ABENAES, SOLOMON (Abenaish, Abenyaex, Aben-Ayesh; Heb. Even Yaish; c. 1520–1603), Marrano statesman. Born as Alvaro Mendes to a Converso family of Tavira, Portugal, Abenaes made a fortune in India by farming the diamond mines of the kingdom of Narsinghgrah. Still ostensibly a Christian, he returned to Europe, becoming a knight of Santiago, and lived successively in Madrid, Florence, Paris, and London. When the Spaniards seized Portugal in 1580, he embraced the cause of the pretender to the Portuguese throne Dom Antonio, prior of Crato, and became one of his most active supporters. In 1585 he settled in Turkey where he reverted to Judaism under the name Solomon Abenaes. Because of his wealth, experience, and connections, he came to be highly regarded at the Turkish court, renewing the position of joseph nasi , who had died in 1579. He farmed the Turkish customs revenue and was created duke of Mytilene, one of the largest Aegean islands. He succeeded in maintaining his position, notwithstanding constant intrigues, for some 20 years. Like Nasi he had an elaborate information service all over Europe which proved highly useful to the Turkish government. Above all, Abenaes devoted himself to the cause of an Anglo-Turkish alliance against Spain, as the support of the claims of Dom Antonio to the Portuguese throne depended on this. For this purpose he maintained close contact with the Marrano group in England, headed by Dr. Hector Nuñez and the queen's physician roderigo lopez , his relative by marriage. Through them Abenaes was able to bring the Turkish government the first news of the defeat of the Great Armada in 1588. At one time he put forward the audacious plan of establishing Dom Antonio in the Portuguese dominions in India, from where he would be able to sail with strong forces and gain control of Portugal itself. Dom Antonio proved, however, weak and vacillating, and Abenaes accordingly broke with him; Dom Antonio in turn accused him of treachery. In 1591 Abenaes sent a personal representative, Solomon Cormano, to London to present his case before the queen, and in 1592 Judah Ẓarefati (Serfatim), with the same object. The execution of Roderigo Lopez in 1594 on the charge of attempting to poison the queen did not seriously affect Abenaes' position nor did the intrigues against him in Constantinople by David Passy, his Jewish rival, instigated by Dom Antonio and the French ambassador. Abenaes was one of the architects of the Anglo-Turkish alliance which stemmed the menacing advance of the Spanish power at the close of the 16th century. Shortly after his arrival in Turkey Abenaes secured the renewal, in his own favor, of the grant of tiberias and seven adjoining townships that had originally been made to Nasi. His name is thus associated with this important attempt to reestablish an autonomous Jewish life in Ereẓ Israel. His son JACOB ABENAES (formerly Francisco Mendes) actually settled in Tiberias, but to his father's disappointment, instead of helping in political and administrative organization, spent his time in study.   -BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Roth, The Duke of Naxos (1948), 133–4, 205–16, 248–9; Wolf, in: JHSET, 11 (1924–27), 1–91; A. Galante, Don Solomon Aben-Yaèche, Duc de Mételin (1936). (Cecil Roth)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Solomon Abenaes — Solomon Abenaes, auch Abenaish, Abenyaex, Aben Ayesh, Ibn(Eben) Yaish (* um 1520 in Tavira als Alvaro Mendes; † 1603 im Osmanischen Reich) war ein marranischer Geschäftsmann und Diplomat. Leben Solomon Abenaes wurde um 1520 im südportugiesischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ibn Yaish, Solomon (Abenaes) — (d. 1603)    Turkish statesman and merchant. Born a Portuguese marrano, he reverted to Judaism in Turkey. He later became Duke of Mytilene and was the organizer of the Anglo Turkish alliance against Spain …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • HISTORY — For Prehistory see archaeology ; for Biblical and Second Temple periods, see history . Destruction of the Second Temple until the Arab Conquest (70–640 C.E.) THE EFFECTS OF THE WAR OF 66–70 C.E. The Jewish war against the Romans, which lasted… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • THE MIDDLE AGES — …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • BANKING AND BANKERS — Antiquity There is little likelihood that financial transactions played a prominent role in the pre Exilic epoch in Ereẓ Israel; according to the ethos of Jewish society, then founded on a pronounced agrarian structure, lending was part of the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ENGLAND — The British Isles were unknown to the Jews until a late date, and the settlement of the Jews in medieval England was among the latest in Europe. It is possible that a small nucleus was to be found there under the Romans and that in the Saxon… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • JABEZ — JABEZ, 16th century family of scholars and Hebrew printers of Spanish origin. SOLOMON (d. before 1593) and JOSEPH JABEZ set up a Hebrew press in Salonika in 1546. They were the sons of ISAAC JABEZ (d. before 1555) and grandsons of joseph jabez ,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • LONDON — LONDON, capital of england and seat of what has always been the largest Jewish community in the country. Medieval Period There is no reliable evidence for the presence of Jews in London until after the close of the Saxon period. After the Norman… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • TITLES OF NOBILITY — in Europe were originally bound up with land tenure, and if only for this reason Jews were automatically excluded from holding them in the Middle Ages. A Jew, Ḥayyim (Cham), is referred to in a fifth century epitaph found in Venice as clarissimus …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Marranen — oder Marranos, auch conversos und Neuchristen (span. Cristianos nuevos, port. Cristãos novos) sind iberische Juden und deren Nachkommen, die unter Zwang oder schwerem Druck zum Christentum bekehrt wurden. Oft wurde ihnen vorgeworfen, als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.