The following description was prepared by William Gross:
This volume is a Hebrew-Latin edition of the popular collection of animal fables written by R. Berechiah ben Natronai ha-Nakdan (12th-13th c).
Bilingual title page printed in red and black, with facing copperplate engraving of a variety of animals surrounding a fox holding a rod and seated on a pedestal inscribed "משלי שועלים". The text is mispaginated in several places.
Berechiah, an author, translator, and grammarian, lived in Normandy and perhaps in England. It is inferred from the title ha-Nakdan ("The Punctuator") that he punctuated Bibles and copied Masoretic rules. From his erudite works we see that he was a Talmudic scholar. Mishlei Shu’alim (“Fox Fables”) is Berechiah’s most well-known work. A collection of 107 fables, not all featuring foxes, the work was derived several earlier sources in which the animals are the protagonists (including the French fable collection Ysopet by Marie de France (c. 1170) and the lost Latin translation of Aesop, Romulus). Berechiah united this European Aesopian tradition with Biblical and Talmudic traditions, with the result that his animals converse in a Biblical Hebrew interspersed with Talmudic quotations. First printed in Manuta (1557-1558), Mishlei Shu’alim was then translated into Yiddish (Freiburg, 1583), German and English. This edition, the sole Latin version, was translated by the Jesuit Melchior Hanel, who also translated Marina de Escobar’s biography into Latin.