1580 DOM ANTONIO (Prior of Crato) (Portugal)
Laid claim to the Portuguese throne after Henry II died without leaving an heir. Dom Antonio was the grandson of King Manual, whose son Dom Luiz married a Marrano. King Phillip II of Spain quickly annexed Portugal. A French, and later English expedition backed by Marrano funds, to take Portugal, ended in failure. Antonio later blamed the Marrano community for his failure and turned against them, especially against Roderigo Lopez (see 1525) accusing him of treason.
Joachim Gaunse of Prague, a professing Jew, had been invited to England to help oversee and develop mining operations. He was accused of heresy when he denied believing in Christianity, but whether he was punished for this is unknown.
1581 RETORT TO THE DIALOGUES OF CHEKHOVICH (Poland)
The retorts was published by Rabbi Jacob from Belzhytz (near Lublin) as an answer to Martin Czechowicz’s (1532-1613), attacks on Judaism. Czechowicz was a leader within the Anti-Trinitarians Christians in Poland. These “heretical” groups included the Arians (named after Arius of Alexander 320 ce.) and Socinians named after the Italian Faustus Socinus. The Church attacked them as "Judaizers". Partly in response, Czechowicz had published vociferous attacks arguing against basic Jewish tenets.
1581 March 30, POPE GREGORY XIII
Issued a Bull banning the use of Jewish doctors. This did not prevent many popes from using Jews as their personal physicians.
1583 February 19, ROME (Italy)
Three Portuguese Marranos from Ferrara were burned in Rome's Campo dei Fiori at the command of Pope Gregory XIII. One of them, Joseph Saralbo, proudly proclaimed that he had helped 800 Marranos return to Judaism. According to reports, he asked the Jews of Rome not to mourn for him stating "I am on my way to meet immortality."
Since the Ottoman conquest some 40 years earlier tensions had risen between the Turks and the local Zaydi population - with the Jews in the middle. The Zaydi Iman al-Mutahhar accused the Jews of aiding the Turks and reinforced regulations regarding special Jewish dress and head coverings, especially in Sana.
1586 - 1677 (26 Shvat 5427) DAVID BEN SAMUEL HALEVI (Poland)
Called the Taz after his commentary, Turai Zahav (Rows of Gold). This, together with works by the Bach (Joel Sircus 1650), and the Rama (Moses Isserles 1520-1572), formed the most important halachic commentaries upon which most of modern halacha is based.
1586 October 22, POPE SIXTUS V (Italy)
Gregory's successor. He revoked Gregory's policies allowing Jews to reside in the Papal states and to print the Talmud. These policies were reinstated upon his death and lasted until 1870.
1587 - 1643 SALAMONE DE ROSSI (Italy)
The leading Jewish composer of the late Italian Renaissance and the musical director to the Ducal court of Mantua. He was an innovator of polyphonic music and the most noted Italian-Jewish musician of his time. He had his own orchestra which was invited by Alessandro, Duke of Mirandola, as "the Jew Salamone and his company". His most famous compositions are Ha-Shirim Asher li-Shelomo, 33 pieces of traditional Hebrew texts, and other religious poems for the synagogue service.
1588 SPANISH ARMADA
Was defeated by England. Spain's position was significantly weakened. As a by-product, the Inquisition was less powerful, especially in the Netherlands.