Mrs E. Rosenthal
Middle-Ages and the Renaissance
Isaac Abravanel, the famous savant, who has been called "The last of the Jewish Philosophers of the Middle Ages", was born in Lisbon in 1437. His grandfather, Judah Abravanel, a wealthy refugee who had fled from Castile on account of persecution, had been established in Lisbon for some considerable period. The Abravanels belonged to a distinguished family claiming descent from King David.
By virtue of his position, Samuel Abravanel enjoyed free entré to the Court, and «mingled with the most distinguished society in the capital. Such influence and affluence ensured for the young Isaac an education in the best contemporary style, embracing, on the one hand, the meticulous study of the Bible and of Hebrew literature, and, on the other, a sound schooling in such "secular" subjects as ancient and modern languages and philosophy.
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