[Basel]: Apud Frob (Johann Froben), 1523. First edition. Hardcover. Duodecimo. 6 1/2x 4 1/2". [24 initial double-sided unpaginated leaves] 525pp. . Period dark brown leather boards. Raised bands on the spine. Edges of the book block in red. Title page illustrated with the printer's decorative woodcut device.
A first edition of this famous work, a biblical Hebrew (and Aramaic) - Latin dictionary from famed cartographer, cosmographer and Christian Hebraist, Sebastian Munster (1488 – 1552). The original impetus for the creation of this work was said to be Munster's dissatisfaction with the dictionary of the final volume of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible (Biblia Complutensis, 1517). He instead returned to earlier source material and created this work based on Elia Levita's translation of "Sefer Ha-Shorashim" (Book of Roots), the Hebrew-language dictionary created by acclaimed medieval rabbi David Kimhi (RaDaK).
This work, which was highly popular in its day with scholars and theologians, went through a total of six editions, all published by Johann Froben or his son Hieronymus Froben, with the 1564 being the last.
The book is printed in Hebrew orientation, from right to left, and organized alphabetically according to the Hebrew. The text of the Hebrew words is in larger font, with even larger text initials for each of the Hebrew letters at the beginning of each section. There is an errata sheet on the final unpaginated page (verso of p.525). A few decorative and historiated woodcut initials throughout.
Text in Latin and Hebrew.
Binding with rubbing to extremities, including the hinges of the spine. Covers with some significant abrasions to the leather (mostly near the corners) which have been sealed with some sort of laminate material. Interior with title page loose and torn resulting in loss of text at the very top of the page (Bold Hebrew title "Aruch Ha-shorashot", and first line in Latin, "Dictionarium"). Period notes in ink on the title page. Loosening along the gutters of the interior covers. The final two unpaginated leaves are missing (one is Froben's statement and the other contains the publisher's device). Pages throughout are unusually clean and bright, save for a few sporadic instances of light smudges, water stains or creasing. Book block tight overall. Binding in good-, interior in very good- condition overall. g- to vg-. Item #47629
Alternate transliterations: Aruk Has-sorasot, Arokh ha-shorashot, Aruch HaSharoshoth, Aruch HaSharoshot
Hebrew title: ערוך השורשות
References: VD 16, M 6658; Burmeister (Münster) 17; Panzer Ann. VI p. 238 N. 489; BM Short German; s. 633.; NUC; t. 400 s. 367.