SCARCE HEBREW-LATIN-ITALIAN DICTIONARY
Dictionarium hebraicum.Rome, Stephanus Paulinus, 1617
FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. (iv) 128. Roman letter, and Hebrew, double column. T-p in red and black, with arms of Cardinal Felice Centino, decorated initials and ornaments. Light age yellowing, a few gatherings a bit browned, upper blank margin of A1 and A4 repaired, small flaw to lower blank margin of A1-2 and upper blank margin of H3-4, minor water stain to upper blank margin of first two gatherings, slight mainly marginal foxing in places. A good copy in contemporary vellum, lacking ties, ms. ‘Calasio Dizionario Ebraico 1828 a p[ri]mo di Giugno’ to upper cover, autograph (Joseph (?) Garch?) to ffep.
The scarce first edition of this Hebrew-Latin-Italian dictionary for students. The Minorite Mario Calasio (c.1550-1620) was a renowned Hebraist and professor of Scripture by papal appointment at the Franciscan convents of Ara Coeli and S. Pietro in Montorio. The preface of ‘Dictionarium hebraicum’ states that it was intended ‘as a useful instrument for studious youth’ for learning the Holy Language; it also advertises Calasio’s Hebrew grammar of 1616. To each Hebrew word, organised in alphabetical order, correspond its Latin (Vulgate) and Italian translations. Chaldaic (Aramaic) is also included. It comprises selected words useful to read the bible, from food (e.g., polenta) to animals (e.g., viper), frequent verbs, place names, numbers, etc. The final sections summarise key words and phrases used for teaching Hebrew (e.g., Lingua Iudaica, Chaldaicum Babylonicum, Librarius, Glossator, Cabala Astrologica, Cabala Negromantica), words useful for reading (e.g., punctus, littera gutturalis), linguistic terminology, and the names of Old Testament figures. Unlike David de’ Pomi’s ambitious Hebrew-Latin-Italian dictionary of 1587, Calasio’s work was most likely intended as a textbook for his own students, with a limited print-run, rather than a work for wide circulation. Hence its scarcity and absence from major bibliographies.
The Bayerische Staatsbib. copy is the only one with 8 additional ll. They are the result of the binder’s oversight (at the printer’s workshop?), as he bound with the ‘Dictionarium’ the preliminaries of F. Donati’s ‘Poma Aurea Hebraicae Linguae’, printed by Stephanus Paulinus in 1618.Only St Bonaventure and Boston College copies recorded in the US. Not in BM STC It. C17, Brunet or Steinschneider, Cat. Lib. Hebr and Bibliographisches Handbuch.