Gunzenhauser (Ashkenazi), Joseph ben Jacob
GUNZENHAUSER (Ashkenazi), JOSEPH BEN JACOB
GUNZENHAUSER (Ashkenazi), JOSEPH BEN JACOB (d. 1490) and azriel, his son, pioneers in Hebrew printing. The Gunzenhausers went to Naples from Gunzenhausen in southern Germany and set up a Hebrew press, which from 1487 to 1492 produced an impressive range of books (see *Incunabula), in all about 12 volumes. Among them were the Hagiographa with various rabbinical commentaries (1487); Avicenna's medical Canon, the first and only edition of the work in Hebrew (Ha-Kanon); and the first edition of Abraham Ibn Ezra's Pentateuch commentary (1488). After Joseph Gunzenhauser's death his wife (or daughter) and son continued his work. The Gunzenhausers assembled a team of distinguished typesetters and correctors from Italy. Joshua Solomon Soncino, who began printing at Naples about this time, issued a prayer book of the Spanish rite for Gunzenhauser in May 1490.
D.W. Amram, Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy (1909), 63, 66; B. Friedberg, Ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Italyah… (1956), 40ff.; A. Freimann (ed.), Thesaurus Typographiae Hebraicae… (1931), a57, 1ff.