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Bidding Information
Lot #    13526
Auction End Date    3/7/2006 10:55:15 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Hanna und ihre Söhne
Author    [Only Ed. - Drama] S. Katz
City    Gelsenkirchen
Publisher    Walter Klestadt
Publication Date    c. 1900
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. [16] pp., octavo, 195:130 mm., wide margins, light age staining, stamps. A very good copy bound in contemporary half cloth and marbled paper over boards.
   Rare copy of a Hanukkah drama by S. Katz. The full title is Hanna und ihre Söhne: Dramatisches Chaucka-festspiel in 1 Aufzug (Hannah and her sons. A play for Hanukkah in one act. The title price lists a price of one Mark. There is a list of the parts, that is Antiochus Epiphanes; three generals (feldherren); Hanna, a pious Jewish woman (eine fromme jüdische Frau); her seven sons; and a messenger. There is a prologue and then the play, set in Fraktur.

The subject of the play is the story of Hanna and her seven sons, a story told in II Maccabees, Chapter 7, of seven brothers who were seized along with their mother by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, presumably shortly after the beginning of the religious persecutions in 167/166 B.C.E., and commanded to prove their obedience to the king by partaking of swine's flesh. The brothers defiantly refused to do so. Encouraged in their resolve by their mother, they were executed after being put to frightful tortures. When the mother was appealed to by the king to spare the youngest child's life by prevailing upon him to comply, she urged the child instead to follow in the path of his brothers, and she herself died shortly thereafter.

The accounts of the manner in which she met her death differ. According to IV Maccabees, she threw herself into the fire. The Midrash states that she lost her reason and threw herself to her death from a roof, while according to Josippon she fell dead on the corpses of her children. The story, along with that of the martyrdom of the aged priest Eleazar (II Macc. 6:1831), became the subject of the book known as the Fourth Book of Maccabees. In rabbinic literature the story is recounted as an instance of martyrdom during the Hadrianic persecution. Although in II Maccabees and Gittin the name of the mother is not given, in other rabbinic accounts she is called Miriam bat Tanhum, while in Syriac Christian accounts she is called Shamone and/or Maryam. However, the obvious association with I Samuel 2:5 impelled a Spanish reviser of the Josippon (ed. Constantinople, 1510, 4:19) to name the anonymous mother of II Maccabees "Hannah," by which name she has become famous, thanks to the dissemination of the longer (Spanish) version of Josippon and the medieval piyyutim in Hebrew, Arabic, and Judeo-Persian which are based on it. The shorter recension of the work (ed. Mantua, c. 1480, 126f.) and the literature based on it continued to refer to her anonymously. The story has inspired many legends on the place of the martyrs' burial, as well as works of art, poetry, and drama on their martyrdom, down to modern times.

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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Bible:    Checked
Other:    Drama
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    German
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica