Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
MENASSEH BEN ISRAEL. Mikveh Ysrael. Esto es Esperança de Israel.

Details
MENASSEH BEN ISRAEL. Mikveh Ysrael. Esto es Esperança de Israel.
Amsterdam: Semuel ben Israel Soeiro, 1650.
71 leaves.
8vo, 143 x 83 mm. (6 5/8 x 3¼ in.), old vellum, with old repairs; hinges reinforced, marginal burn-hole, affecting a few paginations, staining and browning.
FIRST EDITION. Rodr. Castro p.562; Cat. Menassaeh 62.

Menasseh ben Israel's famous treatise on the origin of the American Indians, prompted by the account of a marrano traveler named Antonio Montesinos, who had allegedly meeted one of the lost tribes of Israel in the innerlands of America. The account by Montesinos (alias Aaron Levi) is included in the edition. Menasseh believed the story of Montesinos, but, contrary to Christians who had asked for his opinion on the matter, the Amsterdam rabbi refused to accept that all the inhabitants of America were descendants from the Lost Tribes. The fascinating discussion must be understood against the background of Millenarism and the Messianic expectations around the 1650's. Menasseh's work had an enormous impact and was translated many times (in Latin, English, Dutch, Hebrew, etc.)
;

More from Books, Manuscripts and Autographs

View All
View All