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“There Were In Padua Almost As Many Hebrew Printers As Hebrew Books” The Sixteenth Century Hebrew Press In Padua

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Chapter Summary

The sixteenth century is the most important and influential in the history of Hebrew printing. Among the smaller sixteenth century print-shops issuing Hebrew books is one in Padua, which put out a mere two books. Padua's failure to become an important Hebrew printing center is somewhat surprising, for it had advantages that would have suggested otherwise. A look at this little known print shop is of value not only for its own sake, recalling a less well remembered moment in the history of the Hebrew book, but also because, for the brief period that it was active, the Padua press was a microcosm of the confluence of varied interests often found in the Hebrew book industry in Italy during the Renaissance. The authors of the books printed in Padua were Sephardim, the printer was an Ashkenazi, and the press belonged to an Italian non-Jew.

Keywords: Hebrew books; Hebrew printing; Padua press; Sephardim; sixteenth century print-shops



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