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The Radical Enlightenment of Solomon MaimonJudaism, Heresy, and Philosophy$
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Abraham P. Socher

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804751360

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804751360.001.0001

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Maimon's Life and “Life History”

Maimon's Life and “Life History”

(p.21) One Maimon's Life and “Life History”
The Radical Enlightenment of Solomon Maimon
Stanford University Press

This chapter focuses on Solomon Maimon's life and work in the varied social contexts in which he lived, from Jewish Lithuania to Enlightenment Berlin and elsewhere. Maimon's autobiography, published in 1792, is the only source for the events of his childhood and the main source for detailed knowledge of most of the events of his life. Born in 1753 in Sukoviborg, near the city of Mirz, in what was then Polish Lithuania, Maimon's given Hebrew name was Shelomo ben Yehoshua (Solomon, son of Joshua). He took the surname Maimon when he was almost thirty years old. Maimon's father taught him to read the Hebrew Bible along with classical rabbinic commentaries and the Talmud. In 1764, at the age of eleven, Maimon got married to a girl only barely older. In his autobiography, Maimon recalls with fondness his relationship with his study partner, fellow skeptic, and “bosom friend” Moses Lapidoth. Maimon died in Siegersdorf, Austria, on November 22, 1800.

Keywords:   Solomon Maimon, autobiography, Lithuania, childhood, Hebrew Bible, Talmud, Moses Lapidoth, Austria, Shelomo ben Yehoshua, Berlin

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