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PRADO, MOSES:

Christian convert to Judaism; lived in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, first at Marburg, Germany, and later at Salonica, Turkey. His Christian name was Conrad Victor, and he filled the position of professor of the classic languages at the University of Marburg.Finding it impossible to accept the dogma of the Trinity and of the divinity of Jesus, he went, in 1607, to Salonica, where he embraced Judaism, assuming the name of Moses Prado. After a residence of seven years in that city he began to solicit permission from the Duke of Hesse to return to Marburg, where he had left his wife. In a series of letters addressed by him to an old friend at Marburg named Hartmann, Moses justifies himself for embracing Judaism. The truth of Judaism, he declares, is beyond question, since both the Mohammedans and the Christians are compelled to acknowledge it. He only asks the Duke of Hesse to show himself as tolerant as the sultan, who grants freedom of conscience to every man. The desired permission was refused, and Moses remained at Salonica until his death.

Bibliography:
  • Schudt, Compendium Historiœ Judaicœ;, p. 404;
  • idem, Deliciœ Philologicœ, pp. 239 et seq.;
  • Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, xiv. 844;
  • Diefenbach, Judœus Conversus, p. 141;
  • H. L. Benthem, De Statu Belgii Ecclesiastico et Scholastico, ii. 260;
  • Cerenius, Animadversiones Historico-Philologicœ, viii. 218 et seq.
D. I. Br.
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