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MOROSINI, GIULIO (SAMUEL BEN NAḤMIAS B. DAVID B. ISAAC B. DAVID BA'AL TESHUBAH):

Italian convert from Judaism to Christianity; born at Venice 1612; died in 1687. He was descended from a wealthy family which traced its ancestry back to Nehemiah. His great-grandfather left Spain on the expulsion of the Jews by Ferdinand the Catholic, and went successively to Albania and Salonica. His grandfather Isaac later settled in Venice; and the boy Samuel was a pupil of the rabbi of that city, Leon of Modena. In 1649 Samuel was present at a disputationheld in Venice between two Jews (one of whom had become a Christian) and relating to the "seventy weeks" of Daniel. He then, together with his brother Joseph, decided to embrace Christianity, and was baptized Nov. 22 of the same year, his godfather being Angelo Morosini, whose name he took. His wife refused to change her faith.

Samuel went to Rome under Alexander VII., intending to become a Capuchin monk, but was dissuaded by the pope. Clement IX. appointed him Hebrew "scrittore" of the Vatican Library; and he taught that language in the Propaganda. He was the author of a work entitled "Derek Emunah" (Rome, 1683). It has as frontispiece a portrait of the author at the age of seventy-two, and is preceded by a sketch of his life.

Bibliography:
  • Bartolocci, Bibl. Magna Rab. iii. 404;
  • Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. i., No. 2140.
T. I. G.
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