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Porte, but instead of its being levied on them by the officer of the empire, they have agreed with him for a certain sum, which is brought to him by the chief of each synagogue, who lays it on them according to every man's worth, by which the poorer fort are relieved from too heavy imposts u.
Notwithstanding all this, they have a great many Poverty, among them, whom extreme misery obliges to turn Moslems ", in which no other ceremony is required* than an examination of the motives of their change, and their pronouncing the following words, La lllah ttlalah Mohammed Resoul Allah; that is, There is no other God but God, and Mohammed is his prophet (D); but for the generality, they are very thriving and in great credit. The Christians accuse one of them that was physician to Bajazet II. of having been bribed by his son Selim, to^ajazet poison him in his flight to Demoticha; which he had no sooner Poi/°ntd* done, than Selim caused him to be put to death x. But neither Selim nor the Jew are charged by the Turks with that l^Zm black deed; Bajazet's death being looked upon by them to have been natural. However that be, it was a Jew named Michfes, who out of spight to the Venetians, inspired Selim II. with the first notion of conquering the fair island of Cyprus; which he soon after did, and granted the Jewijb nation very Cyprus great privileges in it (E); and not long afterwards sent ano- taken by
« Smith Notitia vii. Eccles. pi 116. Ricaut.hill, TheVenot, &al. "Thevenot's voyag. into the Levant, lib. i. ch. 32! * D'herbelot. Bibl. Orient, p. 104.
allowed to the Turkijb ones. There is a common notion,
And we are told of one of the that a Jew cannot be received
former, who having met Maho- into the Turkijh mofk unless
met IV. straying in a wood he first turn Christan, and is
(where he had been hunting, baptized; but that is a raillery
and must in all likelihood have rather than a truth. And as for
staid all night) and conducted circumcision, they never repeat
him to his capital, was bid to it, because their old one is rec
afle what reward be would have koned sufficient,
for his service; and only begged (E) Among other encomiums
that he might be permitted the which Michfes gave of that
use of the Turkijb knot; which island to the Sultan, for which it
was granted him as a singular was justly stiled Macaria, or the
savour. abode of the blessed, he com
(D) These words are esteem- mended its excellent wines j and
ed so sacred among them, that Selim, who was very fond of
whoever pronounces them, must thatliquor,promised,inadrunk
either turn Mojlem, or is con- en fit. to make him king of it.
demned to the flames. He did not, however, keep his
Mon. Hist. Vol. XIII, C c word
Selim II. ther Jew, 'called Solomon Rej>he, to Venice, to negotiate i A. C. peace with that republic.
'579- They obtained soon after a much greater privilege from Printing him, viz. that of setting up printing both in his metropolis and set up at in Tbessahnica, by which their books, especially the sacred Constan- oneSj which were then very scarce and dear, came to be a P dispersed every-where, and were bought at such an easy rate, ',' that people applied themselves more closely and universally to ",' the study of them. The consequence was that there appeared soon after several eminent rabbies, and chiefs of. the synagogues there. Solomon the son of Jaf>he, who had left Germany toYettle in that capital, read his expositions on the Jerusalem thalmud, and rendered it much easier and clearer by them (F). R. Gcdaliah, another learned doctor, who boasted himself descended from king David, did likewise leave Lisbon, his native place, to settle there as a physician, and at the fame time taught the rites of the Jewish nation. He became afterwards chief of the synagogue, and laboured much to re-unite the Caraites and rabbinists, but found both fides too stiff to yield; so that the former only took the advantage of their mutual conferences to print and publish several of their own books (G). The last of note we shall mention, is Mordecai, the son of Eliezer, who called himself the Conftantinopolitan; tho' he commonly resided at Adrianspie, and there expounded the grammar of Aden-Ezra, intituled, Jejsod Morah, or, The Foundation of Fear (H).
word with him, but recom- or seven eyes, alluding to Zapensed him in some other way; chariaFs vision (2}; and some and gave such encouragement others which are not known. 10 those of his 1 nation in that He must not, however, be conisland, that they became very sounded with a relation of his numerous and rich in it, and of the fame name, of whom we continue'so to this day. fliall speak in the sequel.
