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ARIAS, JOSEPH ẒEMAḤ (SAMEH):

Marano litterateur; flourished in the latter part of the seventeenth century. He belonged to the literary coterie of Joseph Penso, the dramatist, and held a high commission in the Spanish army at Brussels.

He attained the rank of captain and was at one time adjutant to Colonel Nicolas Oliver y Fullano. He is heard of in Brussels and in other Dutch cities as the companion of the poet De Barrios. He is better known, however, from his translation into Spanish of Josephus' "Contra Apionem," which appeared in Amsterdam, 1687, under the title, "Repuesta de Josepho Contra Apion Alexandrino, Traduzida por el Capitan Joseph Semah Arias." The translation was dedicated to Isaac Orobio de Castro, and was printed with the approbation of Isaac Aboab de Fonseca.

Bibliography:
  • Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, 3d ed., x. 181;
  • Kayserling, Sephardim, pp. 253, 351;
  • idem, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 13.
H. G. E. G.
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