Giuseppe Flavio. Gioseffo Flavio Historico alle Antichità et Guerre Giudaiche, Diviso in ventisette libri. Tradotto Novamente nella lingua volgare dal R. P. M. Andrea Berna Min. Conv. In Venetia, presso Alessandro Vecchi, MDCXX 
Bibliographically linked but distinct items comprising of two books representing sections 1 through 20 of Joseph Flavio’s 27 section work on the history of the Jewish Wars. Third book, which would have sections 21 through 27, has not been included in historic owner’s binding. Book 1 (sections 1-10) : p. 1-366, 1 blank. Signatures: A7, B8-D8, H7 (lacks H1), I- Z8. Printers device “dabo omnibus gratum odore”. Text in Italian, heavily embellished with occasionally repeating large woodblock illustrations throughout. Title page has been historically repaired; wants p. 113; minor damage to p. 125, 54 & historic reinforcement to p. 127, Book 2 (sections 11-20): p. -296. Signatures: a8, B-S8, T4. Separate title page, pagination, signatures (mistyped 1st p = 115). Separate registers. Both books bound together in paper wrapper. Overall GOOD condition, despite missing page.
The plain, contemporary paper wrapper of this 1620 Venetian printing of Antiquities of the Jews, one of the most important works by Josephus Flavius (37-100 AD), does not match the truly stunning quality and amount of woodblock illustrations within the pages. Beginning with the Creation story, Josephus traces the history, laws, and culture of the Jewish people to the time of Emperor Claudius (41 to 54 AD). Josephus is able to write, from his first-hand experience, about this particularly turbulent time in Roman history— Jesus had just been crucified and his followers were banding together; the First Jewish-Roman War saw a struggle for Roman-controlled Judea; and a particularly cruel streak of Roman Emperors, including Caligula, Nero, and Domitian.
These works, originally written within the first century A.D. in Greek, provide the historical context for understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Greek text was first translated to Italian in Venice in 1549. Later, the printer Alessandro Vecchi reissued the text, though Giacomo Maria Paitoni casts some doubt on the “newness” of the translation claimed in this edition. In his Biblioteca deli Autori Antichi Greci e Latini Vogarizzati (Library of the Ancient Greek and Latin Authors in Vernacular) from 1766-1774, he states that: “This edition is a reprinting of the 1608 edition, page for page, with the same illustrations”. He also expresses confusion about the inclusion of the Maririo, which does not appear in this printing, though the title mentions it. Additionally, he suggests that the text has been circulating in this state since 1571.
This printing was intended to be two books, with the first book comprising the Antiquities of the Jews, represented here, and the second as the Jewish Wars.