The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Joseph Ibn Aqnin: Maimonides’s First Hebrew Translator?

Unlike most of his other works, Joseph Ibn Aqnin`s Sefer ha-Musar - his commentary on the Mishnah tractate Avot - was originally written in Hebrew at an unknown date in the later 12th or early 13th century. This commentary consists of numerous explicit or implicit quotations from Maimonides` commentary on the same tractate. In that way, Joseph Ibn Aqnin can be seen as one of - if not the - first Hebrew translators of Maimonides` works - perhaps even preceding Samuel Ibn Tibbon. This paper will investigate the terminology and translation techniques of Joseph Ibn Aqnin.