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Kagan, Richard L., and Philip D. Morgan (eds.) 2009 Atlantic Diasporas. Jews, Conversos, and Crypto Jews in the Age of Mercantilism, 1500-1800 Baltimore, Maryland: The John Hopkins University Press. 307 1 table; 2 maps; cover illustrations: top—View of a Jewish settlement; bottom—view of Paramaribo. Reproduced from John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam (1796). ISBN 13: 978-0-8018-9035-2 and ISBN 10: 0-8018-9035-7 

Reviewer: António de Vasconcelos Nogueira,
University of Aveiro, Portugal.  
Areas of expertise: Jewish studies; Portuguese studies; Portuguese migration.



The Portuguese Nation:
Essays on Atlantic and Jewish Studies


At a glance, the reader is defied by an engaging title using the Greek term διασπορά, through Latin transliteration. Soon the reader realizes that it is taken not from the Bible [for instance, Deuteronomy 28, 25; 30, 4; Jeremiah 24, 5-8; Ezekiel 12, 3; 11; Acts 2, 5-11; 1Peter 1-2], but from Jonathan Israel’s book Diasporas within Diaspora (2002) (viii).

Strange though it may appear, this title is appropriately linked with Portuguese and Spanish Jews, as much as their descendants who were forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism. Both had been victims of systematic persecution directed against them and were forced to leave the Iberian Peninsula by economic and religious motives: “like other settlers of the Americas who arrived with spiritual aspirations, the economic orientation may have been more important for the Jewish entrepreneurs” (49).

Though comparatively small in number, these communities, known by The Portuguese Nation, had been scattered around the world. They had a significant impact on history. Why? Because Portuguese Jews and conversos had been particularly active in commercial pursuits as craftsmen, merchants, middlemen, financiers, during the cycle of cane sugar plantation and global trading in the context of the global economy prior to the so-called globalization (see: Landes, 1999; Braudel, 1949¹; 1967¹; 1979). Most of them ran small-sized family business in partnership or joint-ventures.

Editors Richard Kagan and Philip Morgan have assembled in one volume a set of ten essays on Atlantic and Jewish studies related to the Age of Mercantilism. That points towards Atlantic history methodology, which is focused on “broad perspectives,” “comparisons, transnational orientations, and expanded horizons” (vii).

The content took shape from the first “Lavy Colloquium” held at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, in 2005. This book is organized by thematic order and divided in three parts.

The first part opens with Jonathan Israel’s text on “Jews and Crypto-Jews in the Atlantic World Systems, 1500-1800,” followed by Adam Sutcliffe’s essay on “Jewish History in an Age of Atlanticism,” both appropriately written for the contextualization.

The second part deals with Mercantilism, with contributions made by Wim Klooster, whose survey concerns “Networks of Colonial Entrepreneurs: The founders of the Jewish Settlements in Dutch America, 1650s and 1660s;” Holly Snyder’s focus on comparative analysis through “English Markets, Jewish Merchants, and Atlantic Endeavors: Jews and the Making of British Transatlantic Commercial Culture, 1650-1800.” Two other interesting studies complete this economic history section: Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert’s essay “La Nación among the Nations: Portuguese and Other Maritime Trading Diasporas in the Atlantic, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries” induces the reader to further discussion about the subject; and Francesca Trivellato’s essay, “Sephardic Merchants in the Early Modern Atlantic and Beyond: Toward a Comparative Historical Approach to Business Cooperation,” questions the networks through economic and ethic values such as kinship, religious allegiances, trust, trading alliances, and commercial success.

In the third part, an attempt is made by other authors to discuss religious values and identity. According to Bruno Feitler, whose essay explores the short period of “Jews and New Christians in Dutch Brazil, 1630-1654,” “religious identity cannot be attributed exclusively to spiritual considerations but instead owed much to sentimental, social, economic factors.” (150). Aviva Ben-Ur, with “A Matriarchal Matter: Slavery, Conversion, and Upward Mobility in Suriname’s Jewish Community,” addresses the problem of Jewish identity through slavery, manumission, rabbinical and colonial institutions, and informs the reader about Jewish settlement and economic activities on the so-called Jews’ Savannah. The last two essays depict different treatments on “Catholics, Jews, and Muslims in Early Seventeenth-Century Guiné,” by Peter Mark and José da Silva Horta, for the scarce documentation about the subject and insights, as much as what we could call Jewish millenarianism and utopia linked to Montezino’s account, in Ronnie Perelis’ essay “These Indians Are Jews! Lost Tribes, Crypto-Jews, and Jewish Self-Fashioning in Antonio de Montezino’s Relación.” The book closes with an epilogue by Natalie Zemon Davis.

