Samuel Abravanel, > Italy

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Samuel Abravanel, > Italy

Also Known As: "Samuel Abarbanel"
Birthdate: (78)
Birthplace: Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Death: 1551 (74-82)
Ferrara, Province of Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Don Isaac Abarbanel דון יצחק אברבנאל and Rebecca Abarbanel
Husband of Benvenida Abarbanel
Father of Jacob Abravanel; Judahy Leone Abravanel; Isaac Rafanellum Abravanel; Giola Abravanel and Letizia Abravanel
Brother of Judah Leon Medigo Leon Abravanel, >Italy; Esther Abravanel and Joseph Abravanel, >Italy

Managed by: Malka Mysels
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About Samuel Abravanel, > Italy

The youngest of the three sons.

A generous protector of his co-religionists, he was the most fortunate of the family. He dwelt amidst the cool shades of the academy of Salonica, to which his father had sent him to finish his education in Jewish learning.


Youngest son of Isaac Abravanel, and grandson of Judah; was born in 1473, at Lisbon. His father sent him to Salonica to pursue his Talmudic studies, where he became the pupil of Joseph Fasi. He lived at Naples, and was employed as financier by the viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo. He made the best possible use of his great wealth, which amounted to more than 200,000 gold zecchini or sequins (about $450,000). The poet Samuel Usque said that he deserved the surname "Tremegisto," that is, "thrice great": great in scholarship, great in name (ancestry), and great in wealth. "He generously employs his wealth in promoting the welfare of his coreligionists. He enables many orphans to marry, supports the needy, and endeavors strenuously to free captives, so that in him are combined all the great qualities which make one fitted for the gift of prophecy." By his contemporaries he was surnamed "Nasi" (Prince), and was much respected. His second wife, Benvenida Abravanela, a woman of prudence, culture, grace, piety, and charity, nobly seconded his efforts. The viceroy of Naples permitted his daughter Leonora, later grand duchess of Tuscany, to be on friendly terms with Benvenida and even to become her pupil. Leonora looked up to her with filial love and respect.

Samuel Abravanel was a patron of Jewish learning. His house was a favorite resort for Jewish and Christian scholars. The Portuguese refugee, David ben Yaḥya, whom Samuel succeeded in placing as rabbi at Naples, and the cabalist Baruch of Benevento, were his intimates. Following in the footsteps of his father, and aided by his noble wife, Samuel was always ready to defend his brethren in faith. When Charles V. issued an edict to expel the Jews from Naples, Benvenida, with the assistance of Leonora, intervened in their behalf so effectively that the decree was revoked. But several years later, when Charles V. ordered the Jews either to leave the land or to wear the badge, the Abravanels settled in Ferrara, where Samuel died in 1551, and Benvenida three years later.

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Samuel Abravanel, > Italy's Timeline

1473
1473
Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
1551
1551
Age 78
Ferrara, Province of Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
1551
Age 78
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