- Mendel Metzger
Family of Jewish printers, active in Italy, Turkey and Egypt. They originated in Germany but emigrated to Lombardy and settled in Soncino near Crema in 1454, taking the name of the town as their patronymic. Their first printing press was set up in Soncino by Yoshua (d 1493) and Moses (d 1489), sons of Israel Nathan (d 1492?), a physician. The family was active between 1483, the date of Yoshua’s first book, and 1562, when the 184th and last publication was printed by his great-great-nephew in Cairo. Seven family members were printers: Yoshua, his brother Moses, Moses’s sons Solomon and Gershom [Hieronymus Soncinus] (d 1534), Gershom’s children Moses and Eliezer (d 1547) and Eliezer’s son Gershom (d 1562). Yoshua published only Hebrew books (42 editions, all incunabula) during his short career (1483–9 in Soncino, 1489–92 in Naples). Gershom’s career, however, was one of the longest (...