Sabbatai Sevi; the mystical Messiah, 1626-1676

by Gershom Gerhard Scholem

Book, 1973



Call number


Call number



Princeton, N.J.] Princeton University Press [1973]

Original publication date


Physical description

xxvii, 1000 p.; 24 cm

Local notes

Gershom Scholem stands out among modern thinkers for the richness and power of his historical imagination. A work widely esteemed as his magnum opus, Sabbatai Ṣevi offers a vividly detailed account of the only messianic movement ever to engulf the entire Jewish world. Sabbatai Ṣevi was an obscure kabbalist rabbi of seventeenth-century Turkey who aroused a fervent following that spread over the Jewish world after he declared himself to be the Messiah. The movement suffered a severe blow when Ṣevi was forced to convert to Islam, but a clandestine sect survived. A monumental and revisionary work of Jewish historiography, Sabbatai Ṣevi details Ṣevi's rise to prominence and stands out for its combination of philological and empirical authority and passion. This edition contains a new introduction by Yaacob Dweck that explains the scholarly importance of Scholem's work to a new generation of readers.

User reviews

LibraryThing member antiquary
I like Scholem's matter of fact attitude: the evidence is Nathan of Gaza could read minds, very well, he could, but that did not make Sevi a true messiah.
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