(F) He printed several other (H) There hath been since works, one os'which he stiled discovered another work of his; The beauty os the eyes; and ano- via. a MS. comment on the ther, The fair look, alluding to Pentateuch, the expositions «f his surname of Japbe, which which are. so litteral, that he signifies fair or beautiful: the hath been thought a Caraite: one contained a set of sermons, but whether he was really so or and the other an exposition of not, this work hath been much the MMraji Ralhab, or larger commended by a learned author, comment on the Pentateuch (1). who had thoroughly examined
(G) Gedoliab likewise print- it (3}. ed his treatise of Shibba Enajim,
(1) Barmhc.ub.sup. torn.iv. p. 391; &>' 549. (2) Zachar 3^) 9. (3) Frr/'t JBaJilcens. Excerpt. Aartnii, Vid. Bajr.e^. ut. sup. c. 30. §. if.
There are some places indeed in Greece, out of which they have been expelled, particularly the city, of Salona, ■whose ^inhabitants, Turks as well as Greeks, mortally hate them. The fame may be said of Athens, where they had been fixed ever since the apostles timey, but are since forbid to settle in it; which may be perhaps owing to the Christians being by far more numerous there than the Turks, there being between 8 and 9,000 of the former, and but about a fourth part of the latter, in itz. But there are others, in which they are numerous and powerful; especially at Patras, where they have four synagogues, chuse their own judges from among themselves, and have a spacious burying-place on a neighbouring mountain, which at a distance looks like a large city (I). They are settled at Lepanto, Livadia, Corinth, and other cities of Greece, and live by their commerce; but that country is in so fad and desolate a condition, thro' the heavy taxes they are obliged to pay to the Porte, and its more ravenous officers, that they are for the most part very poor. They fare much better at Theffalonka, where we fiud them settled ever since the time of St. Paul; and have had a considerable academy for some centuries, as well as a printing-house; which last was since taken from them. Here flourished likewise several eminent rabbies, whose names and works the reader will find in the margin (K); and hither it is that the
y Acts xvii. 17. * Sr. G. Wheeler voy. torn. i. p. 398.
(I) This hill, it seems, is full Shahare Dimbah, or gates of
of little houses, which serve for tears; which is a moral treatise
a repository for their dead ; and on the vanity and miseries of
have a kind of marble door, at this life, written to comfort
which they are conveyed in, those of his nation under their
and whereon are the epitaphs of frequent disasters (5), and some
the dead, and of the family to others of less note. which each doth belong. Here flourished likewise R.
(K) Among them was the Joseph the son of Le-vi, who
famed R. Moses Abelda, whom taught in it, an. 1490, and pub
Plantcrvitius mistook for a Sici- listied a treatise on the use of the
lian (4), on account of his be- Gemarrah. He was at once
ing stiled Salonichi, which is the chief of the synagogue of Can
name by which that city, and Jlantimple, and of this academy;
not Sicily, is called. He pub- and this last it was that the false
limed several works there, par- Messiah Zabbathai Zcvi, late
ticularly hi* Derast? Mofieh, or ly mentioned, chose for the
mystical expositions, or sermons scene of his imposturej not
on the Pentateuch; and his doubting but if he could irrv
(4) Plantavit. Bibl, Rib. p. Ij6. (5) Wolf, ub.sup. N. 1518./. 804..
C c z pose
Jews do still send their children from Constantinople, and other parts, to be taught the Hebrew tongue.
