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Bidding Information
Lot #    8543
Auction End Date    12/7/2004 10:47:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
          
Title Information
Title (English)    Gemul Atalyah: Melitsah hi Kolelet Divre ha-Yamim
Title (Hebrew)    גמול עתליה: מליצה היא כוללת דברי הימים ליואש המלך
Author    [ First Ed.] David Franco-Mendes
City    Amsterdam
Publisher    Gerard Yohanan Yanson
Publication Date    1770
          
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
          
Description Information
Physical
Description
   First edition. [3], 37, [1] ff., 200:122 mm., light age and damp staining. A very good copy bound in later boards, rubbed.
          
Detailed
Description
   Drama in poetic form reminiscent of Racine's tragedy Athalie. It is an original work based Racine’s French drama and Pietro Metastasio’s Italian Gioas ré di Giuda (Joash, King of Judah) combined into one by David Franco-Mendes. Although much of the work is an elaboration of the earlier works, it is more than a translation, but an elaboration based on the earlier models. The story is based on II Kings 11 where Athalia, queen mother of Ahaziah, seizes the throne after her son’s death and kills all the princes excepting Joash, who is hidden in the Temple by his aunt. At the end there is a revolt, the usurper is killed, and Joash rules. The play is in three acts which are subdivided into scenes. The drama develops the biblical story skillfully emphasizing Athalia’s turbulent soul. There are moving and remorseful monologues by her in a biblical style with Talmudic words and even medieval expressions. The meter follows that of R. Moses Hayyim Luzzatto. There are approbations from R. Solomon Shalem, R. Saul Levinstam, verse in praise of the work and its author from R. Simha Climani of Venice, R. Abraham Shiminis of Ferrara, and R. Samuel Baruch Venevineti. One page in Dutch. There is an introduction and the text, which is in vocalized Hebrew.

David Franco-Mendes (Hofshi-Mendes; 1713–1792), Hebrew poet of the early Haskalah period. Born into an esteemed and affluent Portuguese family in Amsterdam, he received an excellent education and had a command of six languages besides Hebrew. In honor of his marriage to Rachel da Fonseca in 1750, his friend Benjamin Raphael Dias Brandon composed "Keter Torah," an epithalamium. Franco-Mendes was considered an outstanding talmudic scholar and often handed down halakhic decisions. He was a leading Hebrew poet of his time and was greatly influenced by M. H. Luzzatto during his stay in Amsterdam (from 1735). A central figure among a group of Dutch Hebrew poets even prior to the appearance of Ha-Me’assef in 1784, he became a member of Amadores das Musas, a Jewish literary society in 1769, and conducted an extensive correspondence with many Jewish literary personalities abroad. In the same year, he was also appointed honorary secretary of the Sephardi community of Amsterdam. A businessman, he was reduced to poverty in 1778, and compelled from then on to earn his living copying manuscripts. Franco-Mendes was one of the most zealous collaborators in the publication of Ha-Me'assef; Ahavat David (Ha-Me’assef (1785), 48), an article detailing a project for an encyclopedia in Hebrew, is one of his most noteworthy contributions to the periodical. Franco-Mendes was a prolific writer. Many of his biographies of famous Sephardi Jews were published in Ha-Me'assef (1785ff.), and posthumously in Ha-Maggid (1860–66); some of his poems were also published in Ha-Me'assef, but the bulk is still in manuscript. Nir-le-David, responsa from the years 1735 to 1792, was partly published in She'elot u-Teshuvot of the yeshivah Ets Hayyim. Sefer Tikkunim is a critical work on some of the writings of Maimonides. His works on the Portuguese and Spanish Jews of Amsterdam (still in manuscript) are of historical value.

          
Paragraph 2    מליצה... כולל דברי הימים ליואש המלך מיום... גונב בידי יהושבע אשת יהוידע הכהן עד הריגת המרשעת הנ"ל... חברתיה... דוד ן'... ר' אברהם פראנקו מינדיס פה ... אמשטירדם... והוגה... על ידי... יצחק בכ"ר אליהו חזקיהו הכהן בלינפאנטי...

מנוקד. בהקדמת המחבר: "שני חכמים... הרחיבו הנושא הזה במליצה ... הא' ראסיני [Racine, בספרו 1691 ,Athalie] ... והב' מוטאסטאסיו [Pietro Metastasio. הוא המשורר האיטלקי Trapassi, בספרו Gioas re di Giuda שהופיע בשנת 1735]...". מכאן שהספר אינו יצירה מקורית ולא תרגום, אלא עיבוד של שתי דראמות, צרפתית ואיטלקית, על נושא אחד.

הסכמות: ר' שלמה שלם, אמשטרדם, ז אייר תק"ל; ר' שאול [לעווענשטאם], אמשטרדם, יג אייר תק"ל. שירים לכבוד הספר ומחברו מאת ר' שמחה קלימני, ויניציאה, טו אלול תקכ"ו; ר' אברהם שימיניס פיריירה ("הועתקה ללשון המקודש מאחד מאוהביו"); ר' שמואל ברוך בינאוינטי, תק"ל; ר' מרדכי תמה; המגיה ר' יצחק בכ"ר אליהו חזקיהו הכהן בלינפאנטי.

          
Reference
Description
   EJ, Vin Amsterdam 1986; Waxman III:132-34; CD-EPI 0158795
        
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
Period
  
18th Century:    Checked
  
Location
Holland:    Checked
  
Subject
Other:    Literature
  
Characteristic
Language:    Hebrew
  
Manuscript Type
  
Kind of Judaica