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RIVA DI TRENTO:

Small town on the Lake of Guarda, under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Trent. Christoforo Madruz, Cardinal of Trent and Archbishop of Brixen, granted in 1558 the privilege of printing Hebrew books to Joseph Ottolengo, a German rabbi and school-director, then living at Cremona. The actual printer was Jacob Marcaria, a local physician. After his death in 1562 the activity of the press of Riva di Trento ceased. Altogether thirty-four works were published in the period 1558 to 1562, most of them bearing the coat of arms of Cardinal Madruz. The first Hebrew book printed at Riva was the "Halakot" of Alfasi in three foliovolumes; and the general tendency of the press was to produce halakic works, as the "Mordekai," the novellæ of Rabbi Nissim, and two editions of the Mishnah. Besides these, two editions of the Pentateuch were issued, one with the Five Megillot and the other with the Targum and Rashi. The print was of an exceptionally clear type; and the fact that all the books were produced under the patronage of a cardinal of the Church is very significant.

Bibliography:
  • E. Carmoly, Annalen der Hebräischen Typographic in Riva di Trento, 2d ed., Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1868.
J.
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