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ABRAHAM OF BEJA:

A learned Jew who lived in Alemtejo, Portugal, during the latter half of the fifteenth century. Being an extensive traveler, he knew many languages, and for that reason King John II. ordered him to accompany Joseph Zapateiro of Lamego upon the latter's expedition to discover Covilham, who had himself been sent in search of the mythical Christian king, Prester John. They discovered Covilham in Lower Egypt, and brought back news of his welfare, together with information that led to the epoch-making voyage of Vasco da Gama.

Bibliography:
  • Grätz, Gesch. d. Juden, viii. 380 (in the English translation this name is erroneously given as Abraham de Beya);
  • Kayserling, Columbus, pp. 19, 20;
  • Jacobs, Story of Geographical Discovery, p. 89.
W. M.
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