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Obj. ID: 26345
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  Vienna Anatoli's Malmad ha-Talmidim, Spain, 14th century

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown,

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Vienna Anatoli's Malmad ha-Talmidim | Unknown
Object Detail
1311 (?) (text);last quarter of the 14th century (decoration)
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker

Historical Origin
Community type
Unknown |
Period Detail
Austria | Vienna | Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB)
| Cod. Hebr. 210 (Schwartz no. 036)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Construction material
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Quite good, restored (visible restoration of the parchment on fols. 96-109).
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Type of grave
Sefer Malmad ha-Talmidim ("A Goad to Scholars"): introduction: fols. 1-6; Sefer Malmad ha-Talmidim: fols. 6v-160. Scroll of Antiochus: fol. 160v (uncompleted)

Material:  Parchment. II + 160 + II.  (Clear distinction between hair and flesh side, starting from flesh side, according to Gregory rule.)


Scribe A: Full page: (332-342) x (242-247) mm

                Text space: (227-233) x (155-157) mm

Scribe B: Text space: 228 x (156-157) mm


Scribe A: fols. 1-160

Scribe B: fol. 160v


Scribe A (fols. 1-160): the main text is written in semi-cursive Sephardi script in brown ink. Titles, preface and explicit words in larger square Sephardi script in brown ink (same tonality).

Scribe B (fol. 160v): semi-cursive Sephardi script in brown ink.


All the text is written in one single column per page.

 Number of lines

Text by both scribes:

33 lines per page in one column


By stylus on the hair side (e.g. fols.7v-8, 27v-28, 33v-34, 45v-46, 91v-92, 99v-100, 115v-116), 33 horizontal and 1 + 1 vertical lines.


Pricking made on the hair side is discernible in the outer (e.g. fols. 13-24, 38-48, 73-78, 130-131, 133-134, 139-159), upper (e.g. fols. 1-12v, 16, ) and lower (e.g. fols. 1-12v, 126-127) margins. Double pricking for horizontal lines on fols. 91-102 (this pricking does not correspond to the ruled horizontal lines).


14 quires of 12 leaves each except for: VII8-2 (fols. 73-78v – two folios were cut out at the end of the quire between fols. 78v-79 no text is missing), XIV12-2 (fols. 151-160v: last quire, the first two leaves are single. It is clear that there are two missing folios, as the text added at fol. 160v is incomplete).


Horizontal catchwords for quires written in semi-cursive Sephardi script by the scribe’s hand in the left-hand corner of the lower margin of the last verso of each quire, decorated with patterns of three dots above each letter.

Horizontal catchwords for leaves written in the first five versos of each quire, except for quire VII (where they are discernable only on the first three versos) and quire XIV (where they are discernable on the first four versos).

 Hebrew numeration

Later Hebrew alphabetic numeration in cursive Italian script in light brown ink, in the upper outer corner of almost each recto. Begins with 3 (ג') on fol. 2 until 21 (כא), which is numerated twice, both on fol. 20 and 21; continues running with 22-107 (כב – קז) on fols. 22-107; repeats 107 (קז) on fol. 108; and continues 108-159 (קח-קנט) on fols. 109-160.

 Blank leaves



Number of Lines
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Façade (main)
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Scribal Notes
Fol. 160, on the bottom of the main text, scribal note praising the accomplishment of the copyist in large square Sephardi script: ת'ם ה'חבור' ונשל'ם ת'הלה ל'אל עו'לם / The letters ת', ה', ר', ל', ת', ל', ו' are emphasized with three dots arranged as small triangles above each letter: the sum of their numerical value is equivalent to 1071 , which might indicate the Greogorian date 1311. (problem: the scribe does not add לפרט) ב'נ'ל'ך' ו'א'ע'י' (=ברוך הנותן ליעף כח ולאין אונים עוצמה ירבה) חזק ונתחזק
Trade Mark
Decoration Program

The decoration program includes two foliate frames running along the margins of two pages and of two small initial word panels. The decoration was executed after the writing of the text.

The initial words in both pages are written in bold gold letters, partly scratched out, within a coloured panel. The foliate frame is executed in red, pink, turquoise, green, purple, black and white brush and with gold leaf.


