The major part of the mathematical “classics” in Hebrew were translated from Arabic between the second third of the thirteenth century and the first third of the fourteenth century, within the northern littoral of the western Mediterranean. This movement occurred after the original works by Abraham bar Hiyya and Abraham ibn Ezra became available to a wide readership. The translations were intended for a restricted audience — the scholarly readership involved in and dealing with the theoretical sciences. In some cases the translators themselves were professional scientists (e.g., Jacob ben Makhir); in other cases they were, so to speak, professional translators, dealing as well with philosophy, medicine, and other works in Arabic.
In aketshing this portrait of the beginning of Herbrew scholarly mathematics, my aim has been to contribute to a better understanding of mathematical activity as such among Jewish communities during this period.