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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Sakkuto, Abraham Ben-Samuel,

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a learned Jewish writer, was born at Salamanca about A.D. 1450. He was a celebrated astronomer, mathematician, historian, and lexicographer, and his distinguished talents secured for him the professional chair of astronomy at Saragossa. When he had to quit Spain, in 1492, he repaired to Portugal, where king Emmanuel appointed him chronographer and astronomer royal. On the banishment of the Jews from Portugal, he retired to Tunis. It was here that he completed, in 1504, the famous chronicle entitled יוּחֲסַין סֵפֶר (The Book of Genealogies), which comprises a chronological history of the Jews from the creation to A.M. 5260=A.D. 1500. In this elaborate work Sakkuto gives an account of the oral law as transmitted from Moses through the elders, prophets, sages, etc.; the acts and monuments of the kings of Israel, as well as of the surrounding nations, in chronological order; the Babylonian colleges at Sora and Pumbadita; the events which occurred during the period of the second Temple; the different sects of that period viz. the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Nazarites; the princes of the captivity, and the rectors of the colleges after the close of the Talmud; and the period down to the end of the 15th century. Sakkuto's work, which is an encyclopedia of Jewish literature, was first published at Constantinople (1566): then, with many additions and glosses, at Cracow (1581), Amsterdam (1717), Konigsberg (1857), and from a MS. in the Bodleian Library, with many corrections, additions, etc., by Filipowski (Lond. 1857). Sakkuto also wrote a Rabbinic Aramaic lexicon to the Chaldee paraphrases, the Midrashim, and Talmud, entitled הוֹסָפוֹת לְסֵפֶר הָעָרוּךְ (i.e. Supplements to the Book Aruch), of which an account is given by Geiger in the Zeitschrift der D. M. G. 12, 144 sq. (Leips. 1858): מָתוֹה לִנֶּפֶשׁ (Sweet to the Soul), on the future state, the separation of spirit from body, etc. (Constantinople, 1516). See Furst, Bibl. Jud. 3, 200 sq.; Rossi, Dizionario Storico (Germ. transl.), p. 334; Steinschneider, Catalogus Librorum Hebr. in Bibl. Bodl. p. 706 sq.; Kitto, Cyclop. s.v.; Lindo, Hist. of the Jews, p. 267; Finn, Sephardim, p. 452; Da Costa, Israel and the Gentiles, p. 284; Etheridge, Introd. to Hebr. Literature, p. 451 sq.; Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden, 9, 18 sq., 418, 458, 474; Jost, Gesch. d. Judenth. u. s. Secten, 3, 113. (B.P.)

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Sakkuto, Abraham Ben-Samuel,'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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