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PORTALEONE ():

Jewish family of northern Italy, which probably derived its name from the quarter of Portaleone, situated in the vicinity of the ghetto of Rome. In 1399 Elhanan Portaleone was dayyan in Lombardy. The family included many physicians also among its members, Guglielmo (Benjamin) Portaleone acting in this capacity for Ferdinand I. of Naples, and subsequently for Galeazzo Sforza of Milan, after whose death he settled in his native city Mantua, where he practised until 1500. He, as well as his sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons, enjoyed the favor of the Gonzagas in Mantua, many of them being physicians to the members of that house. The following members of the Portaleone family deserve special notice:

Abraham Portaleone:

Physician in Mantua; died July 29, 1612; great-grandson of Guglielmo Portaleone (son of David, son of Lazzaro, son of Guglielmo); pupil of Jacob Fano. Dukes Guglielmo and Vincenzo, in whose service he was, granted him privileges in 1577 and 1587 respectively; and Pope Gregory XIV. gave him a dispensation which enabled him to attend Christians. At the request of Duke Guglielmo he wrote two medical treatises in Latin, which he dedicated to his patron, under the titles "Consilia Medica" and "Dialogi Tres de Auro" respectively; the latter treatise was published in 1584.

David Portaleone:

Physician in Mantua; died in 1655; son of Abraham Portaleone. He succeeded his father in his position as physician to the dukes of Gonzaga.

Guglielmo (Benjamin) Portaleone:

Physician; son of David Portaleone; took his degree at Sienna in 1639, and was licensed in Mantua. After the death of David Portaleone, Duke Charles II. requested Pope Innocent X. to grant Guglielmo the same privilege as had been bestowed upon his father and grandfather.

To a different branch of the family belongs Leone Ebreo, or Leone Sommo (di Sommi, ), who was otherwise known under the name Judah b. Isaac Portaleone. See Judah Leone ben Isaac Sommo.

Bibliography:
  • On the family in general: Wolf, in Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1862, p. 625;
  • Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibl. vi. 48 et seq., xx. 47;
  • Mortara. in R. E. J. xii. 112 et seq.:
  • idem. Indice, p. 51. On Abraham Portaleone:
  • Wolf, in Hebr. Bibl. i. 18:
  • Mortara, in R. E. J. iii. 96, xii. 115;
  • Reifmann, Ha-Shaḥar, iii.;
  • Steinschneider, in Monatsschrift, xiii. 263.
  • On Leone Ebreo: D'Ancona, Origini del Teatro in Italia, ii. 401 et seq.;
  • Déjob, in R. E. J. xxiii. 378 et seq.;
  • Neubauer, in Isr. Letterbode. x. 113 et seq.;
  • Perreau, in Vessillo Israelitico, 1883, pp. 373 et seq.:
  • Peyron, in Atti della R. Accademia, xix.:
  • Steinschneider, in Isr. Letterbode, xii. 73 et seq.;
  • idem, in Monatsschrift. xiii. 467 et seq.;
  • Vogelstein and Rieger, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, ii. 103;
  • Zunz, in Kerem Hemed, v. 154;
  • Creizenach, Gesch. des Neueren Dramas, 1901, ii. 290, 489.
D. H. V.
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