Arias, Joseph Semah

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ARIAS, JOSEPH SEMAH (or Ẓemaḥ ; late 17th century), Marrano author. While serving in Brussels as a captain in the Spanish Army, Arias was adjutant to another Marrano writer, Nicolás de *Oliver y Fullana. A décima burlesca (ten-line humorous dedication) of Arias' has survived. It was printed in Miguel de *Barrios' Flor de Apolo (1665), 165. It seems likely that he and Barrios were friends during their military service in the Spanish Netherlands (c. 1665). Like Barrios and Oliver y Fullana, Arias eventually left the army and settled in Amsterdam, where he joined the Jewish community. In Amsterdam he published a Spanish translation of Josephus' Contra Apionem, the Repuesta de Josepho contra Apión (Amsterdam, 1687), which he dedicated to Isaac *Orobio de Castro.


Kayserling, in: rej, 18 (1889), 287; idem, Bibl, 13; idem, Sephardim (Ger., 1859), 251–2; Roth, Marranos, index.

[Kenneth R. Scholberg]