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Sefer ha-Mahbarot. Book of Collected Writings - Immanuel ben Solomon of Rome - 1491. 
Gershom ben Moses Soncino,, Brescia: 1491 - Pagination: 141 (of 160) leaves, lacking 18 text leaves and 1 blank. Text leaves all supplied in fine facsimile on older paper. Beautiful modern antique full calf, replicating 15th century binding, blind tooled with floral decoration, and gilt spine. First seven and last eleven leaves supplied in fine facsimile on later paper. Few leaves with top corner repairs, no text affect, few outer margin tears, and a few minor repairs to inner margins, little affect. Some foxing and minor dampstains. Overall, a nice copy of an extremely rare book. Only a few copies in existence that are complete. All first editions rare, important, and valuable. Illustrations: Illustrated with the very rare small zodiacal symbols on ff.48-49 illustrating the poems on the months of the year. One of only two literary Hebrew incunabulae.Sefer-ha-Mahbarot was the first printed book of Hebrew poetry, also first book printed by Gershom Soncino in Brescia, the site of his second press. The books is also the first Hebrew books to have zodiac signes. Soncino was a pioneer of Hebrew printing and may be credited with numerous first editions, he printed in at least a dozen cities and over a hundred Hebrew titles as well as many others. Sefer-ha-Mahbarot is the most important work of Immanuel of Rome (c.1261-1330), the poet and scholar of both Hebrew and Italian texts. The book contains poetry, songs, stories, allegories and dialogues in the style of Italian renaissance, as told by a wise Jew of that time. Immanuel introduced the form of the sonnet from Italian literature into Hebrew, he also brought forth alternating rimes instead of single rimes and displayed invention and humor in most of his work. ? in a diwan that he entitled "Me abberot" (this book). Out of gratitude for his generous friend he put these poems in a setting that made it appear as if they had been composed entirely during his intercourse with him and as if stimulated by him, although they were in reality composed at different periods. These poems deal with all the events and episodes of Jewish life, and are replete with clever witticisms, harmless fun, caustic satire, and at times frivolity. The Hebrew idiom in which Immanuel wrote lends an especial charm to his work. His parodies of Biblical and Talmudic sentences, his clever allusions and puns, his equivocations, are gems of diction on account of which it is almost impossible to translate his poems into another language. These 27 poems?satires and letters, prayers and dirges, intermingled?embrace a great variety of themes, serious or humorous. A vision entitled "Ha-Tofet weha Eden" (Hell and Paradise; poem 28), at the end of the diwan, is a sublime finale, the seriousness of which, however, is tempered by lighter passages, the humorist asserting himself even in dealing with the supernatural world. As an old man of sixty, the poet recounts, he was overcome by the consciousness of his sins and the fear of his fate after death, when a recently deceased young friend, Daniel, appeared to him, offering to lead him through the tortures of hell to the flowering fields of the blessed. There then follows a minute description of hell and heaven. It need hardly be said that Immanuel's poem is patterned in idea as well as in execution on Dante's "Divine Comedy." It has even been asserted that he intended to set a monument to his friend Dante in the person of the highly praised Daniel for whom he found a magnificent throne prepared in paradise. This theory, however, is untenable, and there remains only that positing his imitation of Dante. Though the poem lacks the depth and sublimity, and the significant references to the religious, scientific, and political views of the time, that have made Dante's work immortal, yet it is not without merit. Immanuel's description, free from dogmatism, is true to human nature. Not the least of its merits is the humane point of view and the tolerance toward those of a different belief which one looks for in vain in Dante, w [Attributes: Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Dark Parks Books & Collectibles]
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