AUCTION 23 | Tuesday, March 30th, 2004 at 1:00
Hebrew Printed Books & Manuscripts from The Rare Book Room of the Jews College Library, London The Third Portion

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Lot 35


Margaritha, Anton. Der Gantz Jüdisch Glaub [“The Whole Jewish Belief”]. ff.(128). Second edition.Woodcut vignette on title with three further woodcut illustrations. Sporadic use of Hebrew. [Adams M-574; Freimann, p. 148]. (Frankfurt a/Main, n.p. 1544). * BOUND WITH: (Samuel Marochitanus). Sendbrieff Rabbi Samuelis des Juden [“Epistle of Rabbi Samuel,” German edition of Rabbi Samuel's conversionary tract]. ff. (32) [Freimann, p. 424]. (Frankfurt a/Main, Jacob zum Bart., 1544) First title stamped. Upper right hand corners of ff. 22, 23 torn. Waterstained.Contemporary blind-tooled vellum partially removed revealing medieval manuscript vellum leaf. 4to

v.p: v.d

Est: $1,000 - $1,500
An apostate and anti-Jewish writer (his name is a corruption of the family surname Margolis), Margaritha was born c.1490 and converted to Catholicism in 1522; he later became a Protestant. This libellous tract had a great influence upon Martin Luther who quoted it often in his own writings. The Author ridicules Jewish religious practice and beliefs, including Messianic beliefs. He accuses Jews of lacking charity and piety, of harboring sentiments hostile to Christians and finally, of treason. What gave Margaritha especial “credibility” was the fact that he was no ordinary Jew but the son of Samuel Margolis, Chief Rabbi of the City of Regensburg, the Empire's most distinguished Jewish community. Elisheva Carlebach has dealt extensively with the work which she describes as a “sixteenth-century bestseller.” See Carlebach, Divided Souls (New Haven, 2001) pp. 55-6, 63-64, 179-182; EJ, Vol. XI, cols. 958-9. The Epistle of Rabbi Samuel is a fabrication with the same degree of “scientific” validity as the twentieth-century Protocol of the Elders of the Zion. The epistle which supposedly was first composed by a Moroccan Jew in Arabic and later translated to Latin, went through several European translations. In Ludwig Rosenberger, Judaica (Cincinnati, 1971), p. 385 one finds a facsimile of the title of an English edition of the conversionary tract, published in York, England in 1648. Ber of Bolichov (Jews' College ms. - see Lot 211) describes a Polish version by the priest Jacob Radlinski, published in Lublin in 1753