Abraham Bar Ḥiyya (Savasorda)

  • Tony Levy
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8469

Abraham bar ḥiyya, also called Savasorda (latinized from the Arabic ṣāḥib al‐shurṭa = Chief of the guard), flourished in Barcelona, in Christian Spain, but was probably educated in the kingdom (tā'ifa) of Saragossa, during the period in which it was ruled by the Arabic dynasty of the Banū Hūd. Thus his scientific education could be related to the well known scientific talents of some of the Banū Hūd kings.

Having mastered the Arabic language and culture, he was a pioneer in the use of the Hebrew language in various fields. He wrote on philosophy, ethics, astronomy, astrology, mathematics, and calendrial calculations. He clearly indicated that his Hebrew compositions were written for Jews living in southern France, who were unacquainted with Arabic culture and unable to read Arabic texts.

Two mathematical compositions by Abraham Bar ḥiyya, and four astronomical ones are known.

Yesodey ha‐tevuna u‐migdal ha‐emuna(The Foundations of Science and the Tower of the Faith) was supposed to be...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Lévy, Tony. Les débuts de la littérature mathématique hébraïque: la géométrie d'Abraham bar Hiyya (XIe‐XIIe siècle) Micrologus 9 (2001): 35–64.Google Scholar
  2. Ḥeshbon mahalakhot ha‐kokhavim. La obra Sefer Heshbon Mahlekoth ha‐Kokabin de R. Abraham bar Ḥiyya ha‐Bargeloni. Ed. Jose‐Maria Millas‐Vallicrosa. Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1959.Google Scholar
  3. Ḥibbur ha‐meshiḥa we ha‐tishboret. Chibbur ha‐Meschicha we ha‐Tishboret. Ed. Michael Guttmann. Berlin, 1912.Google Scholar
  4. Millas‐Vallicrosa, Jose‐Maria. La obra enciclopedica de R. Abraham bar Hiyya. Estudios sobre historia de la ciencia espanola. Barcelona: n.p., 1949. 219–62.Google Scholar
  5. Sarfatti, Gad. Mathematical Terminology in Hebrew Scientific Literature of the Middle Ages. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1968. 61–129 (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  6. Stenschneider, Moritz. Abraham Judaeus, Savasorda und Ibn Ezra. Zeitschrift für Mathematik und Physik 12 (1867): 1–44. Rpt. Gesammelte Schriften. Berlin: M. Poppelauer, 1925. 388–406.Google Scholar
  7. Yesodey ha‐tevuna u‐migdal ha‐emuna. La obra enciclopedica Yesode ha‐tebuna u‐migdal ha‐emuna de R. Abraham bar Ḥiyya ha‐Bargeloni. Ed. Jose‐Maria Millas‐Vallicrosa. Madrid/Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1952.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Levy

There are no affiliations available