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PARENZO, 16th–17th-century family of Hebrew printers in Venice. JACOB (d. 1546) had come to Venice from Parenzo, on the Dalmatian coast of Italy, whence the family name, but was probably of German origin. His son MEIR (d. 1575) probably learned the printing trade at the Bomberg press, where he worked together with Cornelio *Adelkind in 1545, and his own productions compare favorably in beauty and elegance with those of his masters. Parenzo worked for some time as a typesetter and corrector at the press owned by Carlo Querini. During 1546–48 he worked on his own, publishing five works, and later an edition of the Mishnah with Bertinoro's commentary for Querini, although from about 1550 his main work was with Alvise *Bragadini. The Parenzos used various *printer's marks: Meir, a seven-branch menorah, and a rather daring design with Venus directing arrows at a seven-headed dragon; and his brother, ASHER, a mountain rising from the sea, with a laurel wreath above and a flying eagle at the left. Meir's *colophons abound in editions prepared by him. In 1547 the great French engraver and typecutter Guillaume *Le Bé, and later Jacob of Mantua, produced Hebrew type for him. At Meir's death (1575), his brother Asher took over working for the Venetian printer Giovanni di *Gara, as well as for Bragadini, until 1596. GERSHON BEN MOSES, probably a nephew of Meir and Asher, descendants of Jacob Parenzo, worked for the Venetian printer Giovanni di Gara during 1599–1609 as did his son Moses in 1629.


Steinschneider, Cat Bod, 2842 (7818); 2984 (8761); Ḥ.D. Friedberg, Toledot ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Italyah (19562), 69ff.; A.M. Habermann, in: Aresheth, 1 (1959), 61–90; A. Yaari, Diglei ha-Madpisim ha-Ivriyyim (1944), nos. 14, 35, 36; idem, in: KS, 30 (1955), 113–7; D.W. Amram, Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy (1909), index.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.