Being a central text in the Jewish culture and tradition, the Babylonian Talmud has been subjected to accurate control. Many influential researchers are taking part in the project to correct the available versions; the revision work is still taking place.
Sadly, the history of the Talmud has been marked by a significantly negative factor: the persecution of this text led to censorship, requisitions and burnings (widely known the ones in Paris, 1240, and Rome, 1553) and its study was prohibited. Consequently, the medieval manuscripts and the first paper editions are rare and subjected to heavy censor cuts.
The first printed editions marked a significant change in the history of the text. After the first tests in Guadalajara in 1482, followed by a few volumes in Soncino, Italy, Daniel Bomberg’s first complete edition (Venice, 1519-1523) and the one of his competitor Marcantonio Giustinian became the texts of reference for all the following editions, until the Romm di Vilna’s edition (1886) became widely popular among traditional researchers.
Our edition includes the original pages and front translation. The original text has been recently elaborated according to the classical structure, and the most remarkable difference consists of the words vocalized.
The Talmud is written in a concise, essential language, at times even cryptic. For our edition, we are translating in bold all the words that appear explicitly in the text, adding the integrations in standard characters, so that the reader can easily distinguish the words found in the original text from the ones we added. The footnotes flagged by superscripted numbers provide further information and clarifications. The original text is continuous, only interrupted by the titles of each chapter and the mishnayots (each followed – without paragraph signs – by the comment of the Gemara); our edition instead, features a system of titles and partitions specifically introduced to support the reading.
Besides the Introduction to the tractate, each chapter features an introductory summary and also the mishnayots might be introduced by short information.