London: Miles Flesher, 1683. First edition. Eight parts, quarto. A4 (blank A1) a-z4 2A-3L4 3M2 (blank 3M2) (= 234 leaves). [xiv], 450, [2, blank]pp. Text of Abravanel (pp. 226-337) in two columns, Hebrew with facing translation in Latin. Each of the eight treatises with divisional title page; register and pagination continuous. Early vellum boards, title stamped in gilt within coloured block in the style of a label. Light age toning, and occasional mild foxing, else a clean, fresh copy.
Edited by Louis-Compiègne de Veil (d. c.1710), an early Jewish immigrant to England and later convert to Christianity, the present work comprises eight treatises, the first six being Latin translations from the writings of the celebrated Jewish savant Moses Maimonides (Moshe ben Maimon; 1135-1204) on Jewish sacrifices (a portion of the 9th Book of Yad ha-Hazakah). These are followed by the Hebrew text of an introduction to a commentary on the biblical book of Leviticus, also dealing with the sacrificial cult, by the anti-Maimonidean scholar and statesman Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508), with Latin translation on the facing page. The collection concludes with Maimonides' treatise on the Jewish calendar.
De Veil was born Daniel de Weil in Metz. Despite his conversion to Catholicism under the influence of Bossuet (his Christian name reflects the fact that he was sponsored at his baptism by Louis XIV), De Veil arrived in England as a Calvinist. He appears to have been made sub-keeper of the Royal Library in 1678, and obtained a teaching-license in London in around 1685. At one stage he is mentioned as Lambeth Palace librarian. He was the brother of the Biblical commentator and fellow-convert and immigrant Charles Marie de Veil (1630-1685). The editor dedicates the book to Laurence Hyde, first Earl of Rochester (1641-1711). ESTC R25499. Oscott Catalogues (Bible) 934. Roth B11.6. Wing M-2854.
Provenance and annotations: Manuscript entry and Greek motto of Joh. Wandalinus, dated 1691 (likely the Danish orientalist and professor of theology, Hans Wandal, 1656-1710), with his bibliographical entry on p.338 noting that De Veil's Latin version of the Maimonidean treatise on the calendar was first published at Paris in 1669; engraved bookplate of I.M. Flies; stamp of Bibliotheca Puseiana, Oxon, 11 Jan 1954. Item #48833