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 44


Polyglot. PSALMS) Psalterium, Hebreum, Grecum, Arabicum & Chaldeum, cum tribus latinis interpretationibus & glossis. Edited and with Latin commentary by Agostino Giustiniani. Text printed in eight columns across double-page: Hebrew, literal Latin translation from the Hebrew, Latin Vulgate, literal Latin from the Chaldee, Greek Septuagint, Arabic and Aramaic (Chaldee) ff. (200). Minor dampstains in places. Elegant vellum with cartouche in center and five bands on spine, with ties. Folio Vinograd, Genoa 1; Adams B-1370; Darlow & Moule 1411; see Amram, The Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy, pp.225-9

(Genoa): Petrus Paulus Porro for Nicolo Giustiniani Paulo 1516

Est: $20,000 - $25,000
FIRST POLYGLOT BIBLE EDITION. The Second Book Printed in Arabic. THE ONLY BOOK PRINTED AT GENOA IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. INCLUDES AN EARLY REFERENCE TO CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS’ DISCOVERY OF AMERICA. “A monument of Renaissance typography, this Psalter was linguistically the most ambitious work attempted to date, and the first Polyglot work ever published. It provides the Psalms in five languages as well as a marginal scholarship based largely on rabbinic sources. The Arabic text is one of the first two texts and the first biblical text, ever printed in this language. The Hebrew types used in this book were apparently never used again.” See B. Sabin Hill, Hebraica from the Valmadonna Trust, The Piermont Morgan Library (1989) no. 18. The learned Dominican Agostino Giustinianni, Bishop of Nebbio in Corsica, and later Professor of Hebrew at the College de France, devoted himself to the study of Oriental languages. He spared no expense in the preparation of this first Polyglot edition of the Book of Psalms which was popular with Churchmen of the age who sought Christological references in its lyrical, prophetic poetry. Giustinianni summoned to Genoa the Milanese printer Pietro Paulo Porro, a master-printer at Turin, to undertake the printing of this Psalter. In addition to this edition of 2,000 copies, Giustinianni printed 50 copies on vellum for presentation to royalty. The “Scholia” commentary reveals considerable scholarship. Of particular interst are the comments on Psalm 19, verse 4; “Their line has gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world.” On this verse the bishop says; “In our own times, by his wonderful daring, Christopher Columbus, the Genoese, has discovered almost another world and a new congregation of Christians. In truth, as Columbus often maintained, God chose him as the instrument for the fulfillment of this prophecy, thus I deem it not improper here to refer to his life...” The lengthly note contains previously unpublished information on Columbus’ life and second voyage