- ALGUADES (Alguadez), MEIR
- ALGUADES (Alguadez), MEIR (d. 1410), personal physician to successive kings of Castile, chief rabbi, and chief justice of Castilian Jewry. After the massacres of 1391, Alguades devoted his energies to rehabilitating the stricken Spanish communities, despite his personal misfortunes (his son-in-law had accepted baptism during the persecutions). Alguades' activities extended beyond the frontiers of Castile into Aragon and Navarre. He was a friend and patron of Solomon ha-Levi of Burgos (later pablo de santa maria ), Benveniste de la cavalleria , and Ḥasdai crescas , the learned apologist and satirist profiat duran , and the poet Solomon da Piera, who composed an elegy on Alguades' death. Alguades translated into Hebrew Aristotle's Ethics (ed. by Satanow, Berlin, 1790) and in his foreword speaks of the obstacles which he encountered in his work, while leading the life of a courtier bound to accompany the monarch on his travels. A number of medical prescriptions written by Alguades in Spanish have been preserved in Hebrew translation. Beside his activities as court physician, Alguades was apparently a tax-farmer. The statutes of the Castilian communities issued at valladolid in 1432 confirm that Alguades' widow and daughter were to be exempted from taxes because of the services rendered by him to the Jewish communities. The local legend associating Alguades with the host desecration charge which entailed disaster for the community of segovia in 1410 seems to have no basis other than the improbable account of alfonso de espina in his Fortalitium Fidei. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Baer, Spain, index, S.V. Meir Alguadex; S. Usque, Consolation for the Tribulations of Israel, ed. by G.I. Gelbart (1962), 325–33; I. Rodríguez y Fernández, Segovia-Corpus (1902); Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid, 7 (1885), 397 ff.
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.
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