39. Judah Abrabanel (Leone Hebreo). Dialoghi d'amore (1541)

8° ;[2], 261 [i.e., 241], [1] leaves; 148 x 91mm.

Judah Abrabanel (ca. 1460-after 1523), during a fruitful career as physician, scholar, and humanist intellectual, adopted the name of Leone Hebreo, by which he is generally known to the Christian world and historical scholarship.

The Dialoghi di amore, composed in the late 1490s, are a conversation between two abstract entities, Philone and Sophia, who expound at length upon the nature of love, detailing its operation in every sphere from the interaction of the elements up to and including its manifestation in and effect upon God himself. It was doubtless the popularity of Dialoghi di amore that spurred Paulus Manutius to publish a number of Aldine editions. A curiosity of these editions is the statement on the title page that the author had converted to Christianity, an assertion for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

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