The World Outlook of Don Isaac Abravanel and His Historical, Political, and Messianic Works
History of Religion
The times of Don Isaac Abravanel, whose life and thought we shall attempt here to pursue, were pregnant with far-reaching and decisive changes, including perhaps the most fundamental changes that the history of mankind had ever known. Two major events, which respectively occured in the first and last years of Abravanel's life, may help illustrate the nature of the period. The one was the invention, in 1438, of printing by Gutenberg; the other - the formation, in 1508, of the anti-Venetian League of Cambrai. Both the invention of printing and the decline of Venice as a world power - which the creation and action of the League signified - were among the most portentous signs of the profound cultural and political changes which characterized the end of the Middle Ages.