32 71 (KABBALAH) REUCHLIN, JOHANNES. De Arte Cabalistica. FIRST EDITION. Text in Latin with extensive use of Hebrew. Large woodcut device on title. ff. (4), 79, (1). * BOUND WITH: Johannes Reuchlin. Liber de Verbo Mirifico. ff. (61). Two volumes bound in one. Latin marginalia, lengthy handwritten note following introduction. The Luis Nuñez copy (Marrano physician, 1553-1645). Edges in red. 18th-century polished calf, spine in compartments tooled in gilt, Valmadonna- custom gilt-titled morocco spine-labels. Sm. folio. Housed in fitted slip-case. [Adams R-381 and R-385; Scholem, Bibliographia Kabbalistica (1933) p. 127.] Hagenau / Tübingen, Thomas Anshelm, 1517 / 1514. $7000 - $10,000 ❧ A FINE COPY OF A CLASSIC OF CHRISTIAN KABBALAH. Born in Pforzheim in 1455, Johannes Reuchlin was one of the foremost figures of German humanism and a pioneer of Greek and Hebrew scholarship in Germany. He first turned to the study of Jewish texts in 1473 and his main interest was Kabbalah. Reuchlin sensed an affinity between the neo-Platonic elements in Kabbalistic teaching and the basic conceptions of the great German Platonic philosopher, Nicholas of Cusa, whom he deeply admired. It was no doubt Reuchlin’s devotion to his Kabbalistic studies that was the motivating factor behind his defense of Jewish literature against the apostate Johannes Pfefferkorn during the so called “Battle of the Books.” De Arte Cabalistica is written in the form of a Socratic dialogue between “Simon” a Jewish Kabbalist, “Marannus” a Muslim, and “Philolaus” a Pythagorean mystical philosopher. Parts One and Three of the book discuss the Kabbalah at considerable length, with a fair amount of sympathy. Part Two contains a long dialogue on Pythagoras’ philosophy. De Verbo Mirifico, Reuchlin’s first major work, published originally in 1493, serves to study various names and words that are said to cause miracles to occur. The ‘Wonder-Performing Word’ the title refers to is the Pentagrammaton. Reuchlin notes that many cultures have stories containing miraculous words, but nearly all of them derive their power through darkness - only Judaism’s impactful words draw from the light. See EJ, Vol. XIV, cols. 108-11.