Editors Kagan and Morgan present the reader with new contributions vs “traditional national-based narratives” (18), new concepts such as “Port Jew” (viii), “Port Jew model” (vii) deriving from European Jewry, “plantation Jews” (viii; x), and a critical appraisal of theories and published material on trading diasporas, such as the Huguenots (56, 77, 80, 112), the Quakers (56, 112), or the Armenians (5, 29, 110-111) in comparative terms.

The book also has a table of contents, notes, and updated references, an index, and a list of the contributors. Some of the essays are based on a variety of archival sources, as well as primary and secondary literature.
Some of the ideas used throughout the essays are not clearly defined. For example, “Marrano converts” (28; note 6, 264), “a Nation within nations” (ix), “la Nación among the Nations” (xii, 75), “trust” (24; 118-119) “hybrid societies in the peripheries” (vii), “graded forms of hybrid identity” (27), “it was inquestionably the advent of Brazilian sugar” (8), “western Sephardic” (9; 29), “the Portuguese New Christian caste” (11), “networks in Ibero-America” (13), “[Sephardim], who gravitated to Ibero-America” (17), “Age of Atlanticism” (18).

It is unclear whether they are used as synonyms. One risks maximizing the Jewishness of it all. Indeed, these terms or concepts have different meanings, depending on the content analysis.

The Spanish term marrano, in Portuguese marrão; marrano, literally means “pig”.  Porcine meat is specifically excluded from the Jewish dietary. It is non-kosher because it is not “fit” for consumption in accordance with Jewish law [Torah, or Pentateuch see: Leviticus and Deuteronomy], and the rabbinical tradition. Hence marrano is an insult addressed by Spanish and Portuguese Roman Catholics against Jews and converted ones, also called New Christians. In turn, not all New Christians had been former Jews, as Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula were converted too. Later on, some of the Jews, and their descendants, who had been forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism and then returned to Judaism, adopted the term as a reference to their Iberian roots or identity in their diaspora (see: Ribeiro Sanches, 1973; Saraiva, 1985; Schwarz, 1993; Nogueira, 2004; 1999).

Part II of the book could have included more consistent economic historical analysis of questions linked with Mercantilism, such as “trading diasporas” or “trust” (see: Peyrefitte, 2005), for its “vagueness” (118), as Francesca Trivellato critically recognizes in her essay; “commenda”—a form of contract for financing maritime trade (see: Oliveira Marques 1977, on Pedro de Santarém, or Santerno, probably a New Christian factor and broker in Florence, Pisa and Livorno, who may be considered the first Poruguese Jewish author to write on insurance— Tractatus de Assecurationibus (1552)—); the structural analysis and modus operandi of the Portuguese Jewish small-sized family firms, banking operations, account books and commercial correspondence, partnership or joint-ventures.

The whole lot of essays contain plentiful references to familyties, their trading networks on the African shore (170-194), or Spanish Americas (33-49; 50-74; 122-151), in the Caribbean (152-169), and the economic success achieved by few individuals or families due to legal and illegal activities (28; 112), but there is very little economic historical or sociological analysis on issues like “usury,” “capitalism,” the image of the “Jew,” linked with Jewish economic activities, whose role was not recognised fair by Werner Sombart (2001) and Max Weber (2005).

However, Joseph de la Vega’s essay Confusion de Confusions (1688) on the stock exchange operations, and Isaac de Pinto’s Traité de la circulation et du credit (1771), [Treatise upon Credit and Money Circulation], would contribute to a better understanding of the Age of Mercantilism (see: Cardoso, 2002; Cardoso, and Nogueira, 2007; 2005).

An attempt to answer some of these questions is made by Holly Snyder, whose essay is focused on a survey of individual merchants, such as the Portuguese converso António Fernandes Carvajal [Carvalhal?] in London, Asser Levy in New York, one of the few Ashkenazim at the time, and Aaron Lopez in Newport, Rhode Island, a Portuguese Jew. These are cases of successful Jewish merchants who developed consumer markets in pursuit of global trade and trade between colonies (63-64).

