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    (Moses ben Nahman Girondi)
    1194 – 1270(?)

    Face it, entertainment in the middle ages was pretty lousy, even if you were the king. Sure, you can afford the best jesters in all the land, but even that gets old in a while. All those bells and extra-large codpieces can get played out.

    So you gotta seek out other options. For example, arguing. Who doesn't love arguing?

    King James I of Aragon (the Conqueror) sure did. So he had a Jewish scholar, Nahmanides (AKA Rabbi Moses ben Naḥman Girondi, AKA Bonastruc ca Porta, AKA Ramban) debate a convert, Pablo Christiani (nice name choice, kiss ass).

    The subject of the debate? Oh, the appearance of the messiah. And the one true faith. Truly, James was into heavy topics.

    And somehow, Nahmanides won. James declared him the winner and even gave him some gold. Now, the king didn't exactly convert to Judaism, and even declared that the Jew was wrong, but was he so good at arguing!

    So Nahmanides took the gold and got the heck out of Spain, eventually getting to Jerusalem. Entertaining can get so exhausting...

    Verdict: Jew.

    July 22, 2014

    See Also

    Abraham Abulafia

    Monsieur Chouchani

    Nicholas Donin

    Samuel Ha-Nagid

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