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MARGARITA, ANTONIUS:

Convert to Christianity in the first half of the sixteenth century; born about 1500 at Ratisbon (Regensburg), where his father, Jacob Margolioth, was rabbi; died at Vienna; baptized in 1522 at Wasserburg, Bavaria. He was teacher of Hebrew successively at Augsburg, Meissen, Zell, Leipsic, and (from 1537 till his death) at the University of Vienna.

He wrote "Der Gantz Jüdisch Glaub mit Sampt ainer Gründlichen und Wahrhafften Anzaygunge, Aller Satzungen, Ceremonien, Gebetten, Haymliche und Offentliche Gebreuch, Deren sich dye Juden Halten, Durch das Gantz Jar, Mit Schönen und Gegründten Argumenten Wyder Jren Glauben," Augsburg, 1530; Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1544, 1561, 1689; Leipsic, 1705, 1713. The author ridicules Jewish ceremonies, accuses the Jews of usury and of sentiments hostile to Christians and Christianity, and argues against their Messianic hopes. He denounces the 'Alenu prayer as anti-Christian in tendency. Declaiming against the usury and idleness of the Jews, he appeals to the magistrates to remedy the evil and to force the Jews to perform manual labor. He charges the Jewish physicians with ignorance and greediness, and asserts that, despite their minuteness in ritual, the Jews are neither pious nor charitable, and that, notwithstanding their apparent aversion to proselytism, they are eager to gain adherents to their faith.

This libelous book had a great influence upon Luther, who made use of it in writing his "Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen." It was praised by Hoornbeck, B. Lutberus, and Joseph Müller; but Wagenseil speaks of it less favorably. When it appeared, Josel of Rosheim, being at that time at Augsburg, made complaint to Emperor Charles V., who appointed a committee to examine the denunciationscontained in the book. The author was imprisoned and later expelled from Augsburg.

Bibliography:
  • De le Roi, Die Evangelische Christenheit und die Juden, i. 221, Leipsic, 1884;
  • A. Fürst, Christen und Juden, p. 191, Strasburg, 1892;
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. ii. 330;
  • Geiger, Gesch. der Juden in Deutschland, ii. 324-325, v. 310-312;
  • Grätz, Gesch. ix. 190-191, 303-304, 314, note;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. No. 6263;
  • Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. i., No. 335;
  • G. Wolf, Studien zur Jubelfeier der Wiener Universität, pp. 28-29, Vienna, 1865.
D. S. Man.
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