1607 Dialoghi Di Amore, by Isaac Abarbanel (Di Leone Hebreo). 15th century Jewish philosopher. Venice printing.


A rarish treatise on love by the 15th century Jewish philosopher Isaac Abarbanel. "The scarcity of this work is owing to its being prohibited by the Inquisition".

The Dialoghi was an exceedingly popular book that enjoyed at least five editions in twenty years. First published in Italian, it was translated into French by Tyard, as well as into Hebrew and into Latin by Sarasin. The Inca Garcilaso de la Vega made one of its three translations into Spanish. Abravanel’s Dialoghi is notably one of the first original philosophical compositions to be published in the vernacular (as opposed to Latin). In his Dialoghi d'amore, Judah (Leon) Abravanel seeks to define love in philosophical terms. He structures his three dialogues as a conversation between two abstract and mostly undeveloped “characters”: Philo, representing love or appetite, and Sophia, representing science or wisdom, in other words, Philo+Sophia (philosophy).

About the Author -

Isaac ben Judah Abarbanel, was a Portuguese Jewish statesman, philosopher, Bible commentator, and financier. Abarbanel wrote many works during his lifetime which are often categorized into three groups: exegesis, philosophy, and apologetics. His philosophy dealt with the sciences and how the general field relates to the Jewish religion and traditions, and his apologetics defends the Jewish idea of the coming of the Messiah. Abarbanel's exegetic writings were different from the usual biblical commentaries because he took social and political issues of the times into consideration.

Provenance -

Robert Ellis Thompson (Doctor of Divinity) signed the book in 1879. A University of Penn. graduate, teacher and theologian. Dr. Jacon Shatzky (New York), noted Jewish Historian wrote his name in the book several times. The Sociedad Hebraica Argentina stamped the book three times.

Physical Attributes -

Measures 15 x 10 x 3.5 cm. Vellum binding, yap edges, over pasteboard boards. Sprinkled blue text block edges. Pages - (3) 295 (3)

Condition -

See pictures. Vellum boards soiled. Spine darkened. Spine label words faded, some chipping around label edges. Graphite handwriting on front board. .5 cm crack at rear joint. Slight damage to top-edge endband, it is complete but some of the band has become unravelled exposing center vellum cord.

Vellum cords and pastedowns have lifted (could be simply pasted back down on boards in minutes).

Several descriptions of the work are pasted on the back of the front board and front endpapers. Several ex libris stamps and signatures also on front endpapers. Rear colophon stamped with ex libris also. Pages trimmed tight to text. Page 60 has 1 cm tear at top-edge margin. Occasional yellow spot (singular, small). Some light toning.

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