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Bidding Information
Lot #    8450
Auction End Date    10/19/2004 1:37:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Epistola di Maestro Samuelle Ebreo
Author    [Anti-Semitics] Alfonsus Bonihominis
City    Florence
Publisher    Lorenzo Torrentino and Carlo Pettinari Copagni
Publication Date    1568
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   135, [8] pp., 160:90 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in modern half leather and marbled paper boards. Rare - no sale record in ABPC.
   Christian polemic against Judaism. The title page informs that it was translated into Latin by P. F. Gregorio Lombardelli and has an attractive device consisting of two cherubim supporting a crown and below a shield with the famous five balls, the escutcheon of the Medicis, rulers of the Duchy.. There is a dedication to Il. P. Maestro Vincenzio Giustiniani of Genoa followed by the text, which begins with a large historiated letter of mounted knights, the first of several decorative letters in the book. The final page has a Christian religious figure of an individual holding a cross. The text is in a single column in italics.

Alfonsus Bonihominis (Buenhombre; d. 1353) was a Spanish Dominican, born in Cuenca or Toledo. Returning from a stay in Morocco, where he had been imprisoned, Alfonsus claimed to have brought back the Arabic original of the De adventu Messiae, an anti-Jewish epistle allegedly written by one Samuel of Fez. He said that he had translated this text in Paris in 1339. Known as the "Epistola Samuelis Maroccani," it was later translated into several languages and widely circulated in Europe. In fact, it seems that he himself was the author, drawing largely from another tract in Arabic written by a Jewish convert to Islam, Samau'al ben Judah ibn Abbas, probably with the intent of presenting it as a Christian rather than a Muslim polemic. Alfonsus also translated another Arabic treatise by Samuel (or possibly wrote it himself): Disputatio Abutalib Saraceni et Samuelis Judaei quae fides praecellat: christianorum, an iudeorum, an saracenorum (Ms. Madrid Nac. 4402, fol. 10310), a disputation between a Saracen and a Jew. It is also suspected that Alfonsus may well be the apostate Paul of Burgos.

   EJ; JE; Steinschneider: Polemische und apologetische Literatur.
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Listing Classification
16th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Other:    Anti-Semiticism
Language:    Italian
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica