Home   69   200   300   400   500   600   700   800   900   1000   1100   1200   1300   1400   1500   1600   1700   1800   1900


Search for text:
Date Range From:
Date Range To:

Names Index

Entries Index

Places Index


The first known printing of a book in Ladino. Ladino is a Judeo-Spanish dialect which spread to the Levant as well as the Ottoman Empire after the expulsion from Spain in 1492. Ladino is printed in Hebrew script similar to Yiddish. The first translation of the bible was a book on Psalms in 1540 published in Constantinople.


A rabbinical leader and apocalyptic Kabbalist (see 1460) wrote letters proclaiming the year 1524 as the beginning of the arrival of the Messiah. HaLevi, who was originally from Spain, spent many years wandering after the expulsion until he settled in Jerusalem in 1514. There Ha-Levy who was widely respected for his scholarly knowledge, urged people to repent and make themselves ready for the redemption. He believed that the ascension of the Ottoman empire as well as the episode of David Reubeni were signs. Halevi's letters unfortunately paved the way for the acceptance of messianic pretenders such as Molcho (see 1500) and Shabbetai Zevi (see 1626).

C. 1510 - 1569 DONNA GRACIA MENDES NASI (Beatrice de Luna) (Portugal-Italy-Turkey)

Philanthropist and Jewish Leader of Converso extract. She married a banker and merchant, Francisco Mendes, also a Converso, and was widowed with a daughter at age 26. Moving to Antwep to join the banking business with her brother-in-law Diogo Mendes, they established an underground organization to help fleeing Conversos. In Ferrara, she declared her Judaism and took on the name Nasi. She later relocated to Constantinople where she used her wealth for various philanthropies including establishing yeshivot, synagogues, and feeding the poor. When in 1555 the Italian city of rn Ancona burned 25 Conversos, she tried to organize a boycott of the port but was opposed by rabbinical authorities and some merchants including Benvenida Abravanel. She passed on her influence to her son-in-law and nephew, Don Joseph Nasi.

1510 - 1573 (12 Kislev 5334) SOLOMON LURIA (The Maharshal) (Brest-Litovsk)

A contemporary of Solomon Shakna, he represented an opposing view in talmudic study, as he believed in plain but lucid methods. He was also the author of the Yam Shel Shlomo (Sea of Solomon) on several volumes of the Talmud, and Chokmat Shlomo (Wisdom of Solomon) in which he corrected many faulty readings in the Talmud, Rashi and the Tosafot.

1510 July 19, BRANDENBURG (Germany)

Jews were accused of desecrating the host and stealing church vessels. Joachim the Elector had thirty-eight Jews burned at the stake in the market place along with the real offender (a Christian). Another two accepted Christianity and were mercifully beheaded. Soon after, all the Jews were expelled from the entire electorate of Brandenburg. All the accused were proved completely innocent at the Diet of Frankfurt in 1539, and those that left were permitted to return.

1510 November 23, NAPLES (Italy)

The Jews were expelled. Fifteen years earlier the Spanish had conquered the island and within a year had issued an order for the banishment of all Jews, which was never carried out. Now the community, which had existed since Roman times, was forced out. The only Jews remaining were the "New Christians" (who were to be expelled 5 years later) and 200 wealthy families, who paid a new annual tax for such tolerance.

1511 - 1548 BOMBERG PRINTING HOUSE (Venice, Italy) (Daniel Bomberg) (d. c. 1550)

A pioneer printer. Despite his name, Daniel Bomberg was not Jewish. The son of an Antwerpen burgher, Cornelius von Bomberghen, he was shown the possibilities of printing Hebrew books by the apostate Jew, Felice da Prato, who had a printing license from the Pope. Bomberg moved to Vienna where he was able to obtain a similar license. His printing house published a total of more than 200 books, including the first Mikraot Gedolot (see 1517), which combined the Pentateuch with many commentaries on the same page and which is still used today. Bomberg is also credited with the first complete printing of both the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud (see 1523).


A Converso and famous physician, he had to flee from Portugal to Belgium to Salonika before he found freedom from the Inquisition. His major work, Centuries, a seven volume composition of medical case histories, was published many times.

1511 June 6, SICILY

The first Auto da Fe was held. Eight former Spanish converts were accused of practicing Judaism and were executed.


