Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Moses of Rieti

Born: Rieti, 1388
Died: Rome, before 1466
  • Alessandro GuettaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_1113-1


Moshe ben Yitzḥaq (in Italian Mosè di Gaio) of Rieti (1388–before 1466) was a poet, philosopher, and physician. His main work is Miqdash me‘at (Little Sanctuary), a Hebrew poem of about 5000 verses explicitly inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy for its metrical structure and for the description of a supernatural journey. The poem is at once an encyclopedia of Jewish and secular sciences, a description of the “Jewish Paradise” and a history of Jewish literature, from the Bible to the author’s time. Miqdash me‘at is organized according to the three sections of the Temple of Jerusalem, of which it aims at being a poetic substitute.

Probably influenced by the school of the Roman philosopher Yehuda Romano (thirteenth-fourteenth centuries), Moshe of Rieti complains, in Miqdash me‘at and other works, both in Hebrew and Italian, for the loss of the knowledge of religious truths and invokes a divine illumination in order to restore that knowledge. His writings reflect the transition between the so-called “medieval” world (his authorities are Aristotle and Maimonides) and different perspectives expressed with neoplatonic and cabbalistic concepts.

Very popular among Italian Jews until the beginning of the seventeenth century, he was subsequently almost completely forgotten until the rediscovery of the Jewish philologists in the nineteenth century.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département d’études hébraïques et juivesInstitut National des Langues et Civilisations OrientalesParisFrance

Section editors and affiliations

  • Vasileios Syros
    • 1
  1. 1.Finnish Center of Political Thought & Conceptual ChangeJYVÄSKYLÄN YLIOPISTOFinland