[Venice]: Apud Ioannem de Gara (Giovanni di Gara), 1587. First edition. Hardcover. Large quarto. Paginated double sided leaves throughout: 5, , 5-62, 238 leaves. Recased in its original period vellum binding, and reinforced with new endpapers. 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. What was originally bound in as a separately paginated concluding section at the end of the volume (leaves 5-62), here has been mistakenly rebound before the main pagination (238 leaves). These 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 6 leaves (#77, 79, 85, 112, 199, and #10 of the other pagination), but all content is present.
Text throughout in Hebrew, Latin and Italian, all printed in a two-column format.
Binding with some light rubbing and bumping to the edges. A strip of vellum has been torn away at the top of the front cover. Some additional period staining to the covers. Light water stains and foxing to the title page, which includes the period ink signature of the previous owner (J. Blacknell?) in the left margin. Text pages throughout with some light to moderate staining to the margins. Text mostly unaffected and overall clean and vibrant. Bottom corners of the final two leaves including the blank with some light chipping. Book block tight. Binding in good+, interior in very good- condition overall. g+ to vg-. Item #47873
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.