Mordecai Comtino
Mordecai ben Eliezer Comtino (lived at Adrianople and Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

; died in the latter city between 1485 and 1490) was a Turkish Jewish
History of the Jews in Turkey
Turkish Jews The history of the Jews in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey covers the 2,400 years that Jews have lived in what is now Turkey. There have been Jewish communities in Asia Minor since at least the 5th century BCE and many Spanish and Portuguese Jews expelled from Spain were welcomed to the...

 Talmudist and scientist.

The earliest date attached to any of his writings is 1425. The form of his family name is doubtful, and has been transcribed by modern scholars as "Comtino." Mordecai's biographer, Jonah Hayyim Gurland
Jonah Hayyim Gurland
Jonah Hayyim Gurland was a Russian and Hebrew writer born at Kleck, government of Minsk. At the age of 10, Gurland entered the rabbinical school of Wilna, from which he graduated as rabbi in 1860. He then went to St...

, uses the form "Kumatyano," a name which he found still in use in Turkey (Geiger, in "Wiss. Zeit. Jüd. Theol." iii.445; idem, "Melo-Chofnajim," p. 13). He was the pupil of Enoch Saporta, a distinguished Talmudist, known for his cultivation of the sciences and his tolerance toward the Karaites.

Mordecai was the teacher not only of Elijah Mizraḥi, but also of the Karaites Elijah Bashyaẓi
Elijah Bashyazi
Elijah ben Moses Bashyazi of Adrianople or Elijah Bašyazi was a Karaite Jewish hakham of the fifteenth century...

 and Caleb Afendopolo
Caleb Afendopolo
Caleb Afendopolo was a Jewish polyhistor. He was the brother of Samuel ha-Ramati, ḥakam of the Karaite congregations in Constantinople and of Judah Bali, brother-in-law and disciple of Elijah Bashyatzi.According to a notice found in a Paris manuscript, he supported himself by giving...

. Though an opponent of their teachings, Mordecai was held in honor by the Karaites, two of his piyyuṭim being included in their Siddur (Landshut, "'Ammude ha-'Abodah," p. 200).

Most of his works have come down in manuscript, selections from which have been published by Gurland, in his "Ginze," part iii., 1866. The scientific bent of his mind is shown in his commentary to the Pentateuch (MSS. Paris, Nos. 265, 266; St. Petersburg, No. 51), in the preface to which he speaks of his researches in grammar, logic, physics, astronomy, arithmetic, geometry, and metaphysics. This commentary, in which he especially criticized Ibn Ezra
Ibn Ezra
Ibn Ezra was a prominent Jewish family from Spain spanning many centuries.The name ibn Ezra may refer to:* Abraham ibn Ezra , a Rabbi who lived in the eleventh and twelfth centuries...

, was attacked by Shabbethai ben Malchiel Kohen ("Hassagot," c. 1460), which attack Mordecai answered in his "Teshubot Hassagot" (Steinschneider, "Cat. Codicum Hebr. Bibl. Acad. Lugduno-Batavæ," pp. 202–207). He also wrote commentaries to Ibn Ezra's treatises "Yesod Morah" (dedicated to his pupil Joseph Rachizi), "Sefer ha-Shem," and "Sefer ha-Eḥad" (MS. Paris, No. 661; compare Adolf Neubauer
Adolf Neubauer
Adolf Neubauer was sublibrarian at the Bodleian Library and reader in Rabbinic Hebrew at Oxford University....

, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." col. 436), and a commentary to Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

's "Millot ha-Higgayon," printed in Warsaw, 1865.

Mordecai was a teacher of mathematics, and did much to advance the study of the exact sciences in Turkey. In his commentaries to Ibn Ezra he has often occasion to touch upon such subjects. His chief works in this branch are: a treatise in two parts on arithmetic and geometry, in which he follows partly the Greek and Latin authors, partly the Mohammedan (MSS. Berlin, No. 49; Brit. Mus. 27,107 A; Paris, 1031, 5; St. Petersburg, 343, 344, 345, 346); "Perush Luḥot Paras," a commentary written in 1425 on the astronomical tables of Yezdegerd, tables already treated of by Solomon b. Elijah Sharbiṭ ha-Zahab (MSS. Paris, Nos. 1084, 1085; St. Petersburg, 359); glosses to Euclid (MS. Günzburg, No. 340, 5); an essay upon the construction of the astrolabe, "Tiḳḳun Keli ha-Neḥoshet," as a complement to the Hebrew works on the subject, which he found to be superficial; an essay (1462) upon the construction of the astronomical instrument ("Al-Ẓafiḥah") invented by Al-Zarkala, written at the request of his pupil Menahem (MSS. Munich, No. 36, 13; Paris, 1030, 5; St. Petersburg, 353); an essay upon the construction of an instrument for measuring time (sun dial), which can be made in two different ways (MS. St. Petersburg, No. 361).
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.