  1. Two initial word panels accompanied by marginal decoration: at the opening for Anatoli's preface to his commentary (fol. 1) and for the first parashah (Genesis) commentated on in the Sefer Malmad haTalmidim (fol. 6v). The initial words are written in bold gold letters in square Sephardi script within a gold frame outlined in pink and blue. The foliate frames consist of interlaces of thin, elongated and twisted acanthus leaves whose stems end with a horn, which is inserted in the lower curly stem of the next leaf. The space between the leaves is interspersed with gold dots outlined in black.
  2. Drawings of hands in the outer margins: pointing to quotations from the Bible within the main text (Fols. 7, 57, 78, 85, 101v, 118v, 145).



Summary and Remarks

The main text of Cod. Hebr. 210 is a copy of Malmad ha-Talmidim ("A Goad to Scholars") (fols. 1-160), a collection of homilies on the Bible by Jacob ben Abba Mari ben Samson Anatoli (ca. 1194-1266), divided into 48 chapters according to the pericopes of the Pentateuch. The author was a physician, homilist and translator, who was born in Provence and moved to Naples around 1231, where he edited the Malmad ha-Talmidim[1]. On the last folio of our manuscript (fol. 160v), a different hand copied the Hebrew translation of Megillat Antiochus ("The Scroll of Antiochus"), uncompleted since the last two folios of the manuscript are missing (see: quires).  The Scroll of Antiochus, also known as the "Scroll of the Hasmoneans", written originally in literary Aramaic during the late Talmudic period, is a popular book concerning the wars of the Hasmoneans and of the origin of the feast of Hanukkah.[2]   Its Hebrew version is less common than the Aramaic text. It is assumed that the scroll was read in public during the week of Hanukkah, probably at Minhah of Shabbat Hanukkah, and that this was the custom among Italian Jews, as attested in a decision of Rabbi Isaiah of Trani (Southern Italy, 1200-1260).[3] In Cod. Hebr. 210, the "Scroll of the Hasmoneans" was added in semi-cursive Sephardi script before the annotations to the Malmad HaTalmidim, which were added in Italian cursive script in the margins on fols. 160-160v, by a later hand, which is probably the same as the owner's annotation on fol. 1v.


The codicological features of Hebr. 210 are suitable to the Sephardi range of Hebrew manuscript production: ruling by stylus on the hair side, with pricking absent in the inner margins[4], catchwords for leaves in the lower margins of each verso in the first half of the quire, even though the composition of the quires of 12 leaves is unusual for this area[5].

At the end of the manuscript, within the ending formula "תם החבור ונשלם  תהלה לאל עולם" some letters are emphasized, so that the sum of their numerical value is equivalent to the date 1311 (see: Scribal Note). This date might be the date of the completion of the copying of the manuscript. There are no hints about the scribe's name or the place of production of the manuscript.

The decoration of the ViennaMalmad Ha-Talmidim consists of only two decorative frames, one for the introduction to the treatise on fol. 1, running along the upper and the outer margins, the other for the beginning of the commentary on fol. 6v, running along the upper and the inner margins. The frames are built up of interlaced, twisted, elongated and thin leaves in blue, red, pink and green tempera, which integrate one into the other, sometimes forming heart shapes, and including horns and gold dots.

Stylistic comparisons should be made with another illuminated copy of Malmad ha-Talmidim now housed in Budapest (Budapest, Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Kaufman Collection, ms. A. 278.), copied in Rimini (on the Northern Adriatic coast) by Yekutiel son of Shelomo for Menahem ben Nathan and dated around the 1370's[6]. The decoration program of this manuscript is identical to that of the Vienna Malmad ha-Talmidim, consisting of two foliated frames for the two main sections of the text (fols. 1 and 4v), even though its style is much more elaborated, including animal figures (see the two dragons at the bottom of fol. 1 and the two lions couchants on fol. 4v). The style of the Budapest manuscript may be attributed to a Central Italy school of illumination of the second half of the fourteenth and the very early years of the fifteenth century, which flourished under the influence of great ateliers such as that of Niccolò da Bologna or to the Perugian school of Matteo di Ser Cambio. Prof. Narkiss attributes it to the same workshop that produced the Maimonides' Mishneh Torah now in Jerusalem (JNUL, 4° 1193)[7], a manuscript which was written in a Sephardic area and then decorated in Italy at a second stage. It is evident that the Vienna Malmad ha-Talmidim was not executed by the same hand nor in the same workshop, yet, some elements such as the thin and elongated leaves, the lightness of the composition, the way the leaves interlace one with the other, show a similarity to this style, and can be attributed toCentral Italy around 1400.

