23 June 1999
SHEM TOV, Joseph ibn (Spain, c. 1400-c. 1460). Commentary on Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics. MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[Spain, between 1455 and 1489]
2o (285 x 210 mm). 318 leaves, modern lead pencil foliation. Dark brown ink. Elegant Sephardic semi-cursive script in different heights. (Some minor stains, with old marginal notes in different hands, strip of paper missing in the bottom margin of fol. 146, otherwise excellent condition.) Sixteenth- or seventeenth-century blind-stamped parchment over bevelled wooden boards, arabesque ornament at center of covers, two chased brass clasps and catches preserved, two paper flyleaves contemporary to the binding preserved at back and front (scuffed, corners frayed at the back).
The author wrote the commentary, which was never printed but exists in some 15 manuscripts, in Segovia in 1455. See M. Steinschneider, Die hebrischen bersetzungen des Mittelalters und die Juden als Dolmetscher (Berlin 1893) p. 212-213; C. Sirat, A History of Jewish Philosophy in the Middle Ages (Cambridge 1985) p. 381-383.
1. According to a slightly faded inscription (largely) in Spanish in Hebrew characters on fol. 318v the manuscript was sold in Uncastillo in 1489.
2. Later owners (on recto of first flyleaf, and fol. 1r) presented it to Zevi Hirsh [Levin] whose signature is found on fol. 1r.
REFERENCES: Neubauer, no. 46, p. 19.
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