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Maimonides' Attitude Towards Secular Poetry, Secular Arab And Hebrew Literature, Liturgical Poetry, And Towards Their Cultural Environment

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Chapter Summary

Various researchers have discussed Maimonides' attitude toward poetry, principally Ḥ. Schirmann, who studied medieval Hebrew poetry, and M.S. Geshuri, the Jewish music researcher, both of the previous generation of researchers of Judaic studies. This chapter discusses the Maimonides' attitude toward poetry in a more general framework, focusing on the status of secular poetry in Jewish culture in the Arab-Muslim space basing on Maimonides' pronouncements in his treatises in regard to this poetry and to both Hebrew and Arabic literature in general. Finally, Maimonides' serious reservations over poetry are proved by the fact that, in contrast to all other Jewish scholars in the medieval Arab-Muslim cultural space, he was not assisted by Hebrew or Arabic poetic verses to support what he said, except once.

Keywords: Arab-Muslim cultural space; Hebrew poetry; Jewish culture; Maimonide; secular poetry

10.1163/ej.9789004184992.i-520.102
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