De antiquitate Judaica. De bello Judaico.
Tr: Rufinus Aquileiensis. Ed: Ludovicus Cendrata.Verona: Petrus Maufer de Maliferis, for Innocens Ziletus, 25 Dec. 1480 Stock Code: 148859
Attractive contemporary Italian bindingFirst edition printed in Italy, fourth overall, of one of the most important works of Jewish historiography, in a contemporary Italian binding.
Josephus led the Jewish forces in Galilee during the Great Jewish Revolt, but was captured by the Romans. His life was spared when he prophesied that Vespasian would become emperor, and he was then enslaved until his prediction was fulfilled in 69. Originally written in either Hebrew or Aramaic, De bello Judaico is a history of the conflict informed by Josephus's eyewitness experiences of the war. The second text here, De antiquitate Judaica contra Apionem, is a defence against anti-semitism, establishing the antiquity and philosophical rigour of Judaism alongside other ancient religions. Josephus's works were much read in the Renaissance, both in Greek and Latin as well as in vernacular translations. This early edition is the only book signed from Verona by Maufer, who also ran presses in Padua and Venice.
Chancery folio (305 x 202mm). Contemporary Italian blindstamped goatskin over wooden boards, paper label on spine, remains of gilt-stamped author name at head of spine.
214 leaves, complete. Initial spaces left blank.
Provenance: Rosenberg collection, acquired from Bernard M. Rosenthal, New York, 3 March 1958. Early marginalia throughout. Metal furniture removed from binding, studs remaining; corners worn. Contents with occasional marks and some worm, principally a single hole in the lower margin below the text throughout and a wider scatter of holes to early leaves, chiefly marginal, resolving to a very small single hole in the fore margin running to O3. Overall, a very good copy in an attractive contemporary binding.
HC 9452*; BMC VII 951; BSB-Ink I-621; Bod-inc J-221; IGI 5388; Goff J-484; ISTC ij00484000.
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