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Bidding Information
Lot #    7404
Auction End Date    6/8/2004 1:40:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Cicero, Ziyyur Biografi
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Karaite] Elijah Kazaz
City    Odessa
Publisher    Press of the South Russian Society
Publication Date    1909
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. [4], 41, [4], 200:136 mm., wide margins, crisp copy, usual age staining. A very good copy bound in later cloth with title pastdown.
   Biographical sketch of the Roman orator and statesman, Marcus Tullius Cicero, by the Karaite scholar Elijah Kazaz. There are both Hebrew and Cyrillic title pages and then the text. Marcus Tullius Ciceros (106 B.C.E.3 B.C.E.) attitude to Jews is derived from a speech he delivered in Rome in 59 B.C.E. on behalf of his client Flaccus (Pro Flacco), who was accused of having seized gold contributed by the Jews to the Temple, while he was proconsul of Asia. In his oration he describes Judaism as a barbaric superstition that should be opposed, and criticizes the Jews of Rome for playing too prominent a part in public assemblies. It is probable that Cicero spoke not from conviction so much as in the interest of his client. Cicero's observations indicate that the Jews ranked among the lower classes of the Roman population, attended popular assemblies, and took part in political life. Cicero attacks Gabinius Aulus, the governor of Syria, for handing tax farmers as slaves to the Jews and Syrians, "races born to be slaves" (De Provinciis Consularibus 5:10). Plutarch (Cicero 7) attributes to Cicero the pun, "What has a Jew to do with a pig?" He supposedly said this when prosecuting Verres, governor of Sicily (verres = boar in Latin). Verres was defended by Cecilius, a Roman quaestor sympathetic to Judaism.

Elijah Kazaz (18321912) was born in Armyansk, Crimea. Kazaz was director of the school for Karaite hazzanim in Yevpatoriya. He was sympathetic to the Enlightenment movement (see Haskalah) and published numerous poems in Hebrew periodicals. The collections of poems appearing in book form, Shirim Ahadim (1875) and Yeled Sha'ashu'im (1910), are among the few Karaite contributions to secular Hebrew literature. Later, influenced by the teachings advocated by Abraham Firkovich, he tried to sever all connection between the Karaites and the mainstream of Jewry. He asserted that the Karaites were not Semites, but a Tatar or Khazar tribe which had become converted to the Jewish faith. His works include, in addition to Cicero, a Hebrew textbook, Le-Regel ha-Yeladim (1869), intended for the Karaite youth speaking the Tatar language; Torat ha-Adam (1889), an adaptation of Elements de morale by P. Janet (1870); Kivshono shel Olam (1889), after La religion naturelle by J. Simon (1856); and Emet me-Erez (1908), a shortened version of F. Vigouroux's La Bible et les decouvertes modernes en Palestine... (1879). He also translated the Karaite prayer book entitled Ketoret Tamid into Russian (1905). The Russian authorities regarded him as the official Karaite representative.

   BE tzadi 269; EJ; JE; CD-EPI 0161306
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
History:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica