Delle Scuole Sacre. Libri due postumi... Libro Primo, ove s’ha l’Origine, mirabile progesso, e sacrilego fine delle Scuole Sacre fra gli Ebrei [- Libro secondo] [On the ORIGIN, MIRACULOUS PROGRESS, and SACRILEGIOUS END of the SACRED SCHOOLS of the JEWS: A RARE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY EXAMPLE of HEBREW PRINTING in NAPLES]
Naples: Francesco Ricciardo, 1723. First edition. Two volumes bound in one, quarto. , 236, [4, tavola], [2, autori Ebrei citati]; 3 engraved plates, 4 letterpress charts (3 of which are noted for placement in the second volume); , 149, [3, tavola]pp. Lettrines and large woodcut ornaments throughout both volumes. Text in Italian with copious passages in Hebrew and occasional Greek text. Contemporary vellum with gilt lettering piece at spine; edges stained in yellow. Intermittent light to moderate embrowning, one leaf with perforation and loss of a few letters; a few leaves faded (or printed lightly), but with no impairment to legibility. Overall a good set, clean and amply-margined.
Collation: a-c4 A-2G4 2H1 (= 133 leaves); [pi]1 A-T4, (= 77 leaves).
First edition of this posthumous publication, seen through the press by the author's heir and nephew Nicolò Ferrara-Aulisio. It comprises in part a survey of the development of Jewish theology, and includes the author's detailed commentary on several of the biblical Psalms. The first volume closes with a chronology of the "Sacred Schools of the Jews," the second with a chronology of the "Sacred Schools of the Christians." As the latter volume suggests, d'Aulisio has a larger polemical intent: "On the basis of the texts of the Old Testament, he proposes to reconstruct the scholastic environment of the Jewish world and to trace a history of its studies and culture. This reconstruction is introductory to the second book... a historical essay on theological studies starting from the schools of Alexandria which tries to resolve 'the quarrel that has existed for a very long time about Scholastic Theology" [Delle Scuole Sacre 2:2], as evidenced in the controversy between Erasmus of Rotterdam and [a Flemish theologian who taught at Louvain], Jacobus Latomus... It is here that the subtle anti-Cartesian and anti-Spinozist polemic underlying the whole work is grafted. Referring to the scholastic methodology of the Pythagoreans with which early Christianity would have had contacts and similarities, d'Aulisio concludes that human reason is the matrix of the probable; this is contrasted in 'matters of faith' with a 'Theological Reason' which derives from the 'Divine light... which makes the subject certain and strengthens the intellect' [Delle Scuole Sacre 2:67-68]. The basic problem of this approach is... that it denies Cartesian rationalism the character of the uniqueness of the truth reached through scientific research" (Dizionario Biografico Treccani).
At the conclusion of the first volume, d'Aulisio provides a (partial) list of Jewish authors cited; apart from Talmudic sages, and the Aramaic versions of the Bible, more recent writers include Maimonides, Elias Levita, and Salomone Jarchi (Rashi). Most intriguing is the 15th-century Moses ben Shem Tov ibn Habib, "philosopher, grammarian, and Hebrew poet. Born in Lisbon, Moses lived in various towns in southern Italy -- Naples, Bitonto, and Otranto" (EJ, 8.1178). He published two works on Hebrew grammar: Perah Shoshan (Naples 1484), and Marpe Lashon which was published along with his Darkhei No'am (Constantinople, 1510-14?). Influenced by Profiat Duran, Moses ben Shem Tov sought to place Hebrew grammar on a logical basis. D'Aulisio cites Moses' Darkhei No'am, a work devoted to Hebrew prosody; several chapters in the first volume deal with Hebrew poetry, the ancient Hebrew alphabet, and the system of accents and vowel points. Apart from its philosophical content, the present work is a rare eighteenth-century example of Hebrew printing in Naples, with texts cited in extenso, along with Latin translations, and transliterations. No Neapolitan editions appear in Smitskamps Philologia Orientalis; Vinograd’s Thesaurus locates only incunabula, a Roman Catholic prayer book (1741) and a complete Hebrew Bible (1759). With a brief life of the author, followed by a list of his printed works and an extensive catalogue of works in manuscript which deal almost exclusively with the history of medicine.
The jurist and man of letters, Domenico d'Aulisio (1649-1717) pursued a varied education in the exact sciences and medicine, philology, history, archaeology, and numismatics. Beginning in his twenties he tutored privately in the science of fortifications, and then publicly at the school of military architecture in Pizzofalcone. In legal theory he was a follower of the Cuiac school, and from 1696 served as professor of civil law at Naples. The philosopher Pietro Giannone (1676-1748) was among his students; Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) was at first an opponent, but later became a friend and admirer. D'Aulisio appears to have been a polymathic prodigy; Vico refered to him as a "universal man of languages and sciences" (Dizionario Biografico Treccani). According to Chalmers, d'Aulisio “studied Latin under Floriati and Martena, and made such rapid and successful progress in his other studies, that at the age of nineteen, he taught rhetoric and poetry with reputation. We are also told, that he understood, and could write and speak all the languages of the East and West, and that he acquired a knowledge of them without the aid of a master.”
Chalmers 3:190. F. Liotta, in: Dizionario Biografico Treccani (Vol. 4, 1962). Jöcher (Adelung supp.) 1, 1623. Michaud 2:453. A note via SBN suggests that the first volume was reprinted in the 1776 Dizionario portatile de’ concilj, an Italian translation of Pons-Augustine Alletz’ dictionary of church councils (Paris, 1767).
Provenance: Stamp of the Bibliotheca Justinianaea Ven. Seminarii Aleani at title; duplicate stamp of the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana at verso title. Item #48867