- Leone Ebreo
- (also Hebreo; ca. 1460-1521)Jewish physician and author, born at Lisbon, the son of a prominent physician and scholar, Isaac Abravanel. In 1483 the father was forced into exile, and Leone joined him in Spain, followed by a second exile when Spain in 1492 expelled all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity. He may have met the philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola on a visit to Florence and probably spent time in Venice, but it is certain that he lived for at least two periods in Naples, where in 1501 he became physician to the Spanish viceroy Gónzalo de Córdoba. Strongly influenced by Renaissance Neoplatonic thought, in his Dialoghi d'amore / Dialogues on Love (probably written about 1502 but not published until 1535) Leone maintained that love was the force that gave rise to all life. He presents a conception of the universe that is influenced by Jewish Cabalistic mysticism. His Dialogues had considerable influence on later Renaissance authors, including the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes and the Portuguese poet Luis Vas de Camoens. Leone also wrote poems, first published along with his Dialoghi, honoring his father and in one case lamenting that his son had been compelled by the king of Portugal to convert to Christianity.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.