Linked bibliography for the SEP article "Shem Tov Ibn Falaquera" by Steve Harvey

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Shem-Tov ibn Falaquera was a prolific author. Most of his philosophic works and translations are extant and have been edited at least once. In fact, the only extant work of Falaquera’s that has not been edited and printed is his encyclopedia of science and philosophy, De‘ot ha-Filosofim (The Opinions of the Philosophers), which is extant in two manuscripts, and Ilya Levkovich is currently engaged in editing parts of it. Falaquera mentions in his writings books of his that are no longer extant: Megillat ha-Zikkaron (Scroll of Remembrance), in which “I spoke of our trials of the past, for at present, hordes of afflictions come upon us daily” (Sefer ha-Mevaqqesh, 12; trans., 7]); Sefer ha-Derash, apparently a philosophic commentary on the Midrashim (Moreh ha-Moreh, II, 26, 287); a Commentary on the Torah and a Commentary on other books of the Bible (Moreh ha-Moreh, introduction, 116), and a Commentary on Proverbs (Moreh ha-Moreh, addendum chap. 1, 337; cf. Reshit Hokhmah, 10, and Sefer ha-Ma‘alot, 39). He also expresses his intention to write a Commentary on Ecclesiastes (Iggeret ha-Vikkuah, 71; trans., 37). Passages from Falaquera’s lost Bible commentaries and perhaps also from his Sefer ha-Derash have been preserved in two writings of Samuel ibn Sarsa. These have been edited and translated in Jospe, Torah and Sophia, 468–484 (from Ibn Sarsa’s Meqor Hayyim) and in Jospe and Schwartz, “Falaquera’s Lost Bible Commentary,” 186–200 (from Ibn Sarsa’s Mikhlol Yofi).

Below is a list of editions and translations of Falaquera’s works. References above are to the first edition listed. For a description of these works and for information on additional editions of them, see Jospe, Torah and Sofia, 31–76. Where editions are available on-line without charge, I have provided the URL. Some of these editions are quite faulty and must be checked against the modern critical editions (where available). A selected list of the secondary literature follows that of Falaquera’s writings. The past decades have seen a dramatic increase in studies on various aspects of Falaquera’s philosophic writing. In part, this is due to Colette Sirat, whose History of Jewish Philosophy in the Middle Ages (in various languages) was the first history to discuss Falaquera’s thought and to recognize the importance of lesser known Jewish philosophers for the history and development of Jewish thought. In general, special attention may be paid to the writings of the following present-day scholars who have carefully studied the philosophy and science of Falaquera: Bruno Chiesa, Resianne Fontaine, Steven Harvey, Raphael Jospe, Yair Shiffman, and Mauro Zonta.

Primary Sources

  • Battei Hanhagat Guf ha-Bari’; Battei Hanhagat ha-Nefesh (Verses on the Regimen of the Healthy Body; Verses on the Regimen of the Soul). Ed. and Spanish trans. María Encarnación Varela Moreno, Versos para la sana conducción del cuerpo; versos para la conducción del alma de Šem Tob ibn Falaquera. Granada: Universidad de Granada, 1986. (Scholar)
  • De‘ot ha-Filosofim (The Opinions of the Philosophers). Leiden, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit MS Or. 4758/3 (Warn. 20) (IMHM 17368), fols. 104r-343v. Parma, Biblioteca Palatina, MS 3156 (De Rossi 164) (IMHM 13897), fols. 1r-291r. Parts of the introduction are edited with an Italian trans. in M. Zonta, L’introduzione. Other parts of the introduction are trans. in R. Gatti, Ermeneutica e filosofia, 161–172. Book I, Part IV (On Plants), chaps. 1 and 3, is edited and translated in Nicolaus Damascenus, De Plantis: Five Translations, ed. H. J. Drossaart Lulofs and E. L. J. Poortman (Leiden: Brill, 1989), 388–405.

    Ilya Levkovich is completing a critical edition of Book I, Part VI: A and B (On the Soul), which will appear soon. Tomás Jesús Urrutia Sánchez edited and prepared a Spanish trans. of Book I, Part VII, as part of his Ph.D. thesis at the Universidad de Granada (2010), entitled: “La parte séptima del De‘ot ha-Pilosofim de Shem Tob Ibn Falaquera, edición, traducción y studio.” A detailed outline of the De‘ot by Raphael Jospe is found in S. Harvey (ed.) 2000, 238–247.

