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Joshua ben Elijah Ha-Levi

JOSHUA BEN ELIJAH HA-LEVI, collector and final editor of Judah Halevi's divan (Oxford, Bodl. Ms. No. 1971). Joshua lived, at the latest, in the 15th century, and was probably of Yemenite origin. From his Arabic preface to the Oxford divan (Ms. No. 1971 formerly in the possession of S.D. Luzzatto) it is learned, among other things, that three scholars, Ḥiyya al-Dayyan, David b. Maimun, and Ibn al-Kash, had preceded Joshua in collecting Judah Halevi's poems. Joshua states that he has employed for his divan all the previous collections, and in particular the first one, by the Maghrebi Ḥiyya, introducing the "improvements" of the two other compilations; as is usual in similar Arabic collections, he follows the alphabetical order of the rhymes, dividing the materials into three parts (monorhymed compositions, strophic poems and letters, and rhymed prose), with an Arabic introduction. Moreover, Joshua mentions his collection of Abraham Ibn Ezra's poems, which is the divan of Ibn Ezra now available in an edition by Egers (see bibl., Ms. Berlin, 1233). The name of the earlier collector of Ibn Ezra's divan is not known because the part of the Arabic preface in which Joshua must have mentioned him is missing. It is not excluded that Joshua may be identical with the author of an Arabic grammatical work of which only a small fragment has been preserved (A. Harkavy, Zikkaron la-Rishonim ve-gam la-Aḥaronim, 1 (1879), 114).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

S.D. Luzzatto (ed.), Judah Halevi, Betulat Bat Yehudah (1840), 15f.; A. Geiger, Divan des Castiliers… (1851), 167–75 (Ar. and Ger. translation); J. Egers, Diwan des Abraham Ibn Ezra (1836), 15–20 (Ar. and with Ger. translation); J.H. Schirmann, in: YMḤSI, 2 (1936), 125. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: C.B. Starkova, in: XXV Intern. Cong. of Orient. (1960), 1–13; J. Yahalom and I. Benabu, in: Tarbiz, 54 (1985), 246–7; J. Yahalom, in: Pe'amim, 46–47 (1991), 55–74; idem, in: MEAH, 44:2 (1995), 23–45; E. Fleischer, in: Asufot, 5 (1991), 103–81; Schirmann-Fleischer, The History of Hebrew Poetry in Muslim Spain (1995), 81–90 (Heb.).