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Assumpção, Diogo da


ASSUMPÇÃO, DIOGO DA (1579–1603), Marrano martyr. 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, Marranos, 149–51; Barnett, in: jqr, 15 (1924/25), 213–19; Archives of Torre do Tombo, Lisbon, Inquisicāo de Lisboa, proc. no. 104 (in the course of publication).

[Cecil Roth]

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