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Zacuto, Abraham b. Samuel

(697 words)

Author(s): Moises Orfali
Abraham ben Samuel Zacuto (1452–1515), one of the sages of Spain on the eve of the expulsion in 1492, was a rabbi, astrologer, and historian who won renown for his profound knowledge of astronomy. He was born in Salamanca and received his Jewish education from his father, Samuel, and from Isaac Aboab, known as the last gaon of Castile. He studied astronomy and astrology at the university in his hometown. Zacuto’s first book, Ha-Ḥibbur ha-Gadol (The Great Composition), a description of the solar system, was composed between the years 1473 and 1478. Until 1480 he was engaged in scientific astro…