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Manus 11:  Setenca do Padre Frey Diogo da Assumpcam.  (Lisbon, Portugal), c. 1710

Identifier: Item 11

Scope and Contents

Language: Portuguese. Date: c.1710. Title: Setenca do Padre Frey Diogo da Assumpcam. Creator: Unknown. Place of creation: Lisbon, Portugal. Physical description: Paper, 8 leaves (16 p.) ; 22 x 16 cm. Summary: Persecution of Marranos ; Inquisition in Portugal ; Conversion to Judaism. Full manuscript title:  Setenca do Padre Frey Diogo da Assumpcam, Frade Capucho Antoninho, parte de Christao novo, natural de Vianna de Caminha, de ordens de Evangelho.  O qual sahio a queimar vivo no Auto publico da Fee, que se celebrou no Terreiro do Paco de la Cidade de Lisboa aos 3 de Agosto Anno de 1603, por hereje Apostata de nossa Santa Fee Catholica, convicto, confesso, pertinaz, impenitente e excluido para sempre de juridicam eccleziastica e ordens, etc.  Diogo da Assumpção (1569-1603) was a Marrano martyr killed during the Inquisition in Portugal:

Assumpção was born at Viana in Portugal. Only partly Jewish by descent, he was brought up as a devout Christian and became a Franciscan friar. His attention was directed to Judaism because of the ferocity with which it was persecuted, and in due course he made no secret of the fact that he accepted its tenets. Arrested by the Inquisition while attempting to escape abroad, he at first professed penitence, but later proudly confessed himself an adherent of the Law of Moses, "in which he lived and hoped to die, and to which he looked for salvation." Even in prison, he attempted to observe the Sabbath and dietary laws as he understood them, refused to take an oath on the Gospels, and argued vigorously against the theologians brought to convince him of his error. His execution by burning alive at the auto-da-fé held at Lisbon on Aug. 3, 1603, created a profound impression. He was considered one of the exemplary martyrs of the Inquisition by the communities abroad, and a number of elegies were composed in his honor. In Portugal, some devout Marranos formed a religious association in his memory, called the Brotherhood of S. Diogo in order to divert suspicion. His martyrdom inspired in particular the Marrano group in the University of Coimbra led by Antonio Homem  [Roth, Cecil.  “Assumpção, Diogo da” in Encyclopaedia Judaica, ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Vol. 2. 2nd ed.  (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007):  615].

This manuscript contains an account of Assumpção’s trial for heresy and its aftermath, and is described by the bookseller as unpublished.  For more information on Assumpção, see Cecil Roth’s A History of the Marranos (Philadelphia:  Press of the Jewish Publication Society of America, 1947):  149-151. Note: Disbound.  Pages numbered 121-136.  Written in brown ink in a neat cursive Portuguese hand.  Sale price visible in pencil in upper left margin of first leaf.  Description from bookseller’s catalogue pasted to cover of archival folder in which manuscript was originally housed.  Possibly originally part of the same manuscript as “Setenca do…Padre Luiz de Azurar Lobo,” since both were purchased from the same seller and identified as being written in Lisbon around 1710 ; leaves are very close in size and hands look very similar, though here the ink is lighter.  Gift of the Abner A. Wolf Foundation in memory of Mrs. Sadie Mannheimer, n.d. Call #: Manus 11


  • Creation: c. 1710

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