59 109 (ITALY). Isaac Gershon (Ed.) Mashbith Milchamoth. FIRST EDITION. Title within type-ornament border. ff. 94, 3. Trace stained with minimal worming. Modern calf-backed marbled boards. Sm. 4to. [Vinograd, Venice 1015.] Venice, Zanetti, 1606. $400-600 ❧ The first of a trilogy concerning a celebrated controversy relating to the Halachic validity of the ritual-bath in Rovigo, Northern Italy. See A. Yaari, Mechkarei Sepher (1958) pp. 420-29; M. Carmilly-Weinberger, Censorship & Freedom Expression in Jewish History (1977) pp. 160-1. 110 (ITALY). Simone Luzzatto. Discorso circa il stato de gl’ Hebrei, et in particolar dimoranti nell’inclita Citt`a di Venetia [“Discourse on the Jews of Venice.”] FIRST EDITION. Aldine’s anchor device on title. ff. 92. Small tear to title-page. Later cloth-backed marbled boards. 8vo. [St. Cat. Bodl. col. 2597 no. 7191.] Venice, Gioanne Calleoni, 1638. $1200-1800 ❧ The author, Simone (Simcha) Luzzatto (1583-1663), was appointed senior Rabbi of Venice following the death of Leone Modena. Luzzatto was spurred to compose the present work due to a perceived threat of expulsion from Venice of its Jews. Luzzatto devoted the first part of the Discorso to a demonstration of the utility of the Jews to the economy of Venice. Perforce, he defends money-lending (which the Venetian Senate had required the Jews to engage in); moreover, the author argues that due to their political quietism at no time would Jews pose a threat to the internal security of the Venetian Republic. Whether as a direct result of this work or not, Jews were indeed permitted to remain in Venice. See B. Ravid, Moneylending in Seventeenth Century Jewish Vernacular Apologetica, & B. Septimus, Biblical Religion and Political Rationality in Simone Luzzatto, Maimonides and Spinoza in: Twersky & Septimus (eds.) Jewish Thought in the Seventeenth Century (1987) pp. 257-75; 399-433. Lot 110 Lot 109