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Bidding Information
Lot #    35100
Auction End Date    7/17/2012 12:56:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
          
Title Information
Title (English)    Lexicon Chaldaicum Talmudicum
Author    [First Ed.] Johannes Buxtorf I
City    Basle
Publisher    Ludovici Konig
Publication Date    1639
          
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
          
Description Information
Physical
Description
   First edition. [2 copperplate titles, 5] ff., 2680 numbered double columns, [64] pp. index., folio, 375:237 mm., usual light age and damp staining, wide margins. A very good copy bound in contemporary boards, rubbed.
          
Paragraph 1    Title: Lexicon Chaldaicum, Talmudicum et Rabbinicum, in quo omnes voces Chaldaicæ, Talmudicæ et Rabbinicæ., fideliter explicantur. Opus XXX. annorum nunc demum, post patris obitum ex ipsius autographo fideliter descriptum., à J. Buxtorfio Filio.
          
Detailed
Description
   The first edition of one of the two books upon which the reputation of Johannes Buxtorf the Elder rests. It is a monument of untiring labor and scholarship, which he did not live to complete. After his death in 1629 his son Johannes Buxtorf the Younger spent another ten years to bring the manuscript up to date. Thus the lexicon has often been referred to as the "opus triginta annorum," work of thirty years. For centuries it has stood as an indispensable guide to the important ancient languages. It is also an impressive example of seventeenth century printing, incorporating a variety of Roman, Italic, Chaldean, Greek, Hebrew and Gothic typefaces. Text is arranged alphabetically according to the Hebrew alphabet, but text itself is in Latin. Although unreliable, it served for generations as a guide for Christian scholars in their Jewish studies.

Johannes Buxtorf I (15641629), Hebraist, professor of Hebrew at the University of Basle. He was also called "the elder," or "the father" (to distinguish him from his son Johannes Buxtorf II). Buxtorf devoted himself to compiling an edition of the Hebrew Bible with the Aramaic Targum, Masoretic Text, and the most important Jewish commentaries. He employed two Jewish scholars for this work. Buxtorf secured the right of residence for the scholars from the Basle authorities, since, at that time, no Jews were allowed to live there. Buxtorf contended that the masoretic vocalization and cantillation marks are of very ancient origin. He also accepted Elijah Levita's conception that the Hebrew canon was the product of Ezra and the men of the great assembly. His Bible research brought him into the field of rabbinical literature, of which he possessed a rich collection. He maintained a correspondence with Jewish scholars in Germany, Holland, and Constantinople, as well as with non-Jewish Hebrew scholars. Many of his letters are preserved at the library of the University of Basle and are an important source for the study of the spiritual conditions of his time. His famous Hebraic library, which was supplemented by his son and grandsons, became part of the Basle Public Library (1705).

Among his most important works are: (1) a textbook of Hebrew (Praeceptiones Grammaticae Hebraicae, 1605), which ran into 16 editions, one of them in English translation (London, 1656); (2) several Hebrew vocabularies and lexicons: Lexicon Hebraicum et Chaldaicum (1607), Concordantiae Bibliorum Hebraicae (1632); (3) a catalog of his Hebrew books (with 324 entries); (4) a treatise on Hebrew abbreviations, and (5) a collection of over 100 Hebrew letters of medieval scholars (Institutio Epistolaris Hebraica, 1610). Buxtorf's attitude toward the Jews, as voiced in his work Juden Schuel (1603), was negative. This book enjoyed several editions and was known in its Latin version by the name Synagoga Judaica.

          
Reference
Description
   Prijs 237; EJ
        
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Listing Classification
Period
17th Century:    Checked
  
Location
Holland:    Checked
  
Subject
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias:    Checked
  
Characteristic
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Latin, some Hebrew
  
Manuscript Type
  
Kind of Judaica