We read of about 6000 being settled at Gallipoli, a city in the Thracean Cher/one/us, near the mouth of the Propontis, and a much greater number at Prufia, on the Myfian coast, near Mount Olympus; there being reckoned near 12,000 living within the walls of it, whilst the Christians are forced to dwell in the suburbs a. They had formerly also a settlement at Rhodes, near one of the walls of the city, which was thence called the wall and quarter of the Jews b; but soon after the raising of the siege by the Turks, the master of the Rhodian . knights proposed to their council the banishing of them; which was readily agreed to, not only out of the whole island, but out of all the places under their dominions. It was likewise there resolved that the Jews not having the same natural right over their children that other parents have, they should baptise and educate them at the public charge, lest they in time should go out of the island, and return to their old religion. As for their parents, they were ordered to fell their effects, and depart within the space of forty days, but were forbid to go and settle in the Levant, lest they should Rhodes serve as spies to the Porte. However, upon that island being re-taienby re-taken by the Turks, the Jews returned and settled in it, the Turks, and are used with greater mildness than the Christians0, who A. C. are obliged to leave their shops and warehouses at night, and 1652. go and lie in the suburbs, and villages adjacent, which the
aSr.G. Wheeler id.ib. p. 185. * SpoN.voy.torn. i.p. 209. e Stochove. voy. of the Levant, p. 227. Thevenot, ubi sup. torn. i.
pose on the doctors of so famed other things, that all the bi
an academy, he should find it blesweresadlycorrupted, except
tasy to do so on all the rest. those of the original Hebrew,
This was also the place where which he said he had closely
the apostate Victor Parch retired studied since his coming to Sa
from the university of Marpurg, lonlchi. He moreover declared
where he had been professor; himself a firm adherent to the
and, upon his turning Jew, on Jewi/a religion, which, he said,
pretence that he could not be- was allowed on all hands to be
sieve the mystery of the Trinity, of divine original; whereas
took the name of Moses Pardo, mankind was much divided
An. C. 1614. Being here grown about Christianity; and in that
very poor, he wrote a letter to faith he died, tho' very poor
his quondam friend Hertman, and troubled in mind (6).
(6) Epist. M°f. Panto, as. Sbud Corns in- Hi/I. Jud. hi. iil. t. X. fid. Bisnil«*.>/•§• I3«
Je-ws are not. These, however, do not amount to ibove 200; but they are more numerous at Smyrna, where they are reckoned about 6000, and have a good number of synagogues d. Upon the whole, there is hardly any considerable city or town in the Ottoman empire in which there are not some of them, tho' every-where oppressed by the Sultan's officers, in which they only fare as the rest of his subjects do.
Thus much may suffice for their history in the eastern Jews in parts, during the three last centuries; it is now time to return Italy, Sec. into Europe, and take a view of them thro' all those Christian during the states wherein they are still tolerated. But here we hope our t"ree ,-r readers will gladly permit us to be more brief than we have centurlts' been, with respect to the sufferings and horrid persecutions they have been forced to undergo, especially during the 15th and 16th centuries, and beyond, on false accusations of crucifying Christian children, stealing consecrated wafers, to use them in their conjurations, and the various miracles by ■which their pretended crimes have been brought to light, and exposed them to the barbarous fury of a zealous populace, and subjected them to such dreadful punishments, as can hardly he read without horror. These, we say, have been so frequent, and in so many parts of Europe, during this epocha, that a bare narrative of them would more than fill one of these volumes; for which reason we shall content ourselves with mentioning some of the most considerable instances of this zealous cruelty, and the year and place where they have happened, without descending into the many shocking particulars that attend them. As for matters of a different nature, and which we think worth a curious reader's notice, we shall gladly impart them to him, as they come in course.
We begin with Italy, where, tho' we have seen them hitherto protected and favoured for the most part by the popes, yet their writers open this 15 th century with a dreadful persecution, which the then warlike pontiff John XXIII. raised Persecuted by his several edicts against them; and not content to per- ht"Pe secute them in his dominions, wrote a letter to the then queen J?vmt regent of Spain, during the minority of her son John II. de- \ A siring her to act in concert with him; which she did accord- '' ingly, and with such seventy, that she obliged 16000 of them to renounce Judaism, whilst of those who persisted in it, one part were condemned to the flames and other cruel deaths, and the rest were massacred by the peasants in their flight, except some few who bought their lives by dint of money °. This calamity, however, proved but of short duration, at least
*'smitm Sept. Eccl. notit. e Solom Ben Virc. p. 312.
Cc j in