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Gandz, Solomon

GANDZ, SOLOMON (1887–1954), Semitics scholar and historian of mathematics. Gandz was born in Austria. He studied mathematics, Semitics, and rabbinics in Vienna and taught at a Viennese high school from 1915 to 1923. He emigrated to the United States in 1924 and was librarian and instructor in medieval Hebrew and Arabic at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary until 1935. From 1942 until his death he taught the history of Semitic civilization at Dropsie College.

Gandz's particular field of study was ancient Oriental mathematics, astronomy, and science and Jewish study of these specialties in the Middle Ages. Among his works in this field is a translation of Mishnat ha-Middot (in Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik, Astronomie und Physik, Abteilung A, 2, 1932), a second-century Hebrew geometry and its ninth-century Arabic version. A selection of his many essays was collected in Studies in Hebrew Astronomy and Mathematics (1970). In Semitics, he contributed an annotated German translation of Imruʾ al-Qays' sixth-century poems, "Die Muʿallaqa des Imrulqais" (in Sitzungsbericht der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, 170, Abhandlung 4, 1913). He was associate editor of the international periodical Osiris, devoted to the history of science, to which be contributed "The Dawn of Literature" (7 (1939), 261–522). He also contributed the section on public law to the second volume of Monumenta Talmudica (Ger., 1913). For the Yale Judaica Series English edition of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, Gandz did the translation of Book 3, Book of Seasons (1961; with Hyman Klein) and of Book 3, Treatise 8, published separately as Treatise on the Sanctification of the New Moon (1956).


J. Dienstag, in: Hadoar, 34 (May 14, 1954), 528–9; Levey, in: Isis, 46 (1955), 107–10, includes bibliography.