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Hebrew Aramaic Italian & Latin Lexicon Judaica/judaism/dictionary Rare 1st 1587 For Sale
VERY RARE, ORIGINAL 1587 EDITION OF: "TSEMAH DAVID...DITTIONARIO NOVO HEBRAICO" [AKA "ZEMAH DAWID", "ZEMAH DAVID", OR "ZEMACH DAVID"]. This important 16th century work was written by David ben Isaac de Pomis and printed by Joannem de Gara, Venice. Author was a noted linguist, physician, and philosopher, and a member of old Italian Jewish family which claimed descent from King David. The present treatise contains his principal work, arguably the most significant Hebrew dictionary to emanate from the period.
Polylingual [Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin, and Italian] lexicon is the first Hebrew-Italian dictionary, the first Hebrew-Latin dictionary by a Jew, and the only Hebrew dictionary by a Jewish scholar to be printed during the 16th century. Treatise is scarce, with only 1 other copy located in private hands. [Vancil, Dictionaries p. 195; Adams P1823; OCLC Nos. 27906344; 221458496; 776345013; et al.].
"Hebrew-Latin-Italian dictionary of biblical and rabbinic vocabulary largely based on Nathan ben Jehiel's 'Arukh', Radak's 'Sefer ha-Shorashim', and Levita's 'Tishbi' and 'Meturgeman'. Entries were divided into two columns, one for Hebrew and one for foreign words in rabbinic Hebrew. Included were indexes of Latin and Italian words and a list of abbreviations. This work is the only printed Hebrew dictionary by a Jewish scholar during the 16th century" [See: "History and Guide to Judaic Dictionaries and Concordances" by Shimeon Brisman (2000), Vol. 3, Part 1, p. 171].
"A very interesting work by the Jewish physician David de Pomis...which gives side by side a Hebrew dictionary and a 'Targumic' one...In both dictionaries the lemmata are explained in Hebrew (with source reference), Latin and Italian, while the work is made more accessible through a Latin and an Italian index. The Italian words are also provided in Hebrew inscription.-The work was criticized by Scalinger, but esteemed by Bochart" [See: "Philologia Orientals" by E.J. Brill (1976), p. 32].
"David de Pomis, a physician of Rome and Venice, 1575, was a master in Hebrew criticism. He had the esteem of Pope Sixtus V., to whom he dedicated his 'Zemach David', a tetraglot lexicon, Hebrew, Chaldee, Latin, and Italian (Venice, 1587)...In his other occasional writings, Di Pomis laboured to bring Jews and Christians into a better understanding of the true principles of their religious systems" [See: "Jerusalem and Tiberias, Sora and Cordova" by John Etheridge (1856), p. 454].
David ben Isaac de Pomis (1525-1593) was a noted Italian physician and philosopher; born at Spoleto, Umbria. "When David was born his father was rich; but soon after, he lost his fortune in the following manner: When the Imperialists plundered Rome, Isaac, fearing that they would attack Spoleto, sent all his possessions to Camerino and Civita. The troops of Colonna surprised the convoy on its way, and confiscated all of Isaac's goods. He then settled at Bevegna, where David received his early education. In 1532 Isaac de Pomis settled at Todi and confided the instruction of his son to his uncles Jehiel Alatino and Moses Alatino, who taught the boy the rudiments of medicine and philosophy.
David was graduated, Nov. 27, 1551, as "Artium et Medicinæ Doctor" at the University of Perugia. Later he settled at Magliano, where he practised medicine, holding at the same time the position of rabbi. The anti-Jewish laws enacted by Paul IV. deprived David of his possessions and likewise of his rabbinate; and he entered the service of Count Nicolo Orsini, and five years later that of the Sforza family. The condition of the Jews of the Pontifical States having improved on the accession of Pius IV., David went to Rome, and, as the result of a Latin discourse delivered before the pope and cardinals, obtained permission to settle at Chiusi and to practise his profession among Christians. Unfortunately, Pius IV. died seven days later, and the permission was annulled by Pius V. David then went to Venice, where a new permission was granted to him by Pope Sixtus V.
De Pomis was the author of the following works: (1) "Ẓemaḥ Dawid," a Hebrew and Aramaic dictionary dedicated to Pope Sixtus V., the words being explained in Latin and Italian. Venice, 1587. This dictionary, variously estimated by the lexicologists (comp. Richard Simon in the appendix to "De Ceremoniis Judæorum"; David de Lara in the introduction to "'Ir Dawid"), was modeled after Jehiel's lexicographical work, "'Aruk." (2) "Ḳohelet," the Book of Ecclesiastes translated into Italian, with explanatory notes, ib. 1571, dedicated to Cardinal Grimani. (3) "Discorso Intorno all' Umana Miseria, e Sopra il Modo di Fuggirla," published as an appendix to "Ḳohelet," ib. 1572, and dedicated to Duchess Margarete of Savoy (David also translated the books of Job and Daniel; but these were never published). (4) "Brevi Discorsi et EficacissimiRicordi per Liberare Ogni Città Oppressa dal Mal Contagioso," ib. 1577. (5) "Enarratio Brevis de Senum Affectibus Præcavendis Atque Curandis" dedicated to the doge and senate of Venice, ib. 1588. (6) A work on the divine character of the Venetian republic, which he cites in his "Enarratio Brevis," but which has not been preserved. (7) "De Medico Hebræo Enarratio Apologica," ib. 1588. This apologetical work, which defends not only Jewish physicians, but Jews in general (see some extracts translated in Winter and Wünsche, "Die Jüdische Litteratur," iii. 698 et seq.), earned much praise from Roman patricians, such as Aldus Manutius the Younger, whose letter of commendation is prefixed to the book" [See: "JewishEncyclopedia" online].
Condition: Rare book remains in good overallcondition [see images]. Folio bound in contemporary full vellumwith gold spine lettering; cover worn with sunning markto rear board, old institutional stamp to title page,scattered damp staining andspotting, a few page repairs,couple ofpages misnumbered as issued, etc. Text in Hebrew, Chaldee [i.e., Aramaic], Italian, and Latin; organized in parallel columns and in traditional format [reading from back to front and right to left]. Volume contains 300 [62+238] leaves (i.e., 600 pages); and measures approx 12" tall x 8' wide x 2" thick. Quite a find and a very worthy acquisition indeed.
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Hebrew Aramaic Italian & Latin Lexicon Judaica/judaism/dictionary Rare 1st 1587: $648