BENVENISTE, MOSES (second half of the 16th century), Turkish physician. As medical attendant to the grand vizier, Siavouch Pasha, Benveniste attained considerable influence in Turkish politics; in 1582 he was largely responsible for reinstating Peter the Lame as gospodar (ruler) of Moldavia. In 1583, in conjunction with Nissim, the Jewish director of the mint, he recommended the currency reform which led to a revolt of the Janissaries. Later, he was associated with the Jew david passi and the Italian Paolo Maria in unsuccessful intrigues with the English ambassador Barton against solomon abenaes , Duke of Mytilene. In 1598 Benveniste, who had always favored the pro-Spanish party in Turkish politics, was one of the three Turkish plenipotentiaries in the peace negotiations with Spain. Having exceeded their instructions, they were banished. It is possible that Benveniste unsuccessfully tried to escape this sentence by embracing Islam, but died a political prisoner, probably in Rhodes. The poet Yehudah Zarko, a native of Rhodes, wrote a long poem about the exile of Benveniste to Rhodes. His son, Rabbi Israel Benveniste, visited him there. It seems that he became one of the leaders of the Jewish community in Rhodes. Rabbi Israel died after 1695 and we have the poem which was written on his tombstone. His well-known grandchildren were Rabbi Ḥayyim Benveniste and Rabbi Moses Benveniste. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Rosanes, Togarmah 3 (19382), 8, 13, 356–8, 363; C. Roth, House of Nasi, Duke of Naxos (1948), 200, 204, 211, 215; A. Galanté, Turcs et Juifs (1932), 101; idem, Juifs de Rhodes (1935), 109f.; E. Charrière (ed.), Négociations de la France dans le Levant, 4 (1966), 246f. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Graetz-Shefer, 7, 309, 428. Benayahu, in: Sefunot 12 (1971–78), 123–45; C.M. Kortepeter, Ottoman Imperialism during the Reformation: Europe and the Caucasus (1972), 214–26; F. Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (1973), 1143–85. (Cecil Roth / Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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