London: Louis Loewe/ Printed by J. Werthheimer, 1842. First English edition. Softcover. Octavo. 8 1/4 x5 1/4". 29pp. Light brown paper wrappers. This is a first edition English-language edition of Matteh Dan which has been considered Rabbi David Nieto's magnum opus, here translated by German-Jewish linguist Dr. Louis Loewe.
First published in Hebrew and Spanish in 1714, the work takes the form of a dialogue in five parts (here only the first is translated), and acts as a defense of Rabbinic Judaism and the Jewish Oral Law against the views of the Karaites and theological/ ideological attacks during the period from some ex-marranos. In doing so Neito provides a detailed analysis of the nature of Talmudic disputes between the rabbis of the Mishnah and Gemarah. Nieto regarded this work as a supplement to the famous "Kuzari" of Judah Halevi, the purpose of which was to demonstrate the veracity of the Written Law, while the object of his own work was to prove the validity of the Oral Law. In parallel fashion to the original Sefer Ha-Kuzari, which took the form of a supposed dialogue between a rabbi and the pagan King of the Khazars, Nieto's work also takes the form of a dialogue. The initial two pages contains a preface from Loewe, discussion his translation of the original text.
Text in English.
Wrappers with some light rubbing, chipping and/or closed tears to extremities. Faint pencil marking in the top right corner of the front cover. Some closed tears and chipping along the spine. Minor sporadic foxing to the front cover and a few other pages throughout. A few other sporadic minor stains or smudges throughout the text. Minor closed tears along the edges of the first four pages. Wrappers in good, interior in very good- condition overall. g to vg-. Item #45475
David Nieto (1654 – 1728) was a Sephardic rabbi who was an acclaimed multidisciplinary scholar. He served as head of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community in London from 1704 until the time of his death. He was succeeded by his son, Isaac Nieto.
*This first edition only translates the first dialogue ("conversation"), while the second edition from 1845, contains translation of both the first and second conversations.
Hebrew title: מטה דן וכוזרי חלק שני.