ABENMENASSE (also Abinnaxim) family of courtiers in Spain. SAMUEL ABENMENASSE, probably born in Valencia, was appointed by Pedro III of Aragon (1276–85) as his alfaquim, or physician and secretary for Arabic correspondence (thus being known as "Samuel Alfaquim"). He sometimes acted also as the king's personal emissary. About 1280 he was tax farmer of the bailía of Játiva where he held most of his property. He took part in several expeditions of Pedro, accompanying him to Sicily in 1283, and by royal order was exempted from taxation (1280, 1284) and from the obligation to wear the jewish badge (1283). Samuel was subsequently imprisoned for financial offenses and in 1285 was dismissed from all his offices. It is doubtful whether he is the Samuel Alfaquim who went to Granada and Morocco in 1292 and 1294 as Aragonese envoy. Samuel's brother JUDAH (d. c. 1285) was active in affairs concerning the bailía of Játiva and vicinity. In 1282 he went to collect the tribute owed by the Muslims in Valencia. He was imprisoned in 1284 on charges of corruption. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Baer, Spain, 1 (1961), index, S. V. Samuel Alfaquim; Romano, in: Homenaje a Millás-Vallicrosa, 2 (1956), 251–92.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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