BIBLE, Psalms, Polyglot. -- Psalterium Hebraeum, Graecum, Arabicum, & Chaldaeum, cum tribus latinis interpretationibus & glossa. Edited by Agostino Giustiniani (1470-1536). [Genoa]: Pietro Paulo Porro in the house of Nicolò Giustiniani Paulo, November 1516.
Imperial 4o (326 x 230 mm). 200 leaves. Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and Roman types. 41 lines, the texts printed in eight parallel columns across page openings, four columns to a page. Titles printed in red and black within fine woodcut arabesque and floral border, headings to beginning of text printed in red. Woodcut white-on-black printer's device at end. 13 woodcut floriated initials (5 Latin, 4 Hebrew, 2 Greek and 2 Arabic). (Title-leaf slightly soiled, small repaired burn-hole to inner blank margins in first quire, slightly affecting 3 letters of commentary on A6r and 2 letters of Arabic text on A8, hole in lower margin of &4.) Seventeenth-century gold-tooled red morocco, sides panelled with triple fillets, pointillé fleurons at corners of inner panel, at center the gold-blocked arms of Nicolas Sanguin de Livry (Olivier 34, Guigard I, 364), his monogram stamped in 5 of the 7 compartments of spine, the others gilt lettered, all panelled with double fillets and pointillé decoration, circle and star decoration at head and tail, raised bands tooled with tiny diamonds and squares, board edges gilt, turn-ins with double fillet, marbled paper pastedowns, plain endleaves, gilt edges, FORMERLY CHAINED, hole for chaining hasp on lower cover (some old restorations to upper cover and joints, some scrapes and edge wear, few inkstains to upper cover); morocco-backed slipcase and folding chemise.
Provenance: Nicolas Sanguin de Livry (1580-1652), bishop of Senlis from 1623: binding; inscriptions at head of title and on A2r recording his gift of the book in 1635 to the "fathers" (Ex dono... in Xristo Patris DD. Nicolae Sanguin Episcopi Silvanectensis Anno Domini MDCXXXV), presumably the monks of the abbey of St. Victor in Paris; title inscription followed by a note apparently in the same hand recording the bishop's death on 15 July 1653 (not 16 July as stated by Olivier) -- Paris, Victorines: 17th-century inscription on title (Ex Biblioth. Sti. Victor. Par.) -- Carl Joseph Lugitsch: purchase inscription dated 24 November 1842, bought from the booksellers "Karl Fuss's widow and Kugler" -- [Leo Olschki: Viscount Mersey's pencil note on front flyleaf, "Bt Olschki Rome 1934"] -- Charles Clive Bigham, Second Viscount Mersey (1872-1956): Bignor Park booklabel.
FIRST POLYGLOT EDITION OF ANY PART OF THE BIBLE, THE SECOND BOOK PRINTED IN ARABIC, and the only book printed at Genoa in the first quarter of the sixteenth century. The Milanese printer Pietro Paulo Porro, master of the mint of the Duc de Savoie, had established a press at Turin in 1512 with two of his brothers. At some time between 1512 and 1516, the learned Dominican Agostino Giustiniani, Bishop of Nebbio in Corsica from 1514 and later Professor of Hebrew at the newly founded Collège de France, summoned Porro to Genoa for the production of this edition, which Giustiniani supervised and financed, and for which he wrote the commentary. This includes a long note to Psalm 19, verse 4, ON THE LIFE OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS and his discoveries (C7r-C8v), containing previously unpublished information on his second voyage.
The types were designed and cut for this edition under Porro's direction. The text in eight parallel columns on double pages comprises Hebrew, a literal Latin translation from the Hebrew, the Latin Vulgate, the Greek Septuagint, Arabic, Aramaic (Chaldee), a literal Latin translation from the Aramaic, and Giustiniani's scholia in the same languages. Giustiniani described his difficulties in selling the edition in his history of Genoa, published 1537: "in a community abandoned to the lust of lucre, it is scarcely necessary to say that the undertaking was viewed with supine indifference" (Harrisse, p. 157). He also recorded an edition size of 2,000 paper copies and 50 copies on vellum.
FINE COPY. Adams B-1370; Alden and Landis 516/4; Cowley 75; Darlow & Moule 1411; Fumagalli, pp. 170-171; Harrisse BAV 88; Sander 5957.