Krakow: Y. Fischer / M'kize Nirdamim, 1902. Hardcover. 8vo. 2 vols. in 1. XXIII, 366 pp. Black cloth with gold lettering on spine. Fully annotated by Jacob Schor. Text and notes in Hebrew. Minor age wear and scuffing to boards. Ink notations on front endpaper. Signature of former owner on title page. Marginal ink notations on some pages, otherwise book is in very good condition. g. Item #20498
The author, Judah ben Barzillai, was a Spanish Talmudist who lived at the end of the eleventh and the beginning of the twelfth century. Almost nothing is known of his life. He came of a very distinguished family, on account of which he was not seldom called "ha-Nasi" (the prince), a title of honor borne also by his descendants in Barcelona. He was one of the greatest codifiers of the Middle Ages, although, with the exception of a few fragments, his writings in this department have been lost. From quotations found in works of more than forty authors it is seen that Judah codified the totality of Jewish law, both ritual and civil. His "Sefer ha-'Ittim," of which manuscript fragments exist in the library of Jews' College, London (Hirschfeld, in "J. Q. R." xiv. 191-192), is cited by name. This is an early critical edition compiled from various citations and the existent manuscript.