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.
1510 ABRAHAM BEN ELIEZER HALEVI (Spain-Jerusalem)
An apocalyptic Kabbalist (c. 1460-1532) 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 Halevi, who was widely respected for his scholarly knowledge, urged people to repent and make themselves ready for the redemption. Among his many treatises on Kabbalah are Mashreh Kitrin (Untyer of Knots) Maamar Perek Chelek on talmudic sources for redemption and a commentary on Nevuat Hayeled (A Child's Prophesy). Halevi's letters unfortunately paved the way for the acceptance of messianic pretenders such as
and Shabbetai Zevi.
C. 1510 - 1569 DONNA GRACIA MENDES NASI (Beatrice de Luna) (Portugal-Italy-Turkey)
Philanthropist and Jewish Leader of Marrano extract. She married a banker and merchant, Francisco Mendes, also a Marrano, 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 Marranos. 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
Ancona burned 25 Marranos, she tried to organize a boycott of the port but was opposed by rabbinical authorities and some merchants. 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).
1511 - 1568 AMATUS LUSISTANUS
A Marrano and a 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.
1512 REGENSBURG (RATISBON) (Germany)
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 to Jews fleeing from Portugal.
1516 OTTOMAN EMPIRE
Under Selim I (1512-20), ("the Grim"), it conquered Syria and Eretz Israel from the Mamelukes. 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.
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.
1517 PROTESTANT REVOLUTION BEGINS
Broke the Roman Catholic hegemony over Europe.
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 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.