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  • Avicebrón © The Bridgeman Art Library

    Avicebrón © The Bridgeman Art Library






Date of birth


Date of death


"Jewish poet and philosopher from Al-Andalus. He held Neoplatonic ideas and belonged to the Golden Age of Hispanic-Hebrew poetry. He cultivated homoerotic poetry."

Selomoh Ibn Gabirol is thought to have been born in Cordoba or Malaga in about 1021, and died in Valencia in 1058. He was orphaned at an early age and eventually came to Zaragoza, where his precocious poetic talent earned him the protection of Yekutiel ben Isaac, Jewish vizier to King Mundir II, in the Taifa (kingdom) of Saraqusta. In 1039, after the coup by Abd Allah ibn Hakam which defeated the Banu Tujibi dynasty, Yekutiel was assassinated. Avicebron left for Granada, where he lived under the protection of Semuel Ibn Nagrela, vizier to Badis ibn Habus, the Zirid king of Granada. Years later he returned to Zaragoza. Due to his confrontations with his contemporaries he was issued with a herem or anathema, and was expelled from the Hebrew community in Zaragoza (1045), from where he once again went into exile. There is no reliable testimony as to the last period of his life.

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