Another very interesting aspect is the reliable global trading networks developed by the Portuguese Nation and the apprenticeship among Jewish family members. “Another informal practice was that of sending young boys to be educated by their uncles or grandparents—a form of intra familial adoption—suggests a customary way of forming cross hatched connections between different families” (87), as Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert notes.

Indeed, trade is the object of accounting and economic practices. The capitalistic ethicsis based on mutual trust, free enterprise, and responsibility. Therefore, the Portuguese and Spanish Jews maintained group endogamy practices as part of their commercial strategies to reinforce commercial ties. The result of that policy is that some couples have no offspring. It was the case of Isaac de Pinto, one of the main investors in the Dutch East India Company, a financier who later went bankrupt in 1763, married to a cousin.

Let us take the cases of Spinoza, Pissarro and Glückel von Hameln. Why? None is mentioned in these essays, but their paths illustrate a key statement of Studnicki-Gizbert: “The succession of nephews to the head of a merchant house was a common practice among Basques and Huguenots, as well” (93).

Despite the fact that Spinoza’s family was certainly not one of the richest in all of Amsterdam, Spinoza, in his Ethics (1677, iv, Addition, Ch. xxviii), considers money as compendium of all things, a real value that covers any other value. Where does it come from?

It is possible that Baruch Spinoza managed his father’s commercial house Bento y Gabriel de Spinoza between March 1654 and July 1656. This period comprehends two important events: his father’s death and Spinoza’s herem or excommunication from the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. Besides this, Spinoza kept the import-export activities of his father until October 1664. What kind of business was this? Michael de Spinoza, the father of the Portuguese-Jewish philosopher, dealt in jewels and made his investments in mercantile trade with the West Indies. Does it mean that Spinoza’s ethic approved business as a way of life? No, we cannot substantiate it. Spinoza’s philosophical thought does not relate to economic matters as such. But he did consider wealth, pleasure and honours as economic and moral values in his Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione (1662) [On the Improvements of Understanding]. Moreover, if money has a contradictory meaning, it is because human beings’ nature is also contradictory. But the main intriguing point is that Spinoza gave up his father’s business activity. Why? Michael de Spinoza was a merchant who married twice, and had three children—two daughters, Miriam and Rebekah, by his first wife, and he, Baruch Spinoza, the philosopher, by his second wife. Michael de Spinoza died in March 1654. His only son, Baruch Spinoza, was appointed to succeed in the management of father’s business, but it remains somehow unclear when and why he gave this all up before his excommunication in July 1656 at the age of twenty-three. He moved away from the Portuguese-Jewish quarter in Amsterdam and was cast out of contacts with the Jewish community. Does the “informal practice” (87) apply to Spinoza’s case? Certainly not.

Jacob Abraham Camilo [Camille] Pissarro (1830-1904), the Impressionist painter, whose descendants were also painters, was born at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas Island, once belonging to Danish West Indies, or Danish Virgin Islands, to a father of Portuguese-Jewish descent and a Dominican creole mother. Intriguing? Indeed, the Pissarro family had originated in Braganza, mainland Portugal. In the 18th century Camille Pissarro’s great grandfather, Pedro Rodrigues Álvares Pizzarro, was a converso. His grandfather, Joseph Gabriel, fled the country and established himself in Bordeaux, in southwest France, among other conversos, judaizers or New Christians. Pissarro’s grandfather there married Anne Félicité Petit [Anna Felicidade, a Pequena] in 1798. She had a brother, Isaac Petit, who migrated to St. Thomas Island, Danish West Indies, where he established himself. He married Rachel Manzano-Pomié. After his death, according to Isaac Petit’s will, the Portuguese Pissarro family branch in Bordeaux sent, in 1823, his nephew Abraham Frederico Gabriel Pissarro to deal with his uncle’s widow business. What kind of business was it? The Pissarro family branch established in the Danish West Indies or Virgin Islands operated a dry goods store. Therefore, Pissarro’s father left Bordeaux to St. Thomas in 1823. Soon, he and an aunt who was only a couple of years older than he became romantically involved, which gave rise to scandal among the small existing Portuguese-Jewish community, a congregation founded in 1796. To make things more difficult, Rachel, the aunt, gave birth to Camille Pissarro. They decided to announce their marriage in the St. Thomas Times newspaper, on 22 November 1826. But their wedding was not sanctioned by Jewish rabbinical law. And the next day, Pissarro’s announcement was promptly denied by the rulers and wardens of the Portuguese synagogue. They subsequently had two other girls. Abraham Frederico tried desperately to legitimize his claim and children, which took him seven years, with consequences to Camille Pissarro’s growth and later development, but this subject can be traced in Pissarro’s letters and biography (see: Pissarro, 2002; Pissarro, 1993). The Pissarro family was never truly accepted and reconciled within the small Portuguese Jewish community. It is understandable that Camille Pissarro was reluctant to embrace his Jewish background.

