NASI, GRACIA

NASI, GRACIA (c. 1510–1569), Marrano stateswoman and patroness. A member of the first generation of Portuguese Marranos (probably of Spanish descent), her original name as a Christian in Portugal, where she was born, was Beatrice de Luna. In 1528 she married Francisco Mendes, also a Marrano, who with his brother diogo mendes built up out of a business in precious stones an important banking establishment, with a branch in Antwerp (directed by Diogo) which soon outdid the main establishment in importance. In 1537, after her husband's death, the widow left Portugal with her family (including her nephew, João Micas (Miques, Miguez), later joseph nasi ) and went via England to the Low Countries, where she joined her brother-in-law. There she became known in aristocratic society, and assisted her brother-in-law in his efforts to aid the flight of the Marranos and to stop the activity of the Inquisition in Portugal. After Diogo's death in 1543 she fled from Flanders (1545), leaving much of her property behind, and settled in Venice. There she was denounced to the authorities as a Judaizer by her own sister Reyna, Diogo's widow. João Miques, however, secured Turkish diplomatic intervention on her behalf and she was released. She and her family then settled in Ferrara. About this time she threw off the disguise of Christianity and became known by her Jewish name of Gracia Nasi. In Ferrara she continued her remarkable work for organizing the flight of fugitive Marranos from Portugal; this is described in samuel usque 's Consolaçam as Tribulaçoens de Israel, which (together with the Ferrara Spanish Bible of 1553) is dedicated to her in admiring terms. In 1553 Gracia Nasi settled in Constantinople, where she continued similar activity; she also patronized scholars and established academies and synagogues in Constantinople and Salonika, and perhaps elsewhere. In 1556–57, she attempted to organize a punitive boycott of the port of ancona in Italy, in retaliation for the burning there of 26 Marranos as renegades from the Christian faith; she secured the intervention of the sultan for some of the accused who were Turkish subjects, including her business agents. In 1554 she was joined in Constantinople by her nephew (henceforth Joseph Nasi), who married her only child Reyna and was now associated closely with all her enterprises, both political and commercial. In 1558 or 1559 she secured from the sultan, in return for an annual payment of 1,000 ducats, a grant of the ruined city of tiberias in Ereẓ Israel, where she set up a yeshivah; this grant was subsequently renewed, with a political motivation by Joseph Nasi. Doña Gracia was certainly the outstanding Jewess of her day, and perhaps of the entire period between the fall of the Jewish state and the present. She was known as La Senora, or Ha-Geveret, and the synagogue known by this name long continued to exist in Constantinople. She was, however, inactive, perhaps because of ill health, for some years before her death, possibly in Ereẓ Israel, in 1569. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Roth, The House of Nasi: Dona Gracia (1947); idem, in: The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Volume of the Jewish Quarterly Review (1967), 460–72; A. Fernand-Halphen, Une grande   dame juive de la Renaissance: Gracia Mendesia Nasi (1929); P. Grunebaum-Ballin, Joseph Naci duc de Naxos (1968), passim; Ginsberger, in: REJ, 83 (1930), 179–92. (Cecil Roth)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gracia Mendes Nasi — (Gracia is archaic Portuguese and Spanish for the Hebrew Hannah, also known by her Christianized name Beatriz de Luna Miques, 1510–1569) was one of the wealthiest Jewish women of Renaissance Europe. She married into the eminent international… …   Wikipedia

  • Gracia Nasi — Gracia Nassi Pour les articles homonymes, voir Nasi. Gracia Nasi, ou Béatrice de Luna, selon le nom adopté en tant que prétendue catholique, née en 1510 à Lisbonne (Portugal), est une femme légendaire de la Renaissance, qui géra une immense… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gracia Nassi — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Nasi. Gracia Nasi, ou Béatrice de Luna, selon le nom adopté en tant que prétendue catholique, née en 1510 à Lisbonne (Portugal), est une figure de la Renaissance, qui géra une immense fortune familiale et prêta… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gracia Nasi — (* 1510 in Portugal; † 1569 bei Konstantinopel; christlicher Taufname: Beatrice de Luna Miques) war eine jüdisch sephardische Frau der Renaissance, sie leitete die Bank „House of Mendes/Nasi“, war Diplomatin und Philanthropin und als solche gilt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • NASI, JOSEPH — (c. 1524–1579), statesman. Nasi was born as a Marrano in Portugal, perhaps descended from the ancient Spanish Jewish family of Nasi. (See Chart: Nasi Family). He was the son of the Portuguese royal physician Agostinho (formerly Samuel) Micas (d.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Gracia Nasi — Gracia Nasi, cuyo nombre de conversa fue Beatriz de Luna Miques , también fue conocida simplemente comon La Señora , (1510 1569), fue una rica y poderosa mujer, nacida en una familia judía de Portugal, de origen aragonés. Vida A los dieciocho… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Nasi — bezeichnet Nasi (Titel) oder auch Nassi, hebräischer Titel eines Fürsten oder hohen Staatsbeamten Nasi, koptische Bezeichnung eines Monats Nationale Sicherheit, den kurzlebigen Nachfolger der Staatssicherheit der DDR; siehe Ministerium für… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gracia — may refer to:*Spanish word meaning grace **best known for the expression muchas gracias , meaning thanks a lot or many thanks Places: * Gràcia, a district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. ** Streets in this district: ** Passeig de Gràcia ** Carrer …   Wikipedia

  • Nasi — est un nom de famille notamment porté par : Joseph Nasi, marrane portugais au service de l Empire ottoman, seigneur de Tibériade et duc de Naxos Gracia Nasi (ou Béatrice de Luna), sa tante, banquière Guglielmo Nasi, général italien de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nasi (Mendes), Gracia — (c. 1510 69)    Portuguese marrano stateswoman and patroness. She was born in Portugal (as Beatrice de Luna), and married the banker Francisco Mendes. On his death she went to Antwerp in 1537. Fearing religious persecution, she escaped to Venice… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

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.