PSALTERIUM, HEBRAEUM, GRAECU[M], ARABICU[M], & CHALDAEU[M], CU[M] TRIBUS LATINIS I[N]TERP[RE]TAT[I]O[N]IBUS & GLOSSIS, EDITED BY AGOSTINO GIUSTINIANI, GENOA: PIETRO PAOLO PORRO FOR NICCOLÒ GIUSTINIANI, 1516
PSALTERIUM, HEBRAEUM, GRAECU[M], ARABICU[M], & CHALDAEU[M], CU[M] TRIBUS LATINIS I[N]TERP[RE]TAT[I]O[N]IBUS & GLOSSIS, EDITED BY AGOSTINO GIUSTINIANI, GENOA: PIETRO PAOLO PORRO FOR NICCOLÒ GIUSTINIANI, 1516
PSALTERIUM, HEBRAEUM, GRAECU[M], ARABICU[M], & CHALDAEU[M], CU[M] TRIBUS LATINIS I[N]TERP[RE]TAT[I]O[N]IBUS & GLOSSIS, EDITED BY AGOSTINO GIUSTINIANI, GENOA: PIETRO PAOLO PORRO FOR NICCOLÒ GIUSTINIANI, 1516
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PSALTERIUM, HEBRAEUM, GRAECU[M], ARABICU[M], & CHALDAEU[M], CU[M] TRIBUS LATINIS I[N]TERP[RE]TAT[I]O[N]IBUS & GLOSSIS, EDITED BY AGOSTINO GIUSTINIANI, GENOA: PIETRO PAOLO PORRO FOR NICCOLÒ GIUSTINIANI, 1516

Estimate: 15,000 - 20,000 USD

PSALTERIUM, HEBRAEUM, GRAECU[M], ARABICU[M], & CHALDAEU[M], CU[M] TRIBUS LATINIS I[N]TERP[RE]TAT[I]O[N]IBUS & GLOSSIS, EDITED BY AGOSTINO GIUSTINIANI, GENOA: PIETRO PAOLO PORRO FOR NICCOLÒ GIUSTINIANI, 1516

Estimate: 15,000 - 20,000 USD

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Lot Details

Description

PSALTERIUM, HEBRAEUM, GRAECU[M], ARABICU[M], & CHALDAEU[M], CU[M] TRIBUS LATINIS I[N]TERP[RE]TAT[I]O[N]IBUS & GLOSSIS, EDITED BY AGOSTINO GIUSTINIANI, GENOA: PIETRO PAOLO PORRO FOR NICCOLÒ GIUSTINIANI, 1516


200 folios (11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in.; 296 x 209 mm) (collation: i10, ii-xxiv8, xxv6) on paper; text printed in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, and Arabic types; eight parallel columns across page openings with four columns per page; headings to beginning of text as well as a prefatory paragraph printed in red. Title printed in red and black within a magnificent woodcut arabesque border; thirteen woodcut floriated initials (five Latin, four Hebrew, two Greek, and two Arabic); woodcut printer’s device on recto of final leaf. Slight browning; f. [18] torn lengthwise to the gutter but repaired. Modern elaborately gilt- and blind-tooled calf; spine in six compartments with raised bands; title, place, and date lettered in gilt on spine; red-speckled edges; modern paper flyleaves and pastedowns.

Cataloguing

Catalogue Note

The first true polyglot edition of any part of the Bible, the second book printed with Arabic type, and the only book printed at Genoa in the first quarter of the sixteenth century.


The Milanese printer Pietro Paolo Porro maintained a press at Turin with his brother Galeazzo. Sometime between 1512 and 1516, the learned Dominican Agostino Giustiniani (1470-1536), Bishop of Nebbio in Corsica from 1514 and later the first to occupy a chair of Hebrew and Arabic at the University of Paris, summoned Porro to Genoa expressly for the production of this edition. A monument of Renaissance typography, the book’s fonts were designed and cut under Porro’s direction and printing took place in the house of Giustiniani’s brother Niccolò.


With eight columns to an opening (double-page spread), the book presents, from left to right, the original Hebrew text, a literal Latin version of the Hebrew, the Latin Vulgate, the Greek Septuagint, an Arabic translation, an Aramaic translation, a literal Latin version of the Aramaic, and finally the scholia (notes), composed by Giustiniani. Of particular interest is his long note to Ps. 19:5 on the life of Genoese native Christopher Columbus (d. 1506), occasioned by the phrase “their words to the end of the world.” Giustiniani’s comments contain previously unpublished information about Columbus’ second voyage and constitute the first biographical sketch of the explorer.


Shortly after the book was printed, Columbus’s son, Ferdinand, Duke of Veragua, complained to the Genoese Senate about Giustiniani’s somewhat unflattering representation of his father. It seems he was offended that the bishop had revealed the admiral’s working-class origins. In his history of Genoa (1537), Giustiniani described his difficulties in selling the two thousand paper copies and fifty copies on vellum he had printed, perhaps due in part to Ferdinand’s protestations.


Literature

David Sandler Berkowitz, In Remembrance of Creation: Evolution of Art and Scholarship in the Medieval and Renaissance Bible (Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 1968), 100-101 (no. 173).


Marvin J. Heller, The Sixteenth Century Hebrew Book: An Abridged Thesaurus, vol. 1 (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2004), 98-99.


Vinograd, Genoa 1

Sacred Splendor: Judaica from the Arthur and Gitel Marx Collection
Live Auction Begins:20 Nov 2019 | 03:00 PM GMT