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Kabbalah in Italy, 1280-1510A Survey$
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Moshe Idel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780300126266

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300126266.001.0001

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Abraham Abulafia and Ecstatic Kabbalah

Abraham Abulafia and Ecstatic Kabbalah

(p.30) 2 Abraham Abulafia and Ecstatic Kabbalah
Kabbalah in Italy, 1280-1510

Moshe Idel

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Abraham Abulafia, the founder of the ecstatic trend of Kabbalah. In 1270, he began to study Kabbalah in Barcelona, perhaps as the result of a revelation. From 1271 to 1273 he was teaching his Kabbalah and his special, mystical understanding of Maimonides' Guide to some Kabbalists in Castile. At the end of 1273 or early 1274 he left Spain, and for the next five years he attempted to teach his special type of mysticism in Greece: in Patros, Thebes, and Evripos. In 1280 he made an unsuccessful effort to meet Pope Nicholas III while the latter was in retreat in the castle of Soriano, near Rome. When Abulafia arrived at the castle, the pope suddenly died of apoplexy, and as a result Abulafia was imprisoned for two weeks in Rome by the Minorite Franciscans.

Keywords:   ecstatic trend, Kabbalah, Abraham Abulafia, Maimonides, Pope Nicholas III

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