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Castro, de


CASTRO, DE , family of Marrano physicians in Hamburg, Germany. rodrigo de castro (1550–1627) was active in medical practice in Lisbon where he was of service to the Spanish Armada before it sailed in 1588. In 1594 he settled in Hamburg, where he was reconverted to Judaism at the persuasion of another Marrano physician, Samuel Cohen (formerly Enrique Rodrigues). In Hamburg, Castro