Meturgeman - Lexicon Chaldaicum, R. Elijah Ashkenazi, Isny - Colonge 1541-60
מתורגמן - First Edition
- Lot Number 51496
- Title (English) Meturgeman - Lexicon Chaldaicum
- Title (Hebrew) מתורגמן
- Note First Edition
- Author R. Elijah Ashkenazi
- City Isny - Colonge
- Publisher Paulus Fagius - Arnoldi Birckmann
- Publication Date 1541-60
- Estimated Price - Low 4,000
- Estimated Price - High 6,000
- Item # 1958511
- End Date
- Start Date
First edition. , 164,  ff., 298:210 mm., wide margins, light age staining, censor inscription on final. A very good copy bound in modern full vellum over boards.
Rare - no copy in many major collections. The 1541 Isny edition with a new title. Fagius was unable to sell the entire 1541 run and sold the remainder to Birckmann in 1560 who suffered an equal fate.
Elijah wrote many Hebrew grammar works, Hebrew and Aramaic dictionaries, and did masoretic research. In Hebrew grammar, he followed the line of thought of the Kimhis: he published Moses Kimhi's Mahalakh, with his own commentary (Pesaro, 1508; in this edition the name of the author is mistakenly given as Benjamin of Rome); and wrote notes and critiques, "Nimmukim" (unpublished), on David Kimhi's Mikhlol and on his Sefer ha-Shorashim. His own works, written and published in Rome between 1518–19, and translated into Latin by Sebastian Muenster, are: Sefer ha-Harkavah (1518); Ha-Bahur (1518; the title is after his own name "R. Elijah Bahur"); and Lu'ah be-Dikduk ha-Pe'alim ve-ha-Binyanim (unpublished). Ha-Harkavah deals with "the grammar of every foreign and compound word" in the Bible, listed in alphabetical order, and the grammar of the noun and the verb. In Ha-Bahur, which in a later edition became known as Dikduk Eliyyah ha-Levi (Isny, 1542), there is an allusion to the name of the author: "Since for every young man it [the book] is good and 'chosen.' And I, my name is Bahur [= "chosen"], therefore Bahur have I called it." In Rome in 1520, he published Pirkei Eliyahu, a work, written partly in verse, on the grammar of the Hebrew letters and vowels; it is a follow-up of Ha-Bahur and completes the study in the latter. In its second edition (Venice, 1546), he added some chapters on the pattern of the nouns and the formative letters. Elijah did not introduce many innovations in his grammatical system; its easy and clear presentation, however, was instrumental in spreading the knowledge of the Hebrew language and grammar among Jews and Christian humanists. His grammatical rule on the five classes of sheva-na is still accepted today. His Masoret ha-Masoret (Venice, 1538), in which he explains the technical terms and the signs of the masorah, is an important contribution to masoretic study. The preface, written in prose (which follows the foreword in verse and the rhymed introduction), is an historical and original research in Hebrew vocalization and accentuation, and in the masorah. Elijah was the first to point out that the vowels and accents did not originate in the Sinai period but in post-talmudic times. In his work Tuv Ta'am (Venice, 1538), Elijah attempted to explain the rules on the accents in the Bible: their grammatical value and their relationship to each other. His dictionary, compiled from the Aramaic translations of the Bible, Meturgeman ("The Interpreter," with a Latin foreword by Paulus Fagius), and his lexicon of the Hebrew words in the Talmud and the Hebrew of the Middle Ages Tishbi, with a Latin translation by Fagius (Isny, 1541), are of major importance in the research of Hebrew grammar. Tishbi is a source on the pronunciation and the vocalization of Hebrew by the German and Italian Jewish communities. Levita's Meturgeman and Tishbi were extensively used by Christian Hebraists such as Guy Le FIvre de la Boderie, a pupil of Postel, who makes glowing reference to Levita in the preface to his Dictionarium Syro-Chaldaicum (in the Antwerp Polyglot Bible, 1572). Elijah also composed a concordance to the Bible, Sefer ha-Zikhronot (the complete work was never published; see Frensdorff, in MGWJ, 12 (1863), 96–108).
His research into the Hebrew language laid the foundations for the lexicography and etymology of Yiddish. Elijah refers to Yiddish as the "language of Ashkenaz" (Germany) or "Deutsch"; his reference in fact is only to the German dialect used by Jews. Shemot Devarim (Isny, 1542) is the first known Yiddish-Hebrew dictionary. It lists 985 words with their Hebrew translation, as well as Latin and German by Paulus Fagius. In Tishbi, where Elijah concludes each entry with the translation of the Hebrew radicals into German (he also does this to a certain extent in the Meturgeman), there are etymological explanations of several Yiddish words (such as katavos, meykn, shekhtn); two (mashkeyt, sargenes) are even included in the 712 entries of the dictionary. His Yiddish translation of Psalms (Venice, 1545), the first to be published, is based on earlier translations which closely followed the Hebrew text; it became a popular work, went through several editions, and served as a model to other translators.
זו הוצאת איזנא 1541, עם השער, בתוספת שער חדש (דף ) והקדמה בלאטינית מאת
Isaac Ioannes (דף ).
ראינו טופס ובו , קסד,  דף. הדפים הנוספים [14-9] הם אותם  דפים שנוספו בטפסים מסוימים של הוצאת 1541, ובהם "הקדמה" של המחבר עם תרגום לאטיני, משנת 1542, ושער נוסף. על מהדורה זו עיין: י' יודלוב, גנזי ישראל, מס' 1865.
Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000176787; EJ; Yudlov, Mehlman Collection 1865