|About the Book|
Abraham Zacuto (1452-1514), probably of the first Jewish sageswho embraced modernity while keeping the unbroken chain of traditionfrom Abraham to the Talmud scholars to Moses Maimonides. Hewas a contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci, a leading astronomerMoreAbraham Zacuto (1452-1514), probably of the first Jewish sageswho embraced modernity while keeping the unbroken chain of traditionfrom Abraham to the Talmud scholars to Moses Maimonides. Hewas a contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci, a leading astronomer whostood at the cradle of great geographical discoveries of 16th century,advised Columbus and guided Vasco da Gama, was a luminary at theCourt of Kings of Spain and Portugal, merged science and Kabbala,taught at Salamanca University and lived in the Templar-built mysteriousCastle of Tomar, travelled through the Orient from Tunis toConstantinople, to find his eternal rest in Jerusalem. While meetingwith kings and princes, he considered himself first of all a Jewish sagein the long line of Jewish sages. The Book of Lineage, or SeferYohassin, his Opus Magnum, was completed five hundred years agoafter a decade-spanning work. This is the first historical chronicle coveringthe entire history of mankind from the Jewish perspective, integratingthe records of Jewish chronographers. This book provides aunique insight into the world of the Talmud populated by sages, theirwives and their disciples, human beings of flesh and blood, the worldhe learned from his teacher, the great Jewish mystic Aboab, the authorof Menorath Ha-Maor, and he knew it exceedingly well. It is also a primarysource dealing with appearance of the Zohar in Spain. Thus thisbook allows to appreciate wonders of the world of Talmud and tradition,as well as those of pre-exilic Spain and Portugal.The editor of this translation, the Israeli writer Israel Shamir,whose previous projects include the Odyssey of Homer, Joyce’s Ulyssesand the Hebrew Nobel winner S. Y. Agnon, keeps to the spirit of thistime, and moves forward our understanding of tradition and history ofJews in its interaction with their neighbours.