Sefer Ma’aseh Hoshev, R. Levi ben Gershom, Frankfort am Main 1909 (47584)

ספר מעשה חושב - Only Edition

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 47584
Title (English): Sefer Ma’aseh Hoshev
Title (Hebrew): ספר מעשה חושב
Note: Only Edition
Author: R. Levi ben Gershom
City: Frankfort am Main
Publisher: Y. L. Golde
Publication Date: 1909
Estimated Price: $200.00 USD - $500.00 USD
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Physical Description

Only edition, quarto, 100, IV, 139 pp. 220:140 mm., nice margins, light damp & age staining. A good copy bound in later boards, rubbed.


Detail Description

Only edition of this bi-lingual Hebrew-German work on mathematics from R. Levi ben Gershom (Ralbag). It is his first work, written in 1321. Sefer Ma'aseh Ḥoshev or Sefer ha-Mispar ("The Book of the Numbers)" published with a translation in German by Gerson Lange, 1909), is divided into two parts: principles and applications. The work deals with addition, subtraction, multiplication, series, permutation, combination, division, extraction of roots, and proportion. The two texts are separate, the Hebrew reading from the right the German with the title Sefer Maassei Choscheb from the left.

R. Levi ben Gershom (Ralbag, 1288–1344) also called Maestre Leo de Bagnols; Magister Leo Hebraeus; Gersonides), was a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and biblical commentator, born probably at Bagnols-sur-Cèze (Languedoc – now département du Gard, France). He lived primarily in Orange and briefly at Avignon. Little is known about his life beyond the fact that he maintained relations with important Christian persons. Levi had very broad intellectual interests and contributed to many areas of human learning. He wrote a commentary on the 13 hermeneutical rules of R. Ishmael (printed in Jacob Faitusi, Sefer Berit Ya'akov, 1800) has been attributed to R. Levi as well as a commentary on the aggadot of Bava Batra, titled Meḥokek Ẓafun. This attribution is probably erroneous. In his commentary on the Pentateuch, R. Levi reports that he wrote a commentary on the Talmudic treatise Berakhot, but this commentary is lost. An eminent talmudist, Levi was consulted on questions of halakhah. A responsum of his can be found in the She'elot u-Teshuvot of R Isaac de Lattes (1860). Three poems (pizmonim) for the holiday of Shavuot and a viddui (confession of sins) composed by R. Levi were published and translated into French by C. Touati (REJ, 117 (1958), 97–105). He is also the author of a parody written for the festival of Purim, titled Megillat Setarim. In one of his first philosophical works, Sefer ha-Hekkesh ha-Yashar (1319), translated into Latin under the title Liber syllogismi recti, Levi corrects certain inaccurate arguments of Aristotle in his Posterior Analytics. Levi became acquainted with Aristotle's views by reading the paraphrases and commentaries. Ralbag wrote commentaries on Job (1325), Song of Songs (1325 or 1326), Ecclesiastes (1328), Ruth (1329), Esther (1329), the Pentateuch (1329–38), the Former Prophets (1338), Proverbs, Daniel, Nehemiah, and Chronicles (1338). All of these were published, some in several editions. The commentary on Job is one of the first books to be printed in Hebrew.

Title in German: Sefer Maassei Choscheb : die praxis des rechners : ein hebräisch-arithmetisches werk / des Levi Ben Gerschom ... ins deutsche übertragen von Gerson Lange ..

Hebrew Description

יוצא לאור פעם ראשונה ע"פ כתבי יד, מתורגם ומפורש בלשון אשכנז מאת גרשון לאנגע.



BE mem 3014: EJ