Significance of the Equinoxes in Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Cosmology*
JOSEFINA RODRÍGUEZ ARRIBAS
The Jew from Sepharad, Abraham Ibn Ezra (1092-1165/67) greatly contributed to the development of Hebrew grammar and exegesis, and to the dissemination of Andalusian sciences in the Hebrew communities of Western Europe. Of particular interest is his integration of scientific content, notably astronomical-astrological, into his exegetic and religious writings1. This article considers the significance of the spheres of the equator and the zodiac, the fact that the latter is inclined in relation to the former, and the astronomical phenomenon of the equinoxes in the tripartite structure
* I would like to express my appreciation to the Real Colegio Complutense, especially to its director A. Sáenz-Badillos, and the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University for the Postdoctoral fellowship that made possible this article. I am particularly grateful to Professor Ruth Glasner for their thoughtful and generous comments on this paper. I am too indebted to an anonymous referee whose words were utterly stimulating. A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the Annual meeting of the Medieval Academy of America (April 2005). All translations from Hebrew are mine. This article is dedicated to Seti. 1 See. S. SELA, Astrologia U-parshanut ha-mikra’ ba-haguto shel Abraham ibn Ezra, Ramat Gan, 1999, and Abraham ibn Ezra and the Rise of Medieval Science, LeidenBoston, 2003; as well as J. RODRÍGUEZ, La astrología en la exégesis de Abraham ibn Ezra, Ph.D. diss., Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2004.