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1468 - 1549 ELIAS (ELIJAH BAHUR) LEVITA (Germany-Italy)

Grammarian and Lexicographer. Levita was renowned in his day for his teaching of Hebrew to Christian scholars. His own works include Dikduk Eliyahu Halevi, Pirkei Eliyah and Masoret Hamasoret. Two additional important compositions were Meturgeman (a dictionary) and Tishbi which is a lexicon of Hebrew used in the Talmud. Although invited to Paris in the name of the king to lecture, he refused, stating that it would make it too difficult for him to continue to live as a religious Jew. Levita is credited with writing the first Hebrew-Yiddish dictionary and being the first to publish a Yiddish translation of the Psalms. With all his accomplishments, he is most famed for his adaption of the epic Bovo d’Antonia (Anglo-Roman romance, "Sir Bevis of Hamton) into Yiddish, also known as the Bovo Buch (1507). It was the first Yiddish non-religious book, and went through 40 re-printings over the next five centuries.rnrn




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