# 37107

MEDICI, Sisto de' (1502-1561)

[JUDAICA] De foenore Iudaeorum, libri tres.

$1,750.00 AUD

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Venice : [Gryphius], 1555. Three parts in one volume, quarto (175 x 140 mm), later (probably 18th-century) marbled papered limp boards (heavily rubbed, loss of paper along spine), pp [16], 63, [1], [1 colophon]; title and colophon engraved with printer’s device; historiated and decorated initials; occasional and very light marginal foxing, text block trimmed close but with no loss of headings or sidenotes, otherwise internally fine.

First edition of a rare work on the practice of usury among the Jews. 

De foenore Iudaeorum was written by the Venetian Dominican Father Sisto de’ Medici (Latin: Sixtus Medices) (1502-1561), prior of the Santi Giovanni e Paolo monastery. Medici was a humanist historian who from 1553 until his death was professor of theology and philosophy at Venice.

In the present work, which is written from a theological standpoint, Jewish moneylenders are regarded as playing a valuable role within Christian societies: by being spared from usury, Christians are thus rescued from sin and more likely to attain salvation.

The book was printed in Venice by the German humanist bookseller-printer Sebastian Gryphius (1493-1556). The beautiful Gryphius printer’s device features the griffin (a mythological symbol of diligence), an allusion to the printer’s name.