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Abraham ben Isaac ben Garton


ABRAHAM BEN ISAAC BEN GARTON , first known Hebrew printer. He produced Rashi's commentary on the Pentateuch, completed at *Reggio Calabria on Feb. 17, 1475. Although this book bears the earliest date, it was not necessarily the first Hebrew book (see *Incunabula) printed, as it may have been preceded by others which have disappeared, or bear no date of publication. The only extant copy of the book, in the De' Rossi Collection in the Palatine Library, Parma, Italy, is slightly defective; it is in folio and contains 116 pages of 37 lines each. The text of this edition is significantly different from later ones. De' Rossi formerly owned another copy which was lost in transit. Abraham's country of origin is unknown, but it is conjectured that he came from Spain. No other book that came from his press is known.


A.M. Habermann, Toledot ha-Sefer ha-Ivri (1945), 33, and illustration 9; D.W. Amram, Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy (1909), 24; C. Roth, Jews in the Renaissance (1959), 169–73; Pavoncello, in: Klearchos (Reggio di Calabria), 21–22 (1964), 53–57. add. bibliography: P. Tishbi, in: Kiryat Sefer, 60 (1986), 865–69.

[Abraham Meir Habermann]

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