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AMIGO, MEIR:

A Spanish Jew, who lived in the second half of the eighteenth century at Temesvar (Hungary). He was nicknamed "Re chico" (the little king) on account of his wealth, and was highly respected at the court of Maria Theresa. At Constantinople he had many connections, and was an intimate friend of Diego de Aguilar. When, through private sources, Aguilar learned of the imminent expulsion of the Jews from Bohemia, he wrote to Amigo asking the latter to go to Constantinople and bring his influence to bear in favor of his threatened coreligionists. Amigo went, and succeeded in persuading the sultan to send an envoy extraordinary—the Jew, Coronel—with an autograph letter to the empress. By this means she was induced to repeal the decree of expulsion. Judah, Isaac, Menahem, and Joseph ben Meir Amigo, other members of this family, also lived at Temesvar.

Bibliography:
  • Franco, Essai sur l'Histoire des Israélites de l'Empire Ottoman, p. 121;
  • A. von Zemlinsky, Gesch. der Türkisch-Israelitischen Gemeinde zu Wien, pp. 5 et seq.
M. K.
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