LANDAU, Jacob Baruch ben Judah (fl. 1460). Divrei Agur and Sefer Chazon (Words of Agur, on rites and customs; and Book of Vision). [Naples: Azriel ben Joseph Ashkenazi Gunzenhauser, end of 1491-1492.]
Chancery 4o (187 x 131 mm). Collation: 1-138 144 15-198 204 [21-228 234; 248; 256] (1/1v: title and dedication to Azariah Abraham ben David Obadiah Leon and beginning of the introduction, within a decorative woodcut border, 181 x 117 mm [lacking; offprint of the border still visible on 1/2r]; 1/3r: beginning of Sefer Agur; 5/2v: laws for Sabbath and dispensations; 9/3v: regulations on leavened and unleavened bread; 11/7v: regulations on New Year; 12/4v: regulations on the Day of Atonement; 12/7r: laws on the tabernacle and the palm branch; 13/6v: laws on Chanukkah; 13/7v: regulations on Purim; 14/1r: introduction by the author to the second part of Sefer Agur, initial word in decorative white on black woodcut letters within border [37 x 65 mm]; 15/1r: laws on forbidden foods, regulations on slaughter; 16/6v: laws on milk; 18/7v: laws on the ritual cleaning of vessels; 18/8r: laws on rinsing with boiling water; 19/1v: laws on sacrifice wine; 19/5r: laws on menstruation; 20/4r: laws on immersion; 20/4v, line 28: end of Sefer Agur; 21/1r: beginning of table; 23/4: blank [lacking]; 24/1r: beginning of Sefer Chazon, initial word in decorative white on black woodcut letters within border [37 x 65 mm]; 24/7v, line 22: end of Sefer Chazon; 24/8: blank [lacking]; 25/1r: approbations by Judah ben Jehiel Messer Leon, Jacob ben David Provencal, Benzion ben Rafael, Isaac ben Samuel Sefardi and Moses ben Shem Tov ben Chaviv; 25/1v: beginning of list of printing errors, interrupted by approbations by Nathanel ben Levi and David ben Messer Leon [ending 25/4v]). 181 leaves (of 186?, lacking leaf 1/1 [title and dedication], blank leaves 23/4 and 24/8, and leaves 25/5 and 6 [last part of the list of printing errors]). [NB: Complete copies break off in the middle of a sentence on 25/6, line 33, but apparently no copy is known with more text. Freimann and Ohly-Sack describe the copy in the Stadt- und Universittsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main as having 187 leaves, but in fact that copy has only 179 leaves.]
Unfoliated, no catchwords, no headlines. Signed to the fold, the signatures mainly on the first and the third leaf (with errors, the third leaf signed with a '2') from quire 6 to 10 inclusive, quired with the full names of the characters (vav, zayin, chet, etc.); quires 21-23 (index) numbered 1-3, third leaf of quire 24: alef beth; the last quire unsigned. 33 lines with signature, 145 (151) x 96 mm. Types: 1:175 H. (square) for headings, paragraph numbers etc.; 2B:88 H. (square) for text and signatures; 4:246 H. (square), a single type only (a 'beth') on leaf 25/1v. Line fillers. Several paperstocks with hand-with-flower watermarks. (Occasional dampstaining.) Modern red morocco. This copy is bound in a somewhat unusual order: Sefer Chazon (quire 24), followed by the approbations and list of printing errors (quire 25), precede Sefer Agur and the table (quires 1-23).
FIRST EDITION. Jacob Baruch ben Judah Landau, a fifteenth-century talmudist, born and educated in Germany, emigrated to Italy and lived in Padua c. 1460, where he wrote his Sefer Chazon. In 1487 he joined the press of Joseph ben Jacob Ashkenazi Gunzenhauser at Naples as its learned proofreader; he was probably party to an agreement among the banker Manuelle de Cava, Elia Volghieri and Joseph Gunzenhauser on 18 March 1487, stating that they had decided at an earlier date 'ad instampandum libros' (i.e., to print books; the document was published by Fava and Bresciano, La stampa a Napoli nel XV seculo, Leipzig 1911, p. 191-92). Jacob Landau's son Abraham succeeded him as proofreader at the press of Joseph Gunzenhauser's son Azriel, where this first edition of Landau's main work, the Divrei Agur, together with his Sefer Chazon, was published. The work summarizes the laws concerning Orach Chayyim and Yoreh De'ah for the layman, following Jacob Ben Asher's Turim and adding the rulings of German-Jewish scholarship. It is THE FIRST HEBREW BOOK TO CONTAIN HASKAMOT (RABBINICAL APPROBATIONS) and the second non-posthumously printed Hebrew book. It is also noteworthy for being the first Hebrew printed book to contain an errata list.
Both works were reprinted in one volume by Gershom ben Moses Soncino (Rimini 1526; Vinograd, Thesaurus, p. 665, no. 6, '1525') and by Marco Antonio Giustiniani (Venice 1545-46; Vinograd, Thesaurus, p. 248, no. 261); the Sefer Chazon was printed separately by Moses ben Bezalel (Prague 1608; Vinograd, Thesaurus, p. 248, no. 261, '1609'), and in Cracow in the early seventeenth century. A critical edition of both works was published by M. Herschler in Jerusalem in 1960.
REFERENCES: Hain 9865; BAVI Heb-17; Cowley p. 299; De-Rossi II, 29; Fava e Bresciano 277; Freimann 20; Goff Heb-68; Goldstein 73; Hill 64; Iakerson 80; IGI E 75; Madsen 4314; Marx 32; Offenberg 82; Ohly-Sack 1535; Proctor 6735; Sander 3858; Steinschneider 5564,1; Tamani (Parma) 69; Thesaurus A 67; Walsh Heb-23 & 24; Zedner p. 307.