To return to Studnicki-Gizbert’s statement. Why was Abraham Frederico Gabriel Pissarro, the father of Camille Pissarro, the painter, appointed to run his uncle’s widow’s dry goods store business and to look after her? Because of the “informal practice” (87) or “common practice” (93), mentioned by Studnicki-Gizbert? Absolutely not. In Pissarro’s case, which may not be an explicit case of manumission, as reported in the essay of Mark and Horta about Jewish settlements in Senegambia, in early 17th century, or in the essay of Ben-Ur about Suriname’s Jewish community in the 18th century, the problem turns around the marital and legal status of Rachel Manzano-Pomié. She was a creole from Dominican Island converted to Judaism, who later opposed her son’s involvement and marriage to her own house maid, Julie Vellay, a French Roman Catholic girl, the daughter of a Burgundy region wine grower. The couple had in all eight children.

To elucidate the role of Jewish women, one may choose the case of Glückel von Hameln (1646-1724), who in many circumstances had to managed family business during the absence of her husbands—she was married twice—or elder sons, and even when she was a widow. Her Memories (1896) offers us an insight to many of these questions and a testimony of the main events in the Age of Mercantilism all across Europe, with references to the Portuguese Jews in Hamburg and Amsterdam (see: Hameln, 1977; Nogueira, 2008; 2004; 1999).

Going beyond economic history and sociological items, there are philosophical ideas linked with ethics, business activity, gender, matriarchal vs. patriarchal matters on social mobility (152-169), values, double identity, stereotypes, prejudice and representation—the Jew as Pariah (see: Arendt, 2008; Nogueira, 2004), heterodoxy vs orthodoxy lived by the Portuguese Nation in diaspora, which deserve to be discussed thoroughly.

For instance, the issues linked with Messianism and Utopia in Relación de Aharon Levi (1644), an account attributed to António de Montezinos about his meeting with the descents of the lost tribe of Reuben, the Reubenites (195-211), the messianic fervour of João de Yllán, or the ideas of Menasseh ben Israel, a rabbi and kabbalist, his relationship with Saul Levi Morteira, the rabbi that excommunicated Baruch Spinoza, and the cases of Uriel da Costa [Acosta], Juan del Prado and the critics from Balthazar [Isaac] Oróbio de Castro on Spinoza’s writings (see: Abreu, 1999; 1993; Yovel, 1989). It is known that Joseph da Costa [Acosta], the young brother of Uriel da Costa [Acosta], also lived in Dutch Brazil—Is there any link between Joseph da Costa [Acosta] and Isaac da Costa as “contemporary of” Joseph Pelegrino in Suriname (159)?—and that Isaac da Fonseca Aboab, and Mosseh Raphael d’Aguilar, both kabbalists and adherents of rabbi Sabbatai Zevi, were pointed as rabbis to Brazil.

The colonial Dutch Brazil period (1630-1654), particularly when John Maurice of Nassau (1637-1644) governed, gave Portuguese Jews and conversos the historical opportunity to openly establish their first synagogues to worship God. According to Bruno Feitler (126-128), the oldest synagogue opened in Recife, most likely in 1636, in a rented house. After four or five years a new one was built. Another synagogue was founded in Mauritia in 1637.  Other little esnogas are reported to have existed but without official status or autonomy, perhaps at private houses in order to celebrate Shabbat and other main Jewish festivities. Somehow unclear, Feitler called them “pseudo-synagogues” (127), “informal synagogues” (127), linked to “other informal gatherings” (128), and he states that relations between the Portuguese Jewish communities were tense (126), involving disputes between the leadership and the Jewish “conversos,” who remained ambiguously New Christians.

