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Maimonides is a medieval Jewish philosopher with considerable influence on Jewish thought, and on philosophy in general.Maimonides also was an important codifier of Jewish law.The rigors of his responsibilities are described in a letter to Samuel ben Judah ibn Tibbon, the man who translated from its original Arabic into Hebrew.
Those of his works that are categorized as ‘philosophy’ reflect interests he had to his religious commitments.
His brother was lost at sea during a journey across the Indian Ocean, and Maimonides wrote that the loss of his brother pained him profoundly, leading him into depression.
No longer having the support of his brother’s commercial successes, Maimonides made his living as a physician.
The prospects of medieval Jewish communities often depended upon the disposition of the Christian or Islamic rulers of the areas in which Jews lived.
As is the case for several other important medieval Jewish philosophers, the larger intellectual culture in which Maimonides lived and worked was Islamic rather than Christian.