The chief cornerstone of mainstream Judaism, the Babylonian Talmud [translated “the study” or “the learning”] is a huge compendium of legal traditions going back to Jewish antiquity. It was transmitted orally from generation to generation until around 500 A.D. when Jewish sages in Babylonia—then the chief center of world Jewry—committed it to writing. The tractate displayed here comes from the famous first edition of the entire Talmud, printed by Daniel Bomberg in Venice, 1520–1523. Bomberg, a Christian Hebraist originally from Antwerp, operated his press under special Papal license. The Jewish scholars whom he employed in his shop as editors and compositors set standards of typography and textual authenticity that command admiration to this day. Today, copies of this first Bomberg edition are exceedingly prized and exceedingly rare; the Library of Congress holds nearly one-half of the original forty-four tractates.