Solomon ibn Gabirol
Translated by Bernard LewisIntroduction and Commentary by Andrew L. Gluck
Solomon ibn Gabirol (1021–1058) of Spain was a Jewish philosopher and moralist who is perhaps best known for the beautiful forty-stanza poem Keter Malkhut (The Kingly Crown). Hailed by scholars as one of the most important classics of Hebrew literature, The Kingly Crown employs the metaphor of a king in his palace to describe the relationship between humanity and God. This medieval poem is full of vivid imagery and scriptural references. Within its many layers of meaning, readers will find not only an extended prayer and meditation, but also signs of the neoplatonic philosophy that formed the foundation of Gabirol’s cosmology and theology.
The University of Notre Dame Press is pleased to bring back in print Bernard Lewis’s lyrical translation of The Kingly Crown. This new edition includes Lewis’s extensive notes and introduction as well as a new introduction, notes, and detailed philosophical commentary by Andrew L. Gluck. Gluck’s meticulous correction of errors in the Hebrew text make this the most accurate version ever published with an English translation. Facing page Hebrew verse and English translation, as well as a new bibliographical section about the poet and poem, add to the utility and value of this wonderful book.
”The Kingly Crown, one of the gems of Sephardic liturgy for the High Holidays, is the jewel in the crown of Solomon ibn Gabirol’s religious poetry. Bernard Lewis’s elegant and lively translation reflects the poetic beauty and grandeur of the Hebrew original as does no other translation I know. Andrew Gluck combines Bernard Lewis’s peerless translation with a meticulous scholarly edition of the Hebrew text, adding his own introduction and commentary. He offers a comprehensive survey of the medieval philosophical and mystical environment that constituted the backdrop of Ibn Gabirol’s philosophy and religious poetry. This volume is a substantial contribution to the understanding and appreciation of The Kingly Crown. ” —Henry Toledano, Hofstra University
“ The Kingly Crown is one of the most important classics of Hebrew literature and the translation by Bernard Lewis has gained great acclaim since its original publication. Andrew Gluck’s new materials add a great deal of richness to the book. His introduction and notes provide fresh, original insights into the text and illuminate the work of Solomon ibn Gabirol.” —Menahem Schmelzer, Jewish Theological Seminary
“This edition of The Kingly Crown, featuring Bernard Lewis’s translation and Andrew Gluck’s intoduction and commentary, is a superb piece of work. It would be difficult to find a more literate translator than Lewis, and Gluck’s contributions are both knowledgeable and eminently readable.” —David B. Burrell, C.S.C., University of Notre Dame
“This is a significant new source for the modern reader who is interested in medieval Hebrew poetry as well as in early modern Jewish thought.” —The Sixteenth Century Journal
“The University of Notre Dame’s 2003 bilingual reissue of Bernard Lewis’s 1961 lyrical translation of this masterwork is a cause for celebration. The concise introduction by Professor Lewis of Princeton, one of the world’s foremost scholars of Islam, and the commentary of Andrew Gluck, a former member of the department of philosophy of Hofstra University, combine to make this edition priceless. They give readers a textured understanding of precisely how Ibn Gabirol employs the metaphor of a king in his palace to describe the relationship between humanity and God.” —Michael Skakun, www.jewishpress.com
“An updated bibliography about the poet and poem enrich the value of this volume, which should be on the bookshelf of all those interested in medieval belles letters, philosophy, and Jewish-Islamic relations.” — Religious Studies Review