Soncino


Soncino
(I5–16th century)
   Family of Hebrew printers. The family took their name from the small town of Soncino in northern Italy, where they came to settle from Germany in 1454. Israel Nathan (d. 1492?), a physician, set up a Hebrew press in the town with his son. Their first book, a tractate of the Talmud, was produced in 1484. A complete Hebrew Bible, with over four hundred illustrations, was the most important of the works produced in Soncino over the next few years. Moving to various towns in Italy, the family began to print in Latin and Italian as well. At one time Soncino’s was the only Hebrew press in the world, but by the early 16 century competition had become fierce, especially from the house of the Christian printer Daniel Bomberg in Venice. In 1530 Israel Nathan’s grandson Gershom ben-Moses (d. 1534) set up a press in Istanbul that continued till 1547. The last of the works printed by the family was in Cairo in 1557. In the years of their firm’s existence the Soncino family published over 130 Hebrew books.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.