Sepher Yuchasin [“Book of Genealogies”: Onomasticon and history]. With printed glosses by Moses Isserles (RaM”A).

AUCTION 61 | Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic Art and Ceremonial Objects

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Lot 236

Sepher Yuchasin [“Book of Genealogies”: Onomasticon and history]. With printed glosses by Moses Isserles (RaM”A).

First edition with Isserles’ notes. <<Interleaved throughout with extensive scholarly notes in German and Hebrew in a 19th century Ashkenazic hand.>> Additional chronological tables between ff. 114 and 115, plus a further 17 manuscript leaves containing Seder Olam Zuta in a neat square script interspersed with extensive notes in the same cursive German hand. Embossed stamp of David Yellin, Jerusalem on front flyleaf, manuscript chronological chart of Palestinian and Babylonian Tannaim and Amoraim listed by city and yeshiva on recto and verso of front flyleaf in Hebrew, with further notes in German. ff. 168. Mispaginated (as are all copies) but complete, final four leaves containing Seder Olam Zuta inserted from another slightly shorter copy, stained in places, lower corner of f. 8 repaired. Later half calf. 4to. Vinograd, Cracow 63; Sepher Yuchasin HaShalem, ed. by Z. Filipowsky with introduction and index by A.H. Freimann, Frankfurt a/Main, 1925.

Cracow: Isaac Prostitz 1580-1

Est: $1,800 - $2,200
The astronomer Abraham Zacuto (1452-c.1515) served at the court of Salamanca, and following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, became court astronomer in the service of King John II of Portugal. Zacuto’s astrolabe, tables and maritime charts were instrumental in Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama’s 1496 voyage to India. Upon the expulsion of the Jews from Portugal in 1497, Zacuto took up residence in Tunis where he worked on his history, Sepher Yuchasin. Zacuto often differs with the findings of his predecessors, R. Sherira Gaon, Abraham ibn Daud Halevi (author Sepher HaKabbalah), and Maimonides. Though the work takes the reader from Adam to the author’s day, scholars have noted that the main contribution of the author are his original - and at times controversial - interpretations of several events during the Second Temple and Talmudic eras. See EJ, Vol. XVI, cols. 903-906. Seder Olam Zuta (“The Small Seder Olam”) - not to be confused with Seder Olam Rabbah (“The Great Seder Olam”), composed by the Mishnaic Tanna Yosé ben Chalafta - is an historical record that traces successive generations of Babylonian exilarchs from the year 166 (counting from the destruction of the Second Temple) until the year 452 when Mar Zutra migrated to the Land of Israel and became head of the Sanhedrin. There is much dissension among scholars when this invaluable chronicle was penned. The anonymous detailed manuscript notes in this copy were obviously written in preparation for a future scholarly edition of this important work. The writer cites the Sepher Yuchasin HaShalem first published in 1857.