Egyptian chronicler of the seventeenth century; lived probably at Alexandria between 1640 and 1703. Of lowly origin and in the employ of Rabbi Joseph Ḥen, he spent his leisure time in historic studies, finding a mass of documents in the extensive library of the famous rabbi Abraham Skandari (the Alexandrian). Sambari knew Arabic, Hebrew, and Spanish, yet his Hebrew orthography and grammar are very faulty. According to his prefaces he wrote two works, only one of which has been printed. The first, entitled "Dibre ha-Ḥakamim," has either been lost or is buried in some library. It probably was a general history covering the time from Abraham to the Saboraic rabbis, or to the year 540 C.E. The second work, entitled "Dibre Yosef," is a continuation of the first; two copies are in existence, one in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and the other in the library of the Alliance Israélite at Paris. The book deals with the history of the Fatimite califs of Egypt, the Abbassids of Spain, and the Osmanli Turks, and also with the history and literature of the Jews who lived under these rulers. In writing his "Dibre Yosef," the author used such sources as Elijah Capsali's "Debe Eliyahu," and other works. It was first published by Neubauer in his "Medieval Jewish Chronicles," i. 115-162, and afterward separately by A. Berliner (Frankfort, 1896). See also Egypt.

  • Cattawi, Dibre Yosef;
  • Franco, Histoire des Israélites de l'Empire Ottoman, p. 91.
J. M. Fr.
Images of pages