The Jewish community was expelled after rival princes could not agree on who should receive the Jewish taxes.

1513 - 1521 POPE LEO X

An enlightened clergyman from the Medici family, he even encouraged Hebrew scholarship.

1514 - 1578 AZARIAH DE ROSSI (Ferrara, Italy)

Scholar and author of Me'or Enayyim (Light of the Eyes), a book on Jewish history (see 1575). A descendant of one of the first Jewish families in Italy (Min Ha'Adumim), he introduced the scientific method of comparing sources to Jewish study. De Rossi earned the ire of many when he proved that Jossiphon was actually written in the medieval times and was not reliable as a historical work.

1514 June 14, AZEMMOUR (Morocco)

A Portuguese-run free city which offered "privileges" (/a charter) to Jews fleeing from Portugal.

C. 1515 - C. 1587 GEDALIAH IBN YAHYA (Italy)

Talmudist and historian . He wrote more than 20 works only a few which are in existence. He worked on his Sefer Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah, (" Chain Of Tradition") for 40 years. It included philosophy kabbalah genealogy and the history of his time . His work has been criticized as not always accurate, but is important none the less.

1515 January 1, LAIBACH AUSTRIA

Acting on the petition of its citizens, Emperor Maximilian I (1459- 1519) expelled the Jews from Laibach. Only in 1867 were the Jews once again give the right to settle in the city.

1516 JEWISH GHETTO (Venice, Italy)

Was established. It was called the Ghetto Nuovo or the New Foundry. The basis for the ghetto is found in the Cannon of the third Lateran Council (1179), forbidding Jews and Christians to live together. In France it was called the Carriére des Juifs, and in Germany the Judengasse or Judenstadt. The ghetto era was to last almost 300 years, though later also revived by the Nazis.


Under Selim I (1512-20), ("the Grim"), it conquered Syria and Eretz Israel from the Mamluks. The Ottoman reign was to last 400 years. Under it, Jerusalem and Safed became the two major centers of Jewish populations in Eretz Israel. The manufacturing of firearms, which had been brought to the empire by exiled Jews, played a major role in Selim's victory.


Broke the Roman Catholic hegemony over Europe.

1517 - 1583 NICOLAS DE NICOLAY (France)

Soldier, cartographer, and spy. In 1551, he joined the second expedition sent by King Henry II of France (1519 – 1559) to the Ottoman Empire. He returned with over 800 drawings of sites, cities, islands, ports, castles and fashion, and was appointed “Géographe et valet de chambre du roi” (Geographer and Valet to the Chamber of the King). In 1565 he was asked by Catherine de’ Medici, Henry’s widow, to prepare a description of the provinces of the French kingdom. He is also believed to have also made a terrestrial globe.


Jews make up 54% of the population.

1517 January 24, SAFED ATTACKED

During the conflict between the Mamluks and the Ottoman Turks over control of the area, the Jewish community was attacked by retreating Mameluke forces and local Arabs. Many Jews were killed and their homes plundered. The Jews of Egypt under Rabbi Nissan Bibas helped the victims and the rehabilitation of the town. The Jews in Hebron were attacked as well. Most fled to Beirut, not returning for the next 16 years.

1517 December 21, (27 Kislev 5278) VENICE, THE MIKRAOT GEDOLOT

The first Pentateuch with Biblical commentaries was printed by Daniel Bomberg. It was also the first Bible to be divided into chapters.

1519 February, HERNAN CORTÉS'S

Army lands on the Yucatan Pennisula on the way to conquer what will become Mexico. It includes 100 conversos


Were found on the wall of many churches claiming "The Messiah has not come. Jesus was not the true Messiah." Expansive rewards were offered to find the perpetrator. The Conversos fearful of the reaction posted an announcement declaring that" I the author, am neither Spaniard nor Portuguese, but an Englishman" Despite this the author Manuel da Costa was caught and confess after his hands were cut off and he was stretched on the rack. The he was publicly burned.

1519 February 21, RATISBON (Regensburg, Germany)

Upon the death of Maximillian, the Jewish community of approximately 800 (one of the oldest in Germany), was expelled. The synagogue was destroyed and a chapel built in its place. About 5,000 gravestones were taken the Jewish cemetery and used for building.

© 1996 - 2015. This material is copyrighted and cannot be used without the permission of the author.