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Document Details :
Title: On Hebrew Nymphs and Aqueducts
Subtitle: Two Hebrew Poems by Andreas Masius
Author(s): MALEUX, Maxime
Volume: 47 Issue: 1 Date: 2020
In a volume containing Syriac letters from the sixteenth-century Orientalist Andreas Masius (1514-1573), there also occur a couple of poems written in Hebrew. The poems too are in Masius’ hand and demonstrate his mastery of the Hebrew language, which he had studied at the Louvain Collegium Trilingue and which later served as his key to the other so-called Oriental languages, Arabic and Syriac. The poems are written in a biblical idiom, but are at the same time composed in medieval meters and have rhyme patterns. This shows that Masius was acquainted with the heritage of the Andalusian Hebrew poetical tradition, which was largely ignored by mainstream Hebraists who tended to focus solely on biblical, and sometimes also rabbinical, sources. My metrical analysis suggests that Masius’ poetical model was the medieval Italian poet Immanuel of Rome (1261-c.1335). This hypothesis is further confirmed by a catalogue of Masius’ Hebrew library, which contains an edition of the Maḥbarot of Immanuel.