Bonet de Lattes

Bonet de Lattes

Bonet de Lattes (Lates, Jacob ben Immanuel) was a Jewish physician and astrologer. He is known chiefly as the inventor of an astronomical ring-dial by means of which solar and stellar altitudes can be measured and the time determined with great precision by night as well as by day. He lived in the latter part of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth.

Originally from Provence, and belonging to a family that had its origin in Lattes near Montpellier, he was forced to leave Provence with the rest of his brethren and settled in Carpentras. Thence he went to Rome, where he became physician to Pope Alexander VI, and later to Pope Leo X.

At this time he became rabbi of the Jewish community, to which he was able to render much assistance. He married the daughter of the physician Comprat Mossé of Aix.

Bonet described the use of his instrument in a treatise written in Carpentras, the full title of which is: "Boneti de Latis, Medici Provenzalis, Annuli per eum Composti Super Astrologiæ Utilitate." It appeared as a supplement to the "Calculatio Composta in Rima de Juliano de Dati," Rome, 1493, and was dedicated to Pope Alexander VI. At the end Bonet craves pardon for his bad Latin, on the score of being a Hebrew. The treatise was republished by Jacob Faber of Etaples, together with his own commentary on John Sacrobosco's "De Sphæra Mundi" and Euclid's "Geometry," Paris, 1500. Editions were also published in 1507, 1521, and 1534. Two editions appeared later at Marburg, in 1537 and 1557. In bad Latin, Bonet wrote a treatise entitled "Prognosticum," published at Rome in 1498, and dedicated to Cardinal Valentiniani and Cardinal de Borgia, in which he predicted the coming of the Messiah in the year 1505. A full account of the book is to be found in Abraham Farrisol's manuscript, "Magen Abraham," or "Wikuaḥ ha-Dat."

A pupil of the above-mentioned Jacob Faber, Charles Bovillus, 1470-1553, relates in the preface to his "Dialogi de Trinitate" that he met Bonet de Lates in the Roman ghetto in 1507, and went to his house in order to see the ring that he had invented. The top part of the house was a synagogue containing the ark, hidden by a curtain, and books, lamps, and praying-scarfs. Here, also, Bonet's thirty-two-year-old son was discovered deeply immersed in the study of philosophy. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, in dredging the River Tiber a long marble slab was found with an inscription, which had probably been affixed to this house of Bonet's. Bovillus refers, also, to a lengthy theological argument that he had with Bonet, and he seems to imply that the son was in the end convinced of the truth of the Christian faith.

It is evidence of the position held by Bonet at the papal court that on October 13, 1513, Reuchlin begged him to use his influence in order that the examination of the "Augenspiegel" should not be given into the hands of a commission made up of strangers, at all events not of Dominicans. Further, Bonet's intercession seems to have been successful.

Bonet is known to have had two sons. One, Joseph, continued to remain in the papal favor; the other, Immanuel, was also in the service of the pope, from whom he received a regular salary.


*Eliakim Carmoly, Histoire des Médecins Juifs, p. 141;
*Moritz Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. p. 607, note 84;
*idem, Cat. Bodl.;
*Michael, Or ha-Ḥayyim, No. 560;
*Henri Gross, "Gallia Judaica", p. 266;
*Vogelstein and Rieger, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, ii. 35, 83;
*J. Guttmann, in Monatsschrift, xliii. 258 et seq.;
*Heinrich Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, ix.-xvii.;
*Abraham Berliner, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, ii. 83.

For description of the ring-dial and its use, see Rudolf Wolf, Handbuch der Astronomie, Ihrer Geschichte und Literatur, ii. 196b, Zurich, 1891.

ee also

* Hachmei Provence

External links

* [ Source]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • LATTES, BONET — (Jacob b. Emanuel Provenzale; 15th–16th century), rabbi, astronomer, and physician. He was born in southern France, possibly Marseilles. By 1498 he was living in Rome where he acted as rabbi and dayyan of the community with the approval of the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • LATTES — LATTES, family originally from the town of Lattes, S. France, who settled in Italy in the 16th century. It included several illustrious members: ELIJAH BEN ISAAC LATTES of Carcassonne, talmudist in the first half of the 13th century; his grandson …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • LATTES, ISAAC JOSHUA — (d. c. 1570), Italian rabbi, son of bonet lattes , physician to Pope Leo X. Lattes was born in Provence where he studied and was ordained, later immigrating to Italy and becoming a peripatetic rabbi there. He passed most of his life in Rome,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Lattes, Bonet — (fl. 15th 16th cent)    Italian rabbi, astronomer and physician. He was born in southern France, and later settled in Rome, where he served as rabbi and dayyan of the community. He foretold the coming of the Messiah in 1505.In 1513 Johannes von… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • POPES — The earliest, semi legendary popes, Peter and his immediate successors, were of Jewish birth, yet nothing specific is known of their relations with the Jews. The first pope reported historically to have entered into direct relations with Jews was …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ITALY — Jews have lived in Italy without interruption from the days of the Maccabees until the present, through a period of 21 centuries. Although they were never subjected to general expulsion, there were frequently partial ones. They often enjoyed good …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Hachmei Provence — See also: Provence (disambiguation) The term Hachmei Provence refers to the Jewish rabbis of Provence, a province in southern France, which was a great Torah center in the times of the Tosafists. The phrase literally means the wise of Provence.… …   Wikipedia

  • ROME — ROME, capital of Italy. The Classical Period THE MIDDLE AND LATE REPUBLIC The earliest record of contact between Jews and the Roman Republic is the embassy sent by judah the Maccabee to Rome, headed by Eupolemos ben Joḥanan, and Jason ben Eleazar …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • List of astrologers — For a more extensive listing, see: *A. Frank Glahn *Aaadietya *Abiathar Crescas *Abraham bar Hiyya *Abraham ibn Ezra *Abraham Zacuto *Abū Ishāq Ibrāhīm al Zarqālī *Abu Ma shar *Abū Rayhān al Bīrūnī *Adelard of Bath *al Battani *Alan Leo *Albertus …   Wikipedia

  • Hebrew astronomy — refers to any astronomy written in Hebrew or by Hebrew speakers, or translated into Hebrew. It also includes an unusual type of literature from the Middle Ages: works written in Arabic but transcribed in the Hebrew alphabet. It includes a range… …   Wikipedia

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.