  • Iggeret ha-Ḥalom (Treatise of the Dream). Ed. and English summary by Henry Malter, “Shem Tob ben Joseph Palquera: His Treatise of the Dream.” Jewish Quarterly Review 1 (1910–1911): 451–501. [Available online]

    A critical ed. and Spanish trans. has recently been made by Sara Calderer Espigares, “’Iggeret ha-Ḥalom (Tratado del sueño) de Šem Tob ibn Falaquera.” MEAH (sección Hebreo) 55 (2006): 427–473.

  • Iggeret ha-Musar (Treatise on Ethics). Ed. A. M. Haberman, “Rabbi Shem Tov Falaquera’s Iggeret ha-Musar.” Qoves ‘al Yad 1 (1936): 43–90. (Scholar)
  • Iggeret ha-Vikkuaḥ (The Epistle of the Debate). Ed. and English trans. in S. Harvey, Falaquera’s Epistle of the Debate: An Introduction to Jewish Philosophy, 55–80; trans., 13–52. Editio princeps: Constantinople, ca. 1577. Italian trans. in Harvey, L’“Opuscolo della contesa” di Falaquera, 49–111. Spanish trans. Angel Sáenz-Badillos, “La Carta del Debate de Šem Tob ibn Falaqera.” Meah 42 (1993): 105–133. French trans. David Lemler, L’accord de la Torah et de la philosophie: Épître de la controverse. Paris: Hermann, 2014. Latin trans. “Epistola dialogi: une traduction latine de l’Iggeret ha-Vikuah de Shemtov ibn Falaquera, étude et édition,” ed. Gilbert Dahan. Sefarad 39 (1979): 47–85, 237–264. [Vienna 1875 ed. available online]
  • Liqqutim mi-Sefer ha-‘Asamim ha-Ḥamishah (Excerpts from [Pseudo-Empedocles’] The Book of Five Substances). Ed. David Kaufmann in his Studien über Salomon ibn Gabirol (Budapest, 1899). (Scholar)
  • Liqqutim mi-Sefer Meqor Ḥayyim (Excerpts from [Solomon ibn Gabirol’s] The Source of Life). Ed. and French trans. S. Munk in his Mélanges de philosophie juive et arabe. Paris, 1859. Ed. and Italian trans. by Roberto Gatti. Shelomoh ibn Gabirol, Fons Vitae. Genova: Il Melangolo, 2001. English trans. by Charles H. Manekin, in his Medieval Hebrew Philosophical Writings, 23–87. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

    It was Munk who showed on the basis of Falaquera’s Hebrew version that Avicebron was Jewish and none other than Ibn Gabirol, and that the Fons vitae was Ibn Gabirol’s Meqor Hayyim.

  • Mikhtav ‘al Devar ha-Moreh (Letter regarding the Guide). Ed. David Lemler in Zutot: Perspectives on Jewish Culture 9 (2012): 40–50. Editio princeps: In Abba Mari ben Moses of Lunel, Minhat Qena‘ot. Pressburg, 1838, 182–185. (Scholar)
  • Moreh ha-Moreh (The Guide to the Guide), on Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed. Ed. Yair Shiffman. Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 2001. Editio princeps: Pressburg, 1837. An English translation of the beginning of this commentary (Shiffman, 112–123) can be found in Igor H. De Souza, Rewriting Maimonides: Early Commentaries on the “Guide of the Perplexed”, 152–171. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018. (Scholar)
  • Reshit Ḥokhmah (The Beginning of Wisdom). Ed. Moritz David. Berlin, 1902. Latin trans. is extant in MS Paris 6691. [Berlin 1902 ed. available online] (Scholar)
  • Sefer ha-Ma‘alot (The Book of Degrees). Ed. Ludwig Venetianer. Berlin, 1894. [Available online]
  • Sefer ha-Mevaqqesh. Ed. M. Tamah. Hague, 1778. Trans. of Part 1, M. Herschel Levine, Falaquera’s Book of the Seeker. New York: Yeshiva University Press, 1976. Editio princeps: Cracow, 1646. [Hague 1778 ed. available online] (Scholar)
  • Sefer ha-Nefesh (The Book of the Soul). Ed. and trans. Raphael Jospe, Torah and Sophia, 275–319; trans., 321–409. Editio princeps: Lemberg, 1835. Spanish trans. Ana M. Riaño López and Francisco Samaranch Kriner, Libro del alma. Granada: Universidad de Granada, 1990. [Warsaw 1924 ed. available online] (Scholar)
  • Seri ha-Yagon (Balm of Sorrow). Ed. and trans. Roberta Klugman Barkan, “Shem Tob ben Joseph ibn Falaquera’s ‘Sori Yagon’ or ‘Balm for Assuaging Grief’: Its Literary Sources and Traditions.” Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1971. Editio princeps: Cremona, 1557. (Scholar)
  • Shelemut ha-Ma‘asim (The Perfection of Actions). Ed. Raphael Jospe, Torah and Sophia, 417–458.

