[Venice]: Apud Ioannem de Gara (Giovanni di Gara), 1587. First edition. Hardcover. Large quarto. Paginated double sided leaves throughout: 5, , 238, 5-62 leaves. Period dark brown mottled leather boards with gilt lettering over a brown label on the spine. Raised bands. Speckled edges of the book block in red. Introductory text in Latin dedicates the book to Pope Sixtus V, and includes his elaborate engraved papal coat of arms, as well as large decorative initials. The initial text also gives biographical and historical background on the author and his roots. The Latin introduction is followed by a two-page Hebrew intoduction.
This phenomenal volume is a pioneering trilingual Hebrew-Latin-Italian dictionary created by Italian Renaissance-Era Rabbi, linguistic scholar, and physician David ben Isaac De Pomis (1524-1594). De Pomis' aim with this work, being as he was a scholar of both Jewish as well as secular subjects, was to create a work which would who have crossover appeal, and be useful to both Jewish and non-Jewish scholars alike. In many ways the work can be seen valuable outreach to the Christian and Italian communities of the period. Although De Pomis approaches this work from the perspective of Rabbinic/Biblical Hebrew, he also includes numerous additional medical and biological terms, given his background as a physician. The main body of the text consists of the dictionary which is organized alphabetically according to the Hebrew. Following sections include a glossary of common Rabbinic abbreviations, a Italian-Hebrew Lexicon (containing the original Italian in Roman script facing the Judeo-Italian in Hebrew script, leaf 5-36), and a final alphabetical index of Latin words (leaves 36-62).
*There are original printing errors resulting in the mis-pagination of 7 leaves (#77, 79, 85, 112, 190, 199, and #10 of the second pagination), but all content is present.
Text throughout in Hebrew, Latin and Italian, all printed in a two-column format.
Binding with head and tail of spine chipped away, hinges splitting, and some additional rubbing to extremities. Some scratching to covers. Interior with some sporadic minor to light foxing, water stains and/or smudges throughout the text. Title page loose but sill attached. A few minor sporadic instances of worming, but all are in the margins. Leaves 222-228 of the first pagination contain minimal water staining along the bottom margin (not affecting text). Small tears to the bottom corners of leaf 120 of the first pagination and leaf 35 of the second pagination. Starting at interior front cover. Book block tight overall. Binding in good-, interior in good+ condition overall. g- to g+. Item #47668
Hebrew title: צמח דוד : בו הצמיח ופרש באר היטב בקצור בשלשה לשונות כל שורש מלה ומלה שמצא בספר הערוך הגדול
Author: פומיס, דוד בן יצחק
Alternate Transliterations: Tsemach David, Zemah Dawid, Tzemach David, Zemach David
References: Bartol. II. 37; Wolf, I. 311, III. 195, 196. Vinograd Venice 717. Roest 944. Zedner p.641. Cowley p.154
About the author:
David ben Isaac De Pomis (1524-1594) was a noted Italian Rabbi, physician, linguist and scholar, born in Spoleto. De Pomis was respected as something of a savant in his time by both the Jewish and non-Jewish community, for his excellence across numerous fields of study. He traced his roots back to the original Roman Jewish community of the ancient era, who had first come to the Italian Peninsula during the fist century. In 1587 he published this work "Tsemah David", which many consider to be his magnum opus.