De Arcanis Catholicae Veritatis

AUCTION 80 | Thursday, March 28th, 2019 at 1:00 PM
The Valmadonna Trust Library: Further Selections from the Historic Collection. * Hebrew Printing in America. * Graphic & Ceremonial Art

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Lot 46

De Arcanis Catholicae Veritatis

<<FIRST EDITION.>> Latin interspersed with Hebrew, Greek, and Ethiopic. The title page and twelve additional pages contain frames from Decachordum Christianum (1507). Numerous initial letters historiated. Scattered Latin marginalia. <<A wide-margined copy.>> ff. 311, (1). Touch stained in few places. Later vellum, upper cover starting. Folio. Adams C-2418; Heller, Sixteenth Century Hebrew Book, I, pp. 116-7 (incl. facs. of title).

Ortona: Gershom Soncino 1518

Est: $5,000 - $7,000
Pietro Columna Galatinus, an Italian theologian, Hebraist and Kabbalist, was a supporter of Johannes Reuchlin in his battles against Johannes Pfefferkorn, an apostate Jew who agitated for the confiscation of the Talmud and other Jewish books in the beginning of the 16th-century. De Arcanis, Galatinus’s most important work, was an attempt to use Jewish sources, including the Zohar, to prove the veracity of Catholicism. While it demonstrated the utility of Jewish sources for Christian needs and thus vindicated Reuchlin’s position, it nevertheless also attacked Judaism. The potential ramifications of the Reuchlin-Pfefferkorn controversy, and Galatinus’s stated desire in De Arcanis to see the Talmud printed (Bomberg had not as yet begun to publish his pioneering edition), may have been what caused its Jewish printer Gershom Socinco to overlook the book’s anti-Jewish content when agreeing to produce it. De Arcanis is one of just four books that Gershom Soncino printed during his short sojourn in Ortona. The Latin text of De Arcanis contains many Hebrew quotes. Indeed it was the first book printed in Ortona with Hebrew type - as well as Ethiopic and Greek types.