Secondary Sources

  • Chiesa, Bruno, 1986, “Note su al-Fârâbî, Averroe’ e Ibn Bâgga (Avempace) in traduzione ebraica.” Henoch, 8: 79–86. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1989, “Shem Tob ibn Falaquera traduttore di al-Fârâbî e di Averroè.” Sefarad, 49: 21–35. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1990, “Una fonte sconosciuta dell’Etica di Falaquera: la Summa Alexandrinorum.” In Biblische und judaistische Studien, Festschrift für Paolo Sacchi, ed. Angelo Vivian, 583–612. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1991, “Etica e antropologia nel pensiero di Shem Tob Ibn Falaquera.” In Sangue e antropologia nella teologia medievale, ed. F. Vattioni, Rome: Edizioni Pia Unione Preziosissimo Sangue, 363–384. (Scholar)
  • Chiesa, Bruno and Caterina Rigo, 1993, “La tradizione manoscritta del Sefer ha-Ma‘alot di Shem Tob Ibn Falaquera e una citazione ignorata della Risâla fi ism al-falsafa di al-Farabi.” Sefarad, 53: 3–15. (Scholar)
  • De Souza, Igor H., 2018, Rewriting Maimonides: Early Commentaries on the “Guide of the Perplexed”. Berlin: De Gruyter. (Scholar)
  • Di Donato, Silvia, 2019, “Notes on Shem Tov Ibn Falaquera as a Translator of the Guide of the Perplexed.” Yod: Revue des études hébraïques et juives, 22: 155–182. Open access: (Scholar)
  • Elgrably-Berzin, Gabriella, 2015, Avicenna in Medieval Hebrew Translation, 131–156. Leiden: Brill. (Scholar)
  • Fenton, Paul, 1992, “Passages from the Theology of Aristotle in Ibn Falaquera’s Sefer ha-Ma‘alot” (in Hebrew). Daat, 29: 27–39. (Scholar)
  • Fontaine, Resianne, 2000, “Between Scorching Heat and Freezing Cold: Medieval Jewish Authors on the Inhabited and Uninhabited Parts of the Earth.” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 10: 101–137. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2002, “The Reception of Aristotle’s Meteorology in Hebrew Scientific Writings of the Thirteenth Century.” Aleph, 1: 101–139. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1995, “Why Is the Sea Salty? The Discussion of Salinity in Hebrew Texts of the Thirteenth Century.” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 5: 195–218. (Scholar)
  • Freudenthal, Gad, 2000, “Providence, Astrology, and Celestial Influences on the Sublunar World in Shem-Tov ibn Falaquera’s De‘ot ha-Filosofim.” In The Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias of Science and Philosophy, S. Harvey (ed.) 2000, 335–370. (Scholar)
  • Gatti, Roberto, 2003, Ermeneutica e filosofia: Introduzione al pensiero ebraico medioevale (secoli XII-XIV). Genova: Il Melangolo. (Scholar)
  • Harvey, Steven, 1987, Falaquera’s Epistle of the Debate: An Introduction to Jewish Philosophy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Italian trans. Raffaele Di Noia, L’“Opuscolo della contesa” di Falaquera: Introduzione alla filosofia ebraica medioevale, ed. Roberto Gatti. Genova: Il Melangolo, 2005. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1992, “Falaquera’s Epistle of the Debate and the Maimonidean Controversy of the 1230s.” In Torah and Wisdom: Essays in Honor of Arthur Hyman, ed. Ruth Link-Salinger, 75–86. New York: Shengold Publishers. Italian trans. in L’“Opuscolo della contesa” di Falaquera, Genova: Il Nuovo Melangolo, 2005, 223–239. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1998a, “The Quiddity of Philosophy according to Averroes and Falaquera, a Muslim Philosopher and his Jewish Interpreter.” Miscellanea Mediaevalia, 26: 910–1. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1998b, “The Sources of the Quotations from Aristotle’s Ethics in the Guide of the Perplexed and the Guide to the Guide” (in Hebrew). Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought, 14 (= Joseph Baruch Sermoneta Memorial Volume): 87–102 (English summary, ix–x). (Scholar)
