312;
  • idem, Arabische Literatur, §§ 62, 66;
  • Schreiner, In R. E. J. xxi. 106, note 2;
  • Neubauer, in R. E. J. xxx. 65;
  • Graetz, Hist. iii. 267;
  • Bacher, in Winter and Wünsche, Jüdische Litteratur, ii. 259.
J. M. Sc.
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