Rome: Printed by Iacobi Phaei Andreae, 1657. First Hebrew edition. Folio. (1,4) 44 (4), 196, 270 (2), 391 (1/Errata)pp. Rebound in mottled calf with embossed ruling and tooling on cover, gilt lettering on red leather label of spine; raised bands. Speckled edges. Title page in Latin and Hebrew with publisher's device. Dedicated to Pope Alexander VII. Decorative initials, head- and tailpieces. Text in Latin and Hebrew in parallel columns. Preface and "Trial (Iudicium)" on the Hebrew translation by Caramuelis in Latin, with brief Hebrew and Syriac passages. Index in Latin.
Thomas Aquinas (1225–74) wrote this seminal work of Christian doctrine in order to defend the faith against attacks from other religions. When Pope Urban VIII launched his campaign to convert the Jews of Rome, Josephus Ciantes, a Dominican friar and student of Oriental languages, was tasked to translate this work into Hebrew. Most notably, Ciantes only translated the first three of the four books, which appeal to human intellect, while leaving the fourth book out, covering topics pertaining to revealed truth, and not likely to impress the Jewish reader. See EJ, Vol. III, col. 229–31. Item #47007