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Alfonsi, Petrus (fl. 1106–1126), scholar and translator of scientific works, was born in northern Spain, to Jewish parents. He was baptized a Christian on 29 June 1106 in Huesca, Aragon, with the names of the apostle on whose feast day the baptism took place and of his godfather, ...

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Sir Isaiah Berlin (1909–1997) by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies, 1988 © Lucinda Douglas-Menzies; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Berlin, Sir Isaiah (1909–1997), philosopher and historian of ideas, was born on 6 June 1909 in Riga, Latvia, then part of the Russian empire, the son of Mendel Borisovitch Berlin (1884–1953), a prosperous timber merchant whose main business was supplying wooden sleepers for the Russian railways, and his wife, ...

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Jacob Bronowski (1908–1974) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bronowski, Jacob (1908–1974), mathematician, poet, and humanist, was born on 18 January 1908 in Łódź, Poland, the first of the three children of Abram Bronowski, haberdasher, and his wife, Celia Flatto. During the First World War the family lived in Germany, and in 1920 they moved to ...

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Gaster, Moses (1856–1939), scholar and rabbi, was born in Bucharest, Romania, on or about 16 September 1856, the eldest son of Abraham Emanuel Gaster (d. 1926), then the commercial attaché of the Netherlands consulate in that city, and his wife, Phina Judith Rubinstein...

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Alfred Hyman Louis (1829–1915) by Histed © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Louis, Alfred Hyman (1829–1915), scholar and visionary vagrant, was born in 1829 in Birmingham, the eldest son of Hyman Tobias (or Tobar) Louis, a well-to-do merchant, and his wife, Maria. At fifteen he entered King Edward's School, Birmingham, where he began long friendships with ...

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Marx, Karl Heinrich (1818–1883), revolutionary and thinker, known from student days to his intimates as Mohr (the Moor), was born on 5 May 1818 at Brückengasse 664, in Trier, a recent addition to the kingdom of Prussia, the third of nine children and only surviving son of the lawyer ...

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Karl Heinrich Marx (1818–1883) by unknown photographer, 1867 Marx Memorial Library, London

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Montefiore, Claude Joseph Goldsmid- (1858–1938), scholar and founder of Liberal Judaism, was born in London on 6 June 1858, the youngest of four children born to Nathaniel Mayer Montefiore (1819–1883), medical practitioner, and his wife, Emma, née Goldsmid (1819–1902). On his father's side ...

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Nieto, David (1654–1728), rabbi and scholar, was born in Venice on 18 January 1654, the son of Phineas or Pinchas Nieto. He studied medicine in Padua, and then functioned as a dayan (religious judge), preacher, and physician in Leghorn. By 1687 he had married ...

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Redlich, Josef (1869–1936), scholar and politician, was born on 18 June 1869 at Göding (Hodonin), Moravia, the second of five children and younger son of Adolf Redlich (1839–1896), sugar manufacturer, and his wife, Rosa Fanto (d. 1908). Coming from a German-Jewish family background in a rural Slav area, he was sent to ...

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Stein, Leonard Jacques (1887–1973), scholar and Zionist, was born in London on 12 December 1887, the only son (he had one sister) of Philip David Stein, a merchant, and his wife, Matilda Esther, daughter of Louis Beaver, jeweller in Manchester. His parents were of German-Jewish origin; the family had come to ...