Immanuel ben Salomon

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Encyclopedia Britannica 1911

IMMANUEL BEN SOLOMON (c. 1265 - c. 1330), Hebrew poet, was born in Rome. He was a contemporary and friend of Dante, and his verse shows the influence of the "divine poet." Immanuel's early studies included science, mathematics and philosophy; and his commentaries on Proverbs, Psalms, Job and other Biblical books are good examples of the current symbolical methods which Dante so supremely used. Immanuel's fame chiefly rests on his poems, especially the collection (in the manner of Harizi, q.v.) entitled Mehabberoth, a series of 27 goodnatured satires on Jewish life. Religious and secular topics are indiscriminately interwoven, and severe pietists were offended by Immanuel's erotic style. Most popular is an additional section numbered 28 (often printed by itself) called Hell and Paradise (ha-Tophet veha-Eden). The poet is conducted by a certain Daniel (doubtfully identified with Dante) through the realms of torture and bliss, and Immanuel's pictures and comments are at once vivid and witty.

See J. Chotzner, Hebrew Humour (Lond., 1905), pp. 82-102. (I. A.)