The Itinerary of Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela Vol I
By S. Asher
The present work, though well known to the learned of the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, was not printed before the year 1543, when the first edition appeared at Constantinople; numerous reprints were called for in the course of time, of which the following is a catalogue.
Editions in Hebrew Only:
1. This, the first edition, is so extremely rare, that notwithstanding the most diligent search, I have not been able to meet with any complete copy. It has been in the 'Bibliotheque Royale' at Paris, but upon my inquiries after it--inquiries which met with the kindest attention--it could nowhere be found! The Oppenheim division of the Bodleian library contains and incomplete copy of this rare book, being deficient of the first 14 pages or one quarter of the whole work. In consequence of this unfortunate circumstance, I have not been able to report the title as fully as I ought to have done, according tot he rules of bibliography. Like most other hebrew books, which issued from the early Constantinople prresses, this is but a very poor specimen of correctness and typography. All the mistakes of this 'Princeps' have unfortunately crept into the editions noticed below No. 3. 4. and 10., and have led the translators into error. The rarity constitutes the only value of this edition.
On the title a globe in a square, surrounded by hebrew verses; the preface on the verso of the title.
2. This second edition is perhaps rarer still than the first, and having evidently been printed from another MS, is indispensably necessary for a critique of the work. The text is much purer than that of the former, and in many instances its readings give a sense, where the former is too corrupt to be understood.
Unfortunately this Edition was unknown to the early translators, B. Arias Montanus and L'Empereur, who would have made less mistakes and formed a more correct judgment of our author, had they been able to compare it with that of Constantinople. It forms the groundwork of the present edition and translation. No public library in France or Germany, most of which I have personally visited or inquired at by correspondence, possesses a copy and the only one now known to exist is in the Oppenheim division of the Bodleian library at Oxford.
3. This is a reprint of the first edition, it repeats faithfully all the mistakes of that 'Princeps' and has been alter'd in those passages, where in speaking of christians the former reads 'the misled' into the 'Nazarenes' probably because it was revised by christian censors. Some of the copies appear to...
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