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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 6291 times)
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« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2008, 04:46:06 pm »

Shabbat in a Marrano home, Spain, 15th century.
(Painting on glass, Beth Hatefutsoth Permanent Exhibit)

                                                     D I O G O    M E N D E S

(born before 1492 - c. 1542), Marrano banker.

Born in Spain, he established - with his brother - a business in spices and precious stones. He settled in Antwerp, Low Countries, and on his brother's death in 1536 was joined in the business by his sister-in-law, Beatrice da Luna (Gracia Mendes).

Their great bank enjoyed a monopoly in pepper. Their vast wealth and culture obtained them admittance to the highest circles. Mendes was a magnate in the spice trade and made large loans to the governments of the Low Countries, Portugal, and England. He organized an escape route for Marranos from the Iberian peninsula to Italy and Turkey.

He was arrested in 1532 on charges of Judaizing but the case was allowed to lapse on payment of a heavy fine (partly due to the intervention of England's Henry VIII who used the Mendes bank). After his death in Antwerp a similar charge was the pretext for the confiscation of his property.



Cecil ROTH. Dona Gracia of the House of Nasi. Pp. XV, 208, [7] plates. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1992


A chronology of his life and the story of the family of his brother Francisco (Dona Gracia Mendes)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 04:53:05 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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