||First Latin edition of Dialoghi di Amore, the philosophical discourse on the subject of Love by Judah (Leone Ebreo, Judah the Jew) Abrabanel (c. 1460 - after 1523), son of Don Isaac Abrabanel. Dialoghi di Amore was one of, if not the most popular philosophical works of the Renaissance. This edition, on clear white paper is extraordinary, having an introduction, detailed index, and errata preceding the text, as well as marginal glosses. The text is printed in italic. There are several handwritten pages in Latin before the index and after the errata. The title page has the printer’s device and the inside of the cover has a previous owner’s ornate ex libra showing cherubim and wigged men in a large library.
Dialoghi di Amore was written about 1501-02, but not printed until 1535, when a friend, Mariano Lenzi, rescued it from where it was buried, and had it published. Although a philosophic work, it is written, apropos of the conventions of the time, as a romantic fiction. The Dialoghi consists of three Platonic dialogues between Philo (the lover) and Sophia (wisdom). The first dialogue is a discourse on the difference between love and desire, and the various types of love; the second how the principle of love permeates all existence, human, animal, and even inanimate; the third and longest dialogue discusses the love of God (Amor Dei), which permeates all of existence. In the last dialogue beauty is defined, and the nature and activity of the soul is addressed, and the ideas of Plato discussed. It is Abrabanels belief that love is the source and primary force of the world. The Dialoghi contains numerous stories from classical mythology.
The Dialoghi was published in Italian five times in twenty years, and, to 1607, there were twelve Italian and thirteen translations. There were also four Italian and three French editions in the sixteenth century. Recent evidence supports the theory, previously rejected, that the Dialoghi was written in Hebrew. Nevertheless, a Hebrew edition, as Vikuach al-ha-Ahavah, did not appear until 1871. The Dialoghi was not popular with Jews for a number of reasons, not least its inclusion of pagan myths.