  • –––, 2000a, “Shem-Tov Falaquera’s De‘ot ha-Filosofim: Its Sources and Use of Sources.” In S. Harvey (ed.) 2000, 211–237. (Scholar)
  • –––, ed., 2000b, The Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias of Science and Philosophy. Amsterdam Studies in Jewish Thought, Volume 7, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2002, “Falaquera’s Alfarabi: An Example of the Judaization of the Islamic Falâsifah.” Trumah, 12: 97–112. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2007–2008, “Shem-Tov Falaquera, a Paragon of an Epigone, and the Epigone’s Importance for the Study of Jewish Intellectual History.” Studia Rosenthaliana, 40: 61–74. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2019, “Leo Strauss’s Developing Interest in Alfarabi and Its Reverberations in the Study of Medieval Islamic Philosophy.” In The Pilgrimage of Philosophy: A Festschrift for Charles E. Butterworth, ed. by Rene M. Paddags, Waseem El-Rayes, and Gregory A. McGrayer, 60–83, esp. 63–73. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2020, “Notes on Maimonides’ Formulations of Principle K.” Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly, 69. (Scholar)
  • Hughes, Aaron W., and James T. Robinson, 2019, Medieval Jewish Philosophy and Its Literary Forms. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. (Scholar)
  • Ivry, Alfred L. “The Soul of the Hebrew Encyclopedists.” In S. Harvey (ed.) 2000, 390–413. (Scholar)
  • Jospe, Raphael, 1988, Torah and Sophia:The Life and Thought of Shem Tov Ibn Falaquera. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press. (Scholar)
  • Jospe, Raphael and Dov Schwartz, 1993, “Shem Tov Ibn Falaquera’s Lost Bible Commentary.” Hebrew Union College Annual, 64: 167–200. (Scholar)
  • Lerner, Ralph, 2000, “Persuasive Speech: Falaquera’s Epistle of the Debate.” Chap. 7 in Maimonides’ Empire of Light: Popular Enlightenment in an Age of Belief. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. (Scholar)
  • Malter, Henry, 1910–1911, “Shem Tob ben Joseph Palquera: A Thinker and Poet of the Thirteenth Century.” Jewish Quarterly Review, 1: 151–181. [Available online] (Scholar)
  • Plessner, M., 1954–1956, “The Importance of R. Shem-Tov ibn Falaquera for the Study of the History of Philosophy” (in Hebrew). In Homenaje a Millás-Vallicrosa, Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Volume 2, 161–186. (Scholar)
  • Roberts-Zauderer, Dianna Lynn, 2019, Metaphor and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Thought: Moses ibn Ezra, Judah Halevi, Moses Maimonides, and Shem Tov ibn Falaquera. London: Palgrave Macmillan. (Scholar)
  • Salvatierra Ossorio, Aurora, 2004, “La Torah y su interpretación: un pasaje del Sefer ha-mébaqqes de Ibn Falaquera.” Meah, 53: 361–385. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2006, “Un hindú en la sinagoga: un personaje paradójico en la Iggeret ha-musar de Ibn Falaquera.” Sefarad, 66: 265–284. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2007, “El bálsamo de la aflicción (Ṣeri ha-yagon) de Ibn Falaquera en la tradición de la literatura de Consuelo.” Miscelánea de estudios árabes y hebráicos (Sección de hebreo), 56: 111–137. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2008, “Shem Tov ibn Falaquera: From Logic to Ethics: A Redefinition of Poetry in the Thirteenth Century.” Comparative Literature Studies, 45: 165–181. (Scholar)
  • Sarfati, Gad, 1972, “The Hebrew Translations of Alfarabi’s ‘Classification of the Sciences’” (Hebrew). Bar-Ilan Annual, 9: 413–422. (Scholar)
  • Shiffman, Yair, 1992–1993, “Shem Tob Ibn Falqerah As Interpreter of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed – Outlines of His Thought” (in Hebrew). Maimonidean Studies, 3: 1–29 (English summary, 219–221). (Scholar)
  • –––, 1999, “The Differences between the Translations of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed by Falaquera, Ibn Tibbon and Al-Harizî, and Their Textual and Philosophical Implications.” Journal of Semitic Studies, 44: 47–61. (Scholar)
  • Sirat, Colette, 1985, A History of Jewish Philosophy in the Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Scholar)
  • Steinschneider, Moritz, 1893, Die hebraeischen Übersetzungen des Mittelalters. Berlin; reprint, Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. Updated English translation of the section on the encyclopedias by Charles H. Manekin, “Steinschneider on the Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias: an Annotated Translation from Die hebraeischen Übersetzungen des Mittelalters.” In S. Harvey (ed.) 2000, 465–519. A revised version appears in Steinschneider’s “The Hebrew Translations of the Middle Ages”: Vol II. General Works. Logic. Christian Philosophers, ed. Charles H. Manekin and Hans Hinrich Biesterfeldt. Dordrecht: Springer (forthcoming). (Scholar)
  • Strauss, Leo, 1936, “Eine vermisste Schrift Fârâbîs.” Montatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums, 80: 96–106. (Scholar)
  • Urrutia Sánchez, Tomás Jesús, 2010, “Shem Tob Ibn Falaquera como discípulo y crítico de Maimónides El Moreh ha Moreh.” La interculturalidad en Al-Andalus, 1: 85–92. (Scholar)
  • Zonta, Mauro, 1990, “Shem Tob ibn Falaquera e la sua opera.” Henoch, 12: 207–226. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1992, Un dizionario filosofico ebraico del XIII secolo: L’introduzione al “Sefer De‘ot ha- Filosofim” di Shem Tob ibn Falaquera. Torino: Silvio Zamorani editore. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1993, “Shem Tob ibn Falaquera e la filología ebraica medievale.” Sefarad, 52: 321–343. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1995a, “The Reception of Al-Fârâbî’s and Ibn Sînâ’s Classifications of the Mathematical and Natural Sciences in the Hebrew Medieval Philosophical Literature.” Medieval Encounters, 1: 358–382. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1995b, Un interprete ebreo della filosofia di Galeno: Gli scritti filosofici di Galeno nell’opera di Shem Tob ibn Falaquera. Torino: Silvio Zamorani editore. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1996a, “Mineralogy, Botany and Zoology in Medieval Hebrew Encyclopaedias.” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 6: 262–315. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1996b, La filosofia antica nel Medioevo ebraico. Brescia: Paideia. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1999, “The Zoological Writings in the Hebrew Tradition.” In Aristotle’s Animals in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, ed. Carlos Steel, Guy Guldentops, and Pieter Beullens, 44–67. Leuven: Leuven University Press. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2000, “The Place of Aristotelian Metaphysics in the Thirteenth-century Encyclopedias.” In S. Harvey (ed.) 2000, 414–426. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2004, “Hebrew Transmission of Arabic Philosophy and Science: A Reconstruction of Shem Tov Ibn Falaquera’s ‘Arabic Library.’” In L’interculturalità dell’ebraismo, ed. Mauro Perani, 121–137. Ravenna: A. Longo Editore. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2017, “A Note about Two Newly-Discovered Hebrew Quotations of Averroes’ Works Lost in their Original Arabic Texts.” In Studies in Hebrew Literature and Jewish Culture: Presented to Albert van der Heide on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday, ed. by Martin F. J. Baasten and Reinier Munk, 241–50. Dordrecht: Springer. (Scholar)
  • Zwiep, Irene E., 1993, “Everything You Always Wanted To Know about Grammar… Logic and Linguistics in Shem Tov Ibn Falaquera’s Sefer ha-Mevaqqesh.” In From Narbonne to Regensburg: Studies in Medieval Hebrew Texts, ed. N. A. van Uchelen and I. E. Zwiep, 21–43. Amsterdam: Juda Palache Institute. (Scholar)

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