In conclusion, Cod. Hebr. 210 was produced by a Sephardi scribe, who adopted codicological features both suitable to Italyand to Sephardi manuscripts. The number emphasized at the end of the manuscript, 1311 might indicate the date of production of the manuscript. On the other hand, the style of the decoration is suitable to the Northern-CentralItalySchoolof illumination of the end of the 14th century. Like the Jerusalem Mishneh Torah mentioned above, Cod. Hebr. 210 can represent a further example of itinerant manuscripts which were brought with their owners from one place to another.

The manuscript was preserved there for a long time, and owned by Immanuel Menahem son of Eliezer of Rossino (near Cuneo) or Rossine (near Mantua) or Rossano (near Parma?) , whose late cursive Italian script of his inscription and annotations to the texts in the margins (see: History), indicate it to be at least of the 16th century.  

[1] See: Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol. 2, cols. 928-929.

[2] See: Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol. 14, col. 1046.

[3] See: N. Fried, "Al Minhag Kryiat Megillat Antiochus on Hanukkah", in Minhagei Israel, 5, pp. 108 and ff. (in Hebrew)

[4] Beit-Arie`, Hebrew Codicology,Jerusalem 1984, p. 86.

[5] See: ibid, p. 46.

[6] The same scribe copied other manuscripts for the same patron, two of which are dated: the Decisions of Isaiah of Trani (London, BL, Or. 5024) copied in Rimini in 1374, and the Sefer ha-Hinuch  (Paris, BN, hèb. 401), also copied in Rimini in 1378. Both are richly decorated in the same style and are attributed by Narkiss to the same workshop. see Narkiss, B., Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts in the British Isles, A Catalogue Raisoneé, vol. III, The Italian Manuscripts, Cat. 6 (forthcoming publication).

[7] see: ibid

Suggested Reconsdivuction
Fol. 1v, upper margin, owner's inscription in cursive Italian script in black ink: "לה' הארץ ומלואה קניין כספי עמנואל מנחם יצ"ו בכממ"ר פקחי' אליעזר א"א זצ"ל איש רוסינ' ה' יזכני / להגות בו אני וזרעי וזרע ז[ר]עי עד סוף כל הדורות אאס"ו בילא"ו בשכמל"ו" (אמן אמן סלה ו?? ברוך ה' לעולם אמן ואמן ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד) "' The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof' (Ps. 24:1); I have bought this with my own money, me, Immanuel Menahem son of the late Pekahyiah Eliezer from Rossena, God shalt grant me favour to study it, and my offspring and theirs, to the end of the generations" Additions, corrections and comments/annotations to the text by different hands: 1. Addenda and corrigenda by a later hand, in cursive Sephardi script in light ink in the inner and outer margins (e.g. fols. 1v, 4v, 8v, 12, 13, 16, 19, 78v). 2. Notes and comments in later cursive Italian script in light ink in the inner and outer margins (e.g. fols. 18, 36, 36v, 62, 62v, 95, 119v, 138v, 141v, 148). 3. Headings in Hebrew for each parashah written in cursive Italian script in the middle of the upper margin of almost each folio, both recto and verso, in the same light brown ink as the Hebrew numeration. By the same hand are notes and comments in the margins on fols. 28v, 29v, 30v, 50v, 51v, 54v, 77, 78, 79-79v, 83v, 85v-86v, 90v, 92v, 93v, 101v, 105, 109v-110v, 112, 113, 117v, 119, 122v, 125, 126-127v, 128v-129, 137v, 142, 144-146, 147-150v, 152v-153v, 155, 159-160v). Fols. 4, 19, Censor's erasures (the ink is scratched out). Fol. 1: censor Fra Marc'Aurelio's signature in the lower margin, dated 4th September 1634: "Revisto q(uest)o adi (?) 4 di 7 bre 1634 q(uaer)ente me Frà Marc’aurelio de mandato Rev(erendissi)mi Inquisitoris." Fol. 13: in the outer margin corresponding to the 12th text line, later Italian inscription in cursive Latin letters, referring to the Hebrew word "משותפים" within the text : Text: Comuni Translation: "common" Fol. 13: in the inner margin corresponding to the 13th text line, inscription by the same later hand, "equivochi" (=wrong), referring to the Hebrew word "מושאלים" within the text. Purchased by the Hofbibliothek on 30th July 1870 from N. Coronel, together with other 16 Hebrew manuscripts (cod. Hebr. 194-209), for 500 florins.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Short Name
Full Name
Anna Nizza | 05-2003; 02-2005
Author of description
Anna Nizza |
Architectural Drawings
Computer Reconsdivuction
Section Head
Michal Sternthal | 01.2005
Language Editor
Negative/Photo. No.