CARDOSO, ISAAC (FERNANDO). Philosophia Libera

AUCTION 4 | Tuesday, March 03rd, 1998 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art The Property of Various Owners

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Lot 216

CARDOSO, ISAAC (FERNANDO). Philosophia Libera

FIRST EDITION. Title with engraved vignette in red and black. Uncut copy pp.(16), 758, (20). Several leaves with marginal wear, lightly stained in places. Publisher’s limp boards with recent paper spine-label. Folio

Venice: Bertanorum 1673

Est: $4,000 - $5,000
A huge encyclopedic tome ranging from natural philosophy to theology, it was “the first major work in general philosophy to be written and published by a professing Jew in a secular language, and intended from the outset to reach a wide European audience.” Y.H. Yerushalmi, From Spanish Court to Italian Ghetto (1981) p.300. Born in 1603/4 to a New Christian family of crypto-Jews in Trancoso, Portugal, Cardoso studied medicine in Spain where he rapidly gained access to the highest social circles and eventually became a physician at the court of Philip IV. In 1648, his dual life proved intolerable and he disappeared from Madrid and re-emerged in Venice where he joined the Sephardi community as a professing Jew. See Y.H. Yerushalmi, Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana-Treasures of Jewish Booklore (1994) pp.48-9 (illustrated)