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Hebrew scholar and satirical poet. Immanuel, named Ha-Romi because he was born in Rome, came from a rich and distinguished Jewish family. In his youth, he studied the Talmud as well as mathematics, astronomy, medicine and languages. He served as secretary to the Jewish community of Rome, and excelled as an orator. However, Immanuel’s biting tongue made him many enemies, and he was forced to resign his position. Shortly afterward, he lost all his possessions and took to wandering. Immanuel’s best known work, Mahberot Immanuel, is a collection of poems written in narrative sequence. The section titled “Tofet and Eden” is modeled after Dante’s Divine Comedy. He also wrote in Italian, one of the first to introduce the sonnet into Hebrew poetry. Some Talmudic scholars were critical of his writings, because of the frivolous and irreverent nature of some of the passages in his Mahberot.

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