The source of Guillaume Postel's 1553 Zohar Latin translation

R. Meroz, J. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In 1547, while in Venice, Guillaume Postel purchased a Zohar manuscript from Daniel Bomberg. That Zohar copy was the one he studied together with Mother Johanna and the one he used as the source for his Latin translation of this treatise. That Zohar copy has most probably not survived, and as a result, hitherto no information regarding its unique structure, contents or wording has been available. Fortunately enough we were able to use both the strategy of the 'Zohar HaRaki'a' project conducted by Ronit Meroz as well as the data accumulated in it; thus we could locate an almost identical cognate of that lost manuscript in MS Parma Palatina 2718. It is impossible to determine with certainty whether Postel's original was copied directly or indirectly from MS Parma, or from a different source belonging to this family. In any event, as Postel's Zohar manuscript itself is not accessible, it is henceforth possible to make use of MS Parma to offer us a Zoharic text which is almost identical, in both structure and wording, to Postel's original.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-260
Number of pages14
JournalRenaissance Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Guillaume Postel
  • Kabbalah
  • Zohar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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