Leipzig (Lipsiae): Gottfried Liebezeit, 1692. Hardcover. This is an important early Hebrew-Chaldean-Latin biblical lexicon. Its author, Heinrich Opitz, was the son of a silk merchant and was appointed to the court orchestra of Duke Friedrich Wilhelm II at the age of thirteen because of his early interest in singing and music . In 1662, Opitz began studying at the University of Wittenberg, later the University of Jena , where he received a master's degree in 1665 . He next stayed in Leipzig and Hamburg and studied oriental languages. In 1667 Opitz traveled to Kiel. There he became a private lecturer. Another three years later he was granted a tour of the Netherlands and England in the course of studying oriental languages. To expand his knowledge, he visited the libraries in Leiden and Utrecht . In London he visited the royal library; at the same time he became friends with another orientalist, Edmund Castle . Opitz next stayed in Oxford and excerpted oriental manuscripts . He then returned to Kiel, but he couldn't find a job there and moved on to Jena. There he worked as an adjunct in the university's philosophy faculty . In 1675 he received a professorship for the Greek language in Kiel , three years later he became professor of oriental languages and in 1689 both professor and doctor of theology. In 1704 Opitz became senior consistorial councilor. Particularly noteworthy among his writings are his “Novum lexicon Hebraeo-Chaldaeo-biblicum”, Lips. 1692, 3rd edition 1714, and his “Biblia Hebraica”, Jena 1709, 2nd edition 1712. He worked on this work with great care for 30 years. He corrected each printed sheet himself six times. Both of these works continued to be used for many decades [Wikipedia].
Bound in contemporary vellum with titling to spine. Vellum is soiled, bumped and abraded. The front cover is slightly bowed. Joints are tender and the hinges are cracked, although the text block is still tight and firm. Front pastedown is cracked, revealing board underneath. Frontispiece engraving of author. Text pages are browned but still quite legible. Tiny ink annotations in the margins of many pages. Page edges are brownish red with a somewhat decorative design hand done in dark brown. There are also some handwritten notes in Hebrew and Latin to rear free endpapers. Apparently ex-library with tiny blank sticker to spine, acquisition number handwritten on front pastedown, and mostly illegible stamp to front free endpaper. A page with a typed in English with title, date and "on vellum" on later piece of paper is inserted opposite the front pastedown. It erroneously states that the book was printed in Hamburg. A nice copy in about very good condition despite flaws. Measures 6.5 x 8 inches. (12) +1095 pages. REL/091323. Very Good -.