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Bidding Information
Lot #    8207
Auction End Date    9/21/2004 4:53:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Keter Kehuna (Josippon): Keter Malkhut
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    Josippon
City    Furth
Publisher    Hayyim ben Zevi Hirsch
Publication Date    1767
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   163, 101 ff., 200:160 mm., usual age and use staining, corners rounded. A very good copy bound in modern half leathr and marbled paper boards.
Paragraph 1    Withe numerous woodcut illustrations.
   Illustrated edition of the famed historical chronicle from creation to the destruction of the second Temple in Judeo-German (Yiddish) translation, attributed to Joseph ben Gurion ha-Kohen (Josippon) together with Sheerit Yisrael, which brings the work into the eighteenth century. This edition is characterized by numerous woodcuts, mainly portraits but also some scenes in the first part of the book. The text is in two columns in Vaybertaytsh. The volume has approbations from R. Joseph Steinhardt (17201776) and R. Nethanel Weil (16871769). There are separate title pages and indexes for the two parts.

Josippon, considered by many to be the Hebrew version written by Josephus for the Jews, has been attributed to Joseph ben Gurion, a tenth century resident of southern Italy. Whether this Joseph was the author or not, internal evidence dates Josippon to the middle of that century, with one manuscript being dated 953. Furthermore, a primary source of the author, who did reside in southern Italy, then part of the Greek speaking Byzantine Empire, was a Latin manuscript with sixteen only of the Antiquities twenty books and the Hegesippus, a Latin adaptation of the Jewish War, suggesting that the author was not literate in Greek. He was, however, knowledgeable in Jewish literature, as evidenced by his Hebrew style and use of older material. Josippon is divided into six books, subdivided into 97 chapters. It is based upon the works of Josephus, primarily the Wars and Antiquities, and to a lesser extent Against Apion, excluding the Life. Joseph does, however, occasionally insert material from other sources, including oral traditions. There is also much legendary and non-historical matter in Josippon. The translation is by Menahem Mann ben Solomon ha-Levi Amelander (Amlander), who was also the author of Sheerit Yisrael. That work, in 35 chapters, contains, in addition to many legends, a compendium of Jewish history down to his time, but is especially valuable for information concerning the settlement and history of the Jews in Holland, particularly in Amsterdam. For the history of the German and Polish Jews there, it is almost the only source of information.

Mann (d. 1767) was a Hebrew grammarian, publisher, and translator. He lived in Amsterdam and was a student of R. Moses Frankfurter, the dayyan and publisher in Amsterdam, whose Mikraot Gedolot edition of the Bible (172427) he proofread. In conjunction with his brother-in-law, Eliezer Zussman Roedelsheim, he published a Yiddish translation of the Bible, together with the Hebrew text and a Bible commentary in Yiddish entitled Maggishei Minhah (Amsterdam, 172529). He also edited the Midrash Tanhuma (ibid., 1733), together with a commentary consisting mainly of lexicographical glosses, and he published a Bible edition with his own notes, other commentaries, and appended to it Sefer ha-Hinnukh (ibid., 1767). His commentary Ladaat Hokhmah was R. appended to Elijah de Vidas Reshit Hokhmah (ibid., 1737), Amelander's most important work, Sheerit Yisrael, is an addition to the Yiddish translation of Josippon. It is written in Yiddish and continues the historical account of the latter with a short history of the Jews from the destruction of the Temple to the year 1743. Hominer published a new complete Hebrew translation together with an introduction. Manns translation of Josippon with his addition of Sheerit Yisrael is considered his most important work.

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   EJ; JE; Heller 16th Cent. Book; Waxman I 419-21: Vin Fuerth 441; CD-EPI 0135421
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
History:    Checked
Language:    Judeo-German
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica