Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1521. (BRB1454)
Printed as a “pocket” edition for handy reading, this book of Psalms stands sixth among Bridwell Library’s earliest printings of the scriptures in Hebrew. It follows only the 1487 Naples edition of the Psalms, a 1487 Naples fragment of Ecclesiastes, the Complutensian Polyglot Bible of 1514–1517, the Genoa Polyglot Psalter of 1516, and the Cologne Polyglot Psalter of 1518. The exhibited Psalms were published by Daniel Bomberg (d. 1549), a Christian who specialized in the printing of Hebrew books with the assistance of Baruch Adelkind, an orthodox Jew. The exhibited opening begins with the first Psalm, in which the first word, Ashrei (“praiseworthy” or “blessed”), is printed with large letters. The book concludes with a Latin dedication to the Christian scholar of Jewish texts, Johannes Reuchlin (1455–1522). This is the only copy in the United States from this rare edition.