De Legibus Hebraeorum Ritualibus

AUCTION 37 | Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

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Lot 158

De Legibus Hebraeorum Ritualibus

Latin interspersed with Hebrew. Engraved portrait of author pp. (38),1232, (30). Browned. Contemporary blind-tooled velum, rebacked. Lg. folio

Tubingen: Johann Georg Cott 1732

Est: $300 - $500
John Spencer (1630-1693) of Cambridge was an accomplished Hebraist. The present work is credited with shaping the mindset of Deists and later, certain members of the French Enlightenment, who were decidedly skeptical of the Bible and of Judaism. One of the novelties of Spencer’s scholarship, was his belief that rather than the ancient Hebrews having influenced Near Eastern culture, the opposite was true. Particularly in regard to Sabaean culture, it seems Spencer’s inspiration was Maimonides’ Guide, Part III. See A.L. Katchen, Christian Hebraists and Dutch Rabbis (1984), pp. 233-234; EJ, Vol. VIII, col. 58