Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Secret Faith of Maestre Honoratus: Profayt Duran and Jewish Identity in Late Medieval Iberia

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Secret Faith of Maestre Honoratus: Profayt Duran and Jewish Identity in Late Medieval Iberia

Article excerpt

Maud Kozodoy, The Secret Faith of Maestre Honoratus: Profayt Duran and Jewish Identity in Late Medieval Iberia (Philadelphia, Pa: Pennsylvania Press, 2015). 314 pp. ISBN 9780-8122-478-0. ?39.00. 'Maestre Honoratus' is the Jewish scholar Profayt Duran, later known as Honoratus de Bona fide, who became a physician in Navarre and at the court of King Joan I of Aragon after undergoing a forced conversion to Christianity at the time of the 1392 pogroms in Perpignan, whilst at the same time rejecting his new identity in private and continuing to write in Hebrew. Before his conversion he wrote Hebrew commentaries on major scientific, medical, and philosophic works. The writings from after his conversion include short anti-Christian polemics, a calendrical treatise, and a Hebrew grammar. This comprehensive study by Maud Kozodoy proceeds as an intellectual biography, largely based on an analysis of the literary sources, but with a specific focus on the issue of the Jewish identity of a forced convert and his significance for Jewish intellectual culture in late medieval Iberia. …

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