Polyglot poems: an authorial manuscript bound for the King

De Rossi, Giovanni Bernardo, Italian orientalist and bibliographer (1742-1831). Poemata anatolico-polyglotta seu plurium linguarum OO. in laudem Magni Regis Sardiniae Caroli Emmanualis [...].

[Probably Turin], 1767.

4to (185 x 228 mm). (1), (112) pp. Text enclosed within pencil and sanguine rules. Contemporary full calf with giltstamped borders and spine and the arms of Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia on both covers. Leading endges gilt. Marbled endpapers. All edges red. Green silk band.


A fine dedicatory manuscript, pre-dating the noted Hebraist's first published work: an assembly of polyglot odes by the 25-year-old scholar to the royal family of Sardinia, written in Aramaic, Arabic, Coptic, Ethopian, Hebrew, Chaldaic, and Syriac, all with their Latin translation opposite.

De Rossi studied at Ivrea and Turin. In 1769 he was appointed professor of oriental languages at the University of Parma, where he would spend the rest of his life, known as one of his age's greatest Italian scholars of early printing in Hebrew.

Light browning; first and last leaves a little stained. Ink shows various degrees of bleeding to versos, often very light but quite noticeable in the title-page. The volume bears the arms of Charles Emmanuel III, Duke of Savoy, who ruled as King of Sardinia from 1730 until his death in 1773, and must have been presented to him. The otherwise blank first leaf was turned into a half-title in the 19th century by the scholar and priest Natale Martinetti: "Poemi Orientali di Gioanni Derossi di Castelnuovo Canavese, Dottore di Sacra Teologia, in L'ode degli augustissimi Sovrani e Duchi della Real Casa Di Savoja. Manoscritti dal medesimo De-Rossi, appartenenti a me Natale Martinetti di Cigliano".