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PART

SUMMARY

PARDONS BY THE PORTUGUESE GOVERNMENT

TERMINOLOGY


EARLY HISTORY

1492 ADMISSION OF JEWS EXPELLED FROM SPAIN


Forced  Baptism of Jews to Christianity


Proposed Marrige To  Spanish Heiress

THE LISBON MASSACRE OF 1506

HIDING FROM THE

INQUISITION

UNIFICATION
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AND SPAIN
1580-1640


MARRANOS IN EUROPE


The Myth of Marrano Names

THE MARQUIS OF POMBAL

FIRST COMMUNITIES IN PORTUGAL SINCE THE 19TH CENTURY

PORTUGAL AND THE FASCISTS

 
Salazar


Captain Barros Basto


Portugal and the Nazis


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JewishWikipedia.info


 

The ambiguous Portuguese Marranos became known throughout Europe as "Men of the Nation". Being Portuguese in 16th century Europe was synonymous with being Jewish. The Marranos established flourishing Jewish communities in Amsterdam, Bordeaux, London, Hamburg, Venice, Livorno, Salonica, and Constantinople, amongst others. In the New World, the relatively small number of Marranos established communities in Brazil, New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, Newport Rhode Island and the Caribbean Islands. The success of the American War of Independence owes its success to the financial and material aid provided by the Marranos, then openly professing their Judaism, for example the ships provided to George Washington by Aaron Lopez, the wealthiest merchant of the thirteen colonies, born Duarte Lopez in Lisbon.

The Marranos prospered in business and government. It was a the son of a Marrano, Rabbi Manasseh ben Israel (Manuel Dias Soeiro) of Amsterdam, born in Lisbon or Madeira, who convinced Oliver Cromwell in 1656 to allow Jews back into England. They established the coffee, diamond and tulip industries in Amsterdam. They were instrumental in establishing the stock exchanges of Amsterdam, London and New York. They controlled the sugar and tobacco industries, and were involved in slavery, amassing huge fortunes.

This rising merchant class created the world’s first truly global Empire (see ‘The First Global Village, How Portugal Changed the World’ by Martin Page, now in its 8th edition). Lisbon became one of the wealthiest cities in Europe. However, not even the huge bribes paid to the Pope and cardinals could keep the Inquisition at bay forever. With the onset of the Inquisition, many of the wealthy Marranos left Portugal, contributing to its decline. Poor and  old and infirm Marranos, had no option but to stay, becoming more secretive. Thousands were burned at the stake, including most of the leading intellectuals of the University of Coimbra in the early 17th century. Even Antonio Homem, the Chancellor of the University, and a Marrano rabbi and also an advisor to the Pope was burned alive in 1624 The ones that left established the oldest extant synagogues in the U.S.A; England, and Holland, Touro synagogue, Newport, R.I; 1762 (founded in 1658), Bevis Marks synagogue, London 1701 (founded 1656), and the Esnoga, Amsterdam, 1675 (amalgamated from three communities dating from 1598). The Esnoga, undisturbed by the Nazis, stands as the model synagogue for the Western Sephardic world. Bevis Marks in London is a replica, one-quarter its size.

The philosophers Baruch Espinoza, Frances Sanches, Uriel Acosta, Montaigne, and David Ricardo were all Marrano descendants. So were rabbis Ben Israel and Aboab Fonseca, the first rabbi in the Americas (Recife, Brazil, 1635). The father of French impressionism, Camille Pissaro was descendant of a Marrano born in Bragança, in the Tras Montes region of Portugal and les freres Peyrere (Pereira) of Bordeaux and later Paris, contemporaries and associates of the Rothchilds. Portugal has yet to recover from this extraordinary brain drain.


THE MYTH OF MARRANO NAMES
Anita Novinsky
(click on this link for full paper)
of the Laboratório de Estudos sobre a Intolerância
of the Universidade de São Paulo
has clearly shown the importance attached to
Marrano’ s living with two names
- one public and the second his original Jewish name
.

The romantic historiography about the Marranos and Marranism created a series of myths in relation to the names adopted by the Jews during and after their forced conversion in 1497 in Portugal. The increasing interest in Sephardic history, mainly after 1992, nourished people’s mind with fantastic histories and legends, that made the Marrano chapter especially attractive.

The greatest impact came when historians try to prove the attachment of the "Conversos" or New Christians to the Jewish religion and their desire to die in kiddush-hashem. Reality was quite different. Analyzing the trials of the Inquisition, we cannot be sure that the confessions of Judaism were true. In torture the Anussim confessed to everything the Inquisitors wanted to hear and they accused friends, neighbors, families. When we examine the trials carefully, we see that the answers and terms of the confessions were always the same, phrases and words repeated during three centuries.

 The indiscriminate divulgation of the myths related to Marrano history is dangerous, as within a few years it can lend to a distorted history of the descent of the Anussim.1  Research on Sephardic history based entirely on unknown manuscripts has been made at the University of Sao Paulo, and it is opening new perspectives to Marrano history that will allow us to understand better the multishaped phenomenon of Marranism.2

 In relation to the names adopted by the Jews during the conversions of 1497, we have very rare direct references. Christian and Jewish Chronicles left us precious reports about what happened during those troubled times but they are silent about the Jewish patronyms names. The king Dom Manuel authorized that certain names used exclusively by noble families could be given to the converted Jews. By adopting those names as Noronha, Meneses, Albuquerque, Almeida, Cunha, Pacheco, Vasconcelos, Melo, Silveira, Lima ...the New-Christians opened new genealogical lines and during centuries they maintained their link with Jewish roots. Spread through the portuguese empire, the Marranos frequently carried in secret their Jewish names and transmitted them to their descendents; those various names reveal also the double identity of people living in a world of terror. Those names sometimes kept a meaning and histories that were orally transmitted from one generation to another.

…......................................

It is interesting to note how strong was among the Portuguese the preoccupation with the cleaness of their blood line. In verses they express this obsession:

To know my ancestors
Full of enthusiasm, I investigated
I started form the parish records
And from there I went to the Holy Office

Oh! How good it was to know that behind us
Were illustrious names. Good people
Majorats, soldiers, at last grandparent

That always treated themselves with nobility
With slaves, horses, servants And all the "noble” ostentation
Without being slandered
Of having blood of the infected nation15

After having navigated in a sea of uncertainty, what can we know about  the Marrano names? On the basis of inquisitorial sources we can say that in Brazil:

1. The majority of the Marrano names reflect the cities or villages from where they came.

2. The majority of the Marrano names were taken from the old aristocratic families.

3. Practically all the Marrano names repeat the names of the Portuguese families that have the coat of arms.

4. The Brazilian Marranos carried simultaneously two or three names.

5. Members of one same family frequently used totally different names.

6. After two or three generations we often find New Christians adopting again the names of grandparents.

7. Marrano surnames are exactly the same as the surnames used by the Old Christians.

8. Marranos who lived in Holland, North Africa, Levant and returned to Judaism adopted many times Hebraic names, but they maintained frequently their ancient Portuguese surnames as it gave them a certain prestige.

THE

INCREDIBLE

STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE



JEWISH MARRANOS IN EUROPE,
THE MYTH OF MARRRANO NAMES