Neoplatonism Through the Renaissance


What were Maimonides’ main intellectual contributions?

After Maimonides (1135–1204) and his family fled forced conversions in Spain, they settled in Cairo, Egypt, in 1165, where Maimonides was the physician of the vizier of Saladin (c. 1138–1193). He wrote 10 books on medicine, but it was his works on Jewish theology that represented his most important contribution to Judaism: Book of the Commandments treated the 613 laws from the Old Testament; Commentary on the Mishnah explained the practical purposes of the old rabbinical code; and Mishneh Torah, codified Talmudic law in 14 volumes and retains its classic status to the present. However, it was Maimonides’ philosophical treatise, Guide of the Perplexed, that had direct influence over a broad range of Western philosophy.


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