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(Also: Solomon ben Judah, Avicebrol, Avicebron, Avencebrol)

Jewish poet, philologist and philosopher. Born c. 1022, died c. 1057 (or possibly c. 1070).

Ibn Gabirol was born in Malaga in Spain, but lived and worked in Zaragoza, Granada and Valencia. He was economically dependent upon his patrons, whom he in return panegyrised in his poetry - poetry which also reflected a deep longing for Zion.

Ibn Gabirol's religious magnum opus, Keter Malkhut ("The Kingly Crown"), deals with the relationship between God and Man. He wrote mainly in Hebrew, and some of his poems have become part of the Jewish liturgy.

As a philosopher, ibn Gabirol belonged to the Neoplatonically-inspired Arabic tradition. In the mid-19th century, his metaphysical treatise Mekor Hayyim ("The Wellspring of Life") was rediscovered in manuscript, written in Arabic with a Hebrew summary. Previously, it had only been known in the form of a Latin translation, Fons Vitae, from the 12th century. In this form, it had been very influential in mediaeval European philosophy.

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