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DINIZ (=DENIS):

King of Portugal (1279-1325), and styled "the father of his country"; one of the most tolerant rulers of his time, and well disposed toward the Jews. He took care that the judges did not encroach on their rights, and did not admit unlawful witnesses. He did not compel Jews to wear special badges or to pay tithes to the Church, although the canonical law demanded both; and he particularly enjoined upon the authorities that all privileges granted the Jews by him or any preceding king should be recognized. Diniz granted special favors to individuals and to communities, as, for instance, to Braganca. He in 1295 appointed Don Judah, the chief rabbi ("Arrabi Mor"), as his treasurer. Judah's son and successor, Don Gedaliah, treasurer to Queen Doña Britiz, enjoyed such favor with the king that the latter gave him two tracts of land (terras), or, according to another version, two towers (torres), in Beja. On account of such favors shown to the Jews the Portuguese clergy complained of the king to the pope, but without avail; for the king would not change his attitude.

Bibliography:
  • Kayserling, Gesch. der Juden in Portugal, pp. 18 et seq.
G. M. K.
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