Vinograd, Const. 150; Yaari, Const. 116
Eliah Mizrahi (c.1450–1526) was born in Constantinople, and was the leader of the native Romaniot community during the influx of exiles from the Iberian Peninsula. Mizrahi became the foremost rabbinical authority in Constantinople and in fact throughout the whole Ottoman Empire after the death of Elijah Capsali in 1498. His greatest achievement was undoubtedly his posthumously published eponymous supercommentary on Rashi, although his Responsa contributed to his illustrious reputation even during his own lifetime.
Sefer ha-Mispar, a treatise on algebra and mathematics, was only one of Mizrahi's secular works, the others being a commentary on Ptolemy's Almagest and on Euclid's Elements. Although it relies to a small extent on a work of the same name by the twelfth century Spanish scholar Abraham ibn Ezra, Mizrahi's Sefer ha-Mispar was so highly considered in its day that within several years it was translated into Latin and published by Sebastian Muenster (Basel, 1546).
Literature: Jehosua Friedmann. Eliyahu Mizrahi: ha-ish u-fo'olo, 1975. esp ch.3.
Provenance: Isaac ben Eliezer Lazi of Berlin, 1839—his inscription on title page; Mordecai of Kamenetz- his signature on title page; Moses Gaster, his stamped signature on title verso
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