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Sephardic Jews Leave Genetic Legacy In Spain - HISTORY

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Author Topic: Sephardic Jews Leave Genetic Legacy In Spain - HISTORY  (Read 6239 times)
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2008, 12:59:37 pm »

                                                        Historical Figures

Abraham Zacuto

(c.1450-c.1522) Author of the famous "Almanach Perpetuum" published in Leiria in 1496, with tables which provided the principal base for Portuguese navigation at the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th. He belonged to a family of French origin, which had emigrated to Castille in the 14th century. The expulsion decree of 1492 brought them to Portugal, where his expertise was immediately employed in the preparation of the voyage of Vasco da Gama to India. He made a sterling contribution to the development of navigation and was greatly respected as "Mathematician to the king."

Guedelha-Master Guedelha

(1432-c.1453) A member of the Negros family (Ibn Yahia), one of the most important and influential in the Jewish community in Portugal. In the reign of King Fernando, his father, Solomon Guedelha, founded a hospital in the Grande Judiaria in Lisbon. Master Guedelha was a rabbi and also doctor and astrologer to both King Duarte and King Afonso V. One of his sons, Abraham Guedelha (1450-1471), also became a chief rabbi and doctor to King Afonso V, which further increased the influence of the family.

Guedalha Palacano

(second half of the 15th century) A leading merchant, holder of a number of special prerogatives, he had considerable influence at Court. He played an important role in the history of the kingdom, by loaning huge sums to the Crown, on many occasions he financed royal activities. In 1478, he and Isaac Abravanel lent the sum of 3,384,615 reales to D. Afonso V. Guedelha Palacano was known as a loyal supporter of Prince Henry, having financed a number of overseas expeditions and justly deserved his honors and special treatment at Court.

Isaac Abravanel

(second half of the 15th century) One of the principal merchants in the kingdom and a member of one
of the most important Jewish families in Portugal. In 1478, along with Guedelha Palacano, he made a huge loan to King Afonso V. He was greatly respected as a man of learning, a doctor and philosopher.

Jose Vizinho

(second half of the 15th century) Born in Viseu, he was a doctor and astrologer to King Joao II. Colombus and Joao de Barros knew him as Master Jose and he was considered to be one of the most outstanding figures in the scientific context of the great feats of navigation. He translated the "Almanach Perpetuum" by Zacuto into Castillian and Latin and navigated to Guinea to test the regiment of latitudes by meridional observation of the sun.

Abraham Usque

(16th century) Born in Portugal and given the Christian name of Duarte Pinhel, he fled from the Inquisition and settled in Ferrara about 1543, where he was associated with Yom-Tob Ven Levi Athias (Jerome de Vargas), a New-Christian of Spanish origin who owned a typography. His name is linked to the publication of the "Biblia de Ferrara" ( The Ferrara Bible) in 1553. He published other books which included "Menina e Moca" by Bernardim Ribeiro and "Consolaco as Tribulacoes de Israel" ("Consolation for the Tribulations of Israel") by Samuel Usque.

Pedro Nunes

(1502-1578) A great Portuguese mathematician and cosmographer-major, author of "Tratado da Esfera", published in Lisbon in 1537, he was a first generation New-Christian. Born in Alcacer do Sal, he studied philosophy and mathermatics at the University of Lison, where he obtained his degree and became a teacher in 1529.

Antonio Jose da Silva

(1705-1739) Known as "the Jew", he was born in Rio de Janeiro, the son of a wealthy colonial family, and was one of the victims of the Inquisition. One of the great Portuguese playwrites of the 18th century, he wrote operas and satrical plays which were tremendously critical and entertaining, one of the most interesting being "The Jew." Other well-known works include: "Guerras de Alecrim e da Manjerona" and "Vida do grande D. Quixote de la Mancha e do gordo Sancho Panca." He was imprisoned for the first time in 1726 but, after being tortured, was released. He was sent to prison again and condemned to death at the stake in a dramatic auto-de fe which took place in Lisbon on October 18th 1739.


"The Jews in Portugal" booklet issued by the Tourism Information Dept. Lisbon, Portugal...

With the support of TAP Air Portugal

Submitted by:

Patricia Julia Silva Corbera
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 01:00:25 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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