TODROS BEN MESHULLAM BEN DAVID (called also Todros Todrosi):

Provençal translator; born at Arles in the early part of the fourteenth century. Of his life no details are known except that in 1337 he lived at Trinquetaille, where he completed his translation of Aristotle's "Rhetoric." Many hypotheses have been put forth to explain why Todros, in signing this translation, added to his name the words "mi-zera' ha-Yehudim" (= "of the seed of the Jews"), and affixed to the date "ḥeshbon ha-Yisra'elim" (= "chronology of the Israelites"), although it is possible that he feared that he might be confused with a relative of the same name who had embraced Christianity.

Todros made himself known by his Hebrew translations of Arabic philosophical works, these versions being as follows: (1) "'En Mishpaṭ ha-Derushim," a selection of philosophical aphorisms by Alfarabi (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 1339, 2; also in many other libraries), which Todros translated when he was only twenty years of age; (2) "Haẓẓalat ha-Nefesh," a rendering of the physical and metaphysical sections of Avicenna's "Kitab al-Najah" (Cod. Paris, 1023, 4); (3) "Bi'ur," the Middle Commentary of Averroes on Aristotle's "Rhetoric"(ib. 932, 4; 933, 3; also in many other libraries); (4) "Bi'ur Sefer ha-Shir," the Middle Commentary of Averroes on Aristotle's "Poetics" (in many libraries); (5) the following three treatises of Averroes: refutation of Avicenna's system, which divided all things into the two categories of those whose existence is only possible of themselves while necessary as a result of the causes from which they proceed, and those whose existence is necessary of themselves; an essay on this system; and "Ma'amar be-Da'at ha-Ḳiddum," a treatise on the problem whether God knows the details concerning His creatures before they are created, and whether His creatures exist potentially before they are actually formed (in many libraries); (6) "Ma'amar be-Sekel ha-Hayulani," a fragment of the treatise of Averroes on the hylic intellect (Cod. Paris, 989, 2; 1023, 5).

  • Carmoly, Biographie des Israélites de France, p. 91;
  • Gross, in Monatsschrift, 1880, p. 61;
  • Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. pp. 62, 182, 197, 285, 294;
  • idem, Cat. Bodl. cols. 2680-2683;
  • Renan, Averroes et Averroisme, pp. 69-70.
J. I. Br.
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