Abrabanel Span b-r-b-nel, Port b-r-b- or Abarbanel Spanish " b-r-b-nel", Portugese "-br-b-nel or Abravanel. Name of old Jewish family of southern Europe, esp. of Spain, Portugal, and Italy, distinguished as physicians, scholars, poets, and benefactors of Jewish people. Members included: Isaac ben Judah Abrabanel (14371508), theologian and statesman, b. Lisbon; treasurer of Afonso V of Portugal (to 1481); minister of state (148492) to Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile; unable to prevent expulsion of Jews from Spain (1492); and also to governments of Naples and Venice (150308); his commentaries on Bible exerted wide influence; wrote philosophical works and apologetics in defense of Jewish doctrine of the Messiah. His son Judah Len Abrabanel (c.1460c.1521), physician and poet, known in Spanish literary history as Len Hebreo and in Italian as Leone Ebreo i.e. Leo the Hebrew; his Dialoghi di amore (in Italian) used in Castigliones Courtier.
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