[SFORNO, Obadiah ben Jacob (ca. 1470-ca. 1550)]. Document recording the sale of his house, in Latin. MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM. Bologna, 6 March 1553.
250 x 173 mm. 4 leaves: 14. 32 lines written in brown ink in humanistic cursive script between two vertical and 33 horizontal lines ruled in pale brown ink. Pen-drawn notary's mark and subscription of Joannes de Pulzonibus, who wrote the document, pen-drawn notary's mark and subscription of Joannes and Jacobus de Beroaldis, three additional autograph subscriptions. Stitched.
SALE OF THE HOUSE OF OBADIAH SFORNO, NOTED JEWISH EXEGETE
Obadiah ben Jaocb Sforno, by profession a physician, also studied philosophy, mathematics, and philology at Rome, where during 1498-1500 he taught Hebrew to the Christian humanist Johannes Reuchlin. Later in life he settled in Bologna and played an active role in organizing the Jewish community and establishing a Hebrew printing house there. Among the writings of Biblical exegesis for which he is especially well known are commentaries on the Pentateuch, Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes (published in Venice 1567), on Psalms (Venice 1586), and on Jonah, Habakkuk and Zechariah (Amsterdam 1724-28). His work Or ammim (Bologna 1537), which sought to refute the views of Aristotle that conflicted with Judaism, was translated into Latin under the title Lumen gentium (Bologna 1548) and dedicated to King Henry II of France. Among his other, unpublished works were a Hebrew grammar and a translation of Euclid. After his death, the house where Obadiah (also known as Salvadeus) had lived in Bologna was inherited by his two sons, Jacob and Florius, who then sold it, acting together with their uncle Hanan'el (Gratiadeus), Obadiah's brother. The present document records that transaction. (Cf. Saverio Campanini, "Un intellettuale ebreo del Rinascimento," in Verso l'epilogo di una convivenza: gli ebrei a Bologna nel XVI secolo, Florence 1996, pp. 99-128).
Jacobus Serra, cardinal priest of S. Giorgio in Velabro and protothesaurus of the apostolic chamber. Decree addressed to the Jewish community of Rome, confirming a brief of Pope Clement VIII (5 June 1604) and concerning disputes which have arisen concerning the transfer of rights to property in the Roman ghetto, in Latin and Italian. Rome, 14 March 1615. Document on vellum, 415 x 555 mm. (Stained, separating at folds, lacking seal.)
Giovanni Filippo Scotti, apostolic protonotary and vice-legate of Ravenna for the provinces of Romagna and Pesaro. Safe-conduct for the Jew Salomone Mondolfi, merchant of Pesaro, and grant to him of the right to bear firearms. Ravenna, 27 September 1771. Document on vellum, 344 x 478 mm. Colored coat of arms, remains of papered wax seal. (Some offset and smudging.) (3)