Deprived of the leadership of Maurice of Nassau, the West India Company lost control over the Dutch possessions in Brazil. Shortly after Portugal had revolted against the Spanish Habsburgs rule in 1640, and restored its independence, Portuguese settlers also took control over Dutch Brazil. Consequently Portuguese Jewish communities expanded to the Spanish possessions in the Americas (11; 92), faced again persecutions by the Inquisition and chose to flee, establishing themselves in other Dutch, English and French possessions in the Caribbean, as well as in North America, the so-called Nieuw Amsterdam (1614-1674) on Manhattan Island, which later became New York. It represents a turning point in the economy during the Age of Mercantilism.

Concerning the cultural aspects of Jewish life and heritage, Curaçao became, after 1650 a reference for all synagogues in the Americas and for long financial and spiritual support the Jewish diaspora, including the foundation of the first Jewish synagogues in North America dating from the colonial era, such as The Touro Synagogue built from 1759 to 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island, despite the fact that the Portuguese Jewish congregation itself dates back to the mid-1650s; and The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue built in 1897, but founded by the first Portuguese Jews from Dutch Brazil and Dutch Antilles, who gathered together in the same period.  However, the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam remains a reference or source of inspiration to their architecture and functional worship (see: Belinfante et al. 1991; Nogueira, 1999).

The analysis of the Jewish activities during the colonial Dutch Brazil period (1630-1654) has to take into account other counterparts. The role of the Portuguese Jesuit Priest António Vieira (1608-1697), his sermons, political economic writings, correspondence, and intense diplomatic activity carried on in England, France, the United Provinces, with the Holy See in Rome, and among the Portuguese Jews in Rouen, in Rotterdam, The Hague, and Amsterdam, has been ignored by the authors of the essays dealing with this item. Vieira involved himself for improving Portuguese economy in mainland and the colonies, the missionary work, and in several peace negotiations. In his memoranda Vieira urged the cession of Pernambuco to the Dutch. He committed himself to the reform of Portuguese inquisitorial procedure, the admission of Jewish and foreign merchants’ capital to create companies of commerce, and to finish persecutions against the Portuguese conversos. Vieira’s ideas and draft plans were not welcome by the king’s counsellors. He was denounced to the Portuguese Inquisition and kept in prison from October 1665 to December 1667. Released, Vieira travelled to Italy, for an audience with the Pope, to rehabilitate himself. During a six-year sojourn in Rome he became the confessor to former Queen Christina of Sweden, who once protected French philosopher René Descartes. Vieira eventually returned back to Portuguese Brazil with a papal bull exempting him from the jurisdiction of Portuguese Inquisition. As a result of Vieira’s diplomatic initiative, Pope Innocent XI suspended the Inquisition Tribunal activity in Portugal from 1676 to 1681 (See P.e Vieira, 1951-1954; P.e Vieira, 1970-1971; Nogueira, 2004).

Other ethical implications derive from slavery and the role of the Portuguese Jews, the subject of analysis in the essay written by Peter Mark and José da Silva Horta. On the one hand, all faced Inquisitorial persecution; on the other hand, some took part in the slave trade, together with Christians, Muslims, and African rulers of Petit Côte, Joala and Porto Ale, in Senegambia (170). But their network also extended to São Tomé, Angola, and Brazil (171). They competed against other Roman Catholic Portuguese merchants and slave traders, based in the Cape Verde archipelago and at Cacheu, Guiné-Bissau (173). Taking advantage of local hospitality and Islamic dhimma status, soon the Portuguese Jews were involved in polemics with other Portuguese merchants and missionaries (175-178; 190), with mutual charges of idolatry and blasphemy, judaizing and proselytism, which has led Mark and Horta to conclude that “from Amsterdam to Guinea, trade and conversion were complementary” (191).

In 1612, a certain Jacob Peregrino, also known as Jerónimo Rodrigues Freire, was sent to Petite Côte to serve as rabbi among the predominantly Portuguese Jewish male merchant population, estimated in twenty or thirty individuals, with their African families and descendants (170; 188-189).

Considering the problem of slavery, manumission, and their Jewish identity, some Portuguese Jews were forced to ignore the Jewish law “of passing on Jewish identity through the father” (189) rather than through the mother. The same situation occurred in Suriname. By the 1660s there was no more evidence of a Portuguese Jewish community trading in that region of Guinea (191).

