The modern chapter in the history of Hebrew literature herewith presented to English readers was written by Dr. Nahum Slouschz as his thesis for the doctorate at the University of Paris, and published in book form in 1902. A few years later (1906-1907), the author himself put his Essay into Hebrew, and it was brought out as a publication of the Tushiyah, under the title Korot ha-Safrut ha-'Ibrit ha- Hadashah.
oppose the spirit and particularly the rules of Arabic prosody, which had put manacles upon Hebrew poetry. Their efforts were directed to the end of introducing new literary forms and new concepts into Hebrew literature.
They did not meet with notable success. The greater number of Jewish men of letters, whose knowledge of foreign literatures was meagre, were destined to remain in the thrall of the Middle Ages until a much later time. As to the unlettered, they preferred to make use of the vernacular, which presented fewer difficulties than the Hebrew.
The task of tearing asunder the chains that hampered the evolution of Hebrew in a modern sense devolved upon an Italian Jew of amazing talent. He became the true, the sovereign inaugurator of the Hebrew Renascence.
Moses Hayyim Luzzatto was born at Padua, in 1707. He was descended from a family celebrated for the Rabbinic scholars and the writers it had given to Judaism, a celebrity which it has continued to earn for itself down to our own