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King João II of Portugal “O Príncipe Perfeito” and the Jews (1481-1495)

King João II of Portugal “O Príncipe Perfeito” and the Jews (1481-1495)


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King João II of Portugal “O Príncipe Perfeito” and the Jews (1481-1495)

Soyer, François (University of Southampton)

Sefarad (Sef) Vol. 69:1, enero-junio (2009) págs. 75-99

Abstract

King João II (1481-1495) is chiefly remembered in Portuguese historiography as the first “modern” King of Portugal and a monarch who vigorously worked to restore the status of the Portuguese Crown, weakened during the reign of his father Afonso V (1438-1481). In Jewish historiography, however, João II has become infamous for his persecution of the Jews who came to Portugal after their expulsion from Castile in 1492 as well as his order to seize Jewish children from their parents so that they could be converted to Christianity and sent to colonize the Island of São Tomé. Using Hebrew, Spanish and Portuguese sources, this article examines in detail the nature of the relations that existed between João II and the Jews, both those who were natives of Portugal as well as the Jewish exiles from Castile.

Abstract – Spanish

El rey João II de Portugal «o PríncIPe PerfeIto» y loS JudíoS.— El rey João II es recordado en la historiografía portuguesa principalmente como el primer rey «moderno» de Portugal, y un monarca que trabajó enérgicamente para restaurar el estatus de la Corona, debilitada durante el reinado de su padre Afonso V (1438-1481). Sin embargo, la historiografía judía ha construido una imagen del rey como infame por su persecución de los judíos expulsos llegados de Castilla en 1492, así como por la orden de sustracción de niños judíos a sus progenitores para usarlos en la colonización de la isla de São Tomé. Mediante el uso de fuentes hebreas, hispánicas y portuguesas, este artículo examina de forma detallada la naturaleza de las relaciones existentes entre João II y los judíos, tanto de los que eran nativos de Portugal, como de los castellanos exiliados.


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