How did these Jews succeed at managing their businesses and faith? Because identities were “flexible” (172), “contingent” (194), and toleration is based on cultural factors and economic interests, “they often changed in the course of a life time” (185-187), as realized Mark and Horta. These authors do admit that some of these Jews moved far away to Dutch Brazil (193).

However, both authors make no connection, if there has been a documented one, with the Portuguese and Spanish Jewish communities existing at that time in Morocco (Ceuta, Melilla, Tangiers, Tétouan, Fez, Marrakech), and in Algiers (Oran), or the Portuguese Jewish ventures carried on in Senegambia, and the same authors give no insight to the Portuguese and Jewish spoken languages in the former Portuguese and Spanish colonies of West Africa, such as Haketia (also written Hakitia, Haquítia) and Tetuani.

In Suriname, as it has been reported, where “Port Jews” and “Plantation Jews” were slave owners, but faced a small Jewish female population, they mixed with slave women of African descent, whose children they legitimized and educated in Jewish faith.

This attitude of miscegenation and proselytism, apparently contradictory to the established moral, followed by the manumission of children, born and raised outside of legal marriages, caused different reactions against them, based on racial status, prejudice and stereotyping (155; 165; note 3, 271). This was the case of Joseph Pelegrino, who applied to the court for the manumission of his three children, Simha, Jacob, and Mariana, as Aviva Ben-Ur illustrates in his essay (152; 157; 169). With regard to John Gabriel Stedman, a Dutch colonial officer in Surinam, and author of the aforementioned Narrative (1796), he also experienced a similar situation in order to legitimize his son, Johnny, born of his relation with the coloured slave Joanna. Often most of them met fierce opposition from institutions, the settlers, rabbis and clergy.

To conclude. African slave and creole women have been “a key component in the growth, survival, and redefinition of the Sefardi population” (154), as Aviva Ben-Ur states in his essay.

About Pelegrino´s geneology, with Portuguese-Jewish offspring in Senegambia and Surinam, as suggested by Mark and Horta in their essay, it lacks foundation and sounds speculative, as they themselves recognise: “Hence, it is at least remotely conceivable that the Pelegrino family of Suriname were directly descended from the rabbi of Petite Côte, Jacob Peregrino” (194).

Concerning the Portuguese and Spanish Jewish spoken languages on the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire, the Papiamento, as well as in Suriname, the Sranan Tongo, both developed initially from a pidgin to a widely spoken creole among the slaves, slaves owners and later among indentured labourers. Both creoles became lingua franca with official status (167-169). However, the Portuguese and Spanish Jews also made use of Ladino, Hebrew, Latin, French, Dutch and English, for different purposes far beyond commercial or religious issues (see: Nogueira, 1999; 2004; Cardoso, and Nogueira, 2007).

They founded not only synagogues in the Americas, inspired on the model of the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam, built in 1670-1675, but also Santa Companhia de dotar Orphas e Donzelas, founded in 1615 by Joseph Pardo, with a branch in Dutch Brazil, since 1639 to endow poor maidens (129-130; note 21, 265-266), and yeshiba [schools], as the Yeshiba de los Pintos in Rotterdam and then in Amsterdam, also the Academia de los Sitibundos (1676) and the Academia de los Floridos (1685), both founded by Manuel de Belmonte also known as Isaac Nuñez Belmonte.

Daniel [Miguel] Levi de Barrios (1625-1701), incidentally mentioned once by Bruno Feitler in his essay (127), António José da Silva (1705-1739), and the former mentioned Joseph de la Vega (1650-1692), and Isaac de Pinto (1715-1787), are the main literary references of that period, whose contribution as literati justified other reception in these collected essays.
In the arts, other leading representatives of the Portuguese Nation in Amsterdam were portrayed by Rembrandt—Menasseh ben Israel—and Romeyn de Hooghe—Isaac da Fonseca Aboab.

Having as “precedents” Bernardi, and Fiering (eds.) 2001, Cesarani 2002, Dubin 2006, from the perspective of Atlantic and Jewish studies—“the current volume is by no means the first to address this vast subject” (ix).
The book is recommended and worthy because it invites further inquiry of cross-approach nature. It has bibliographic value and contributes to deepen our understanding of the subject.


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Copyright 2009, ISSN 1645-6432
e-JPH, Vol.7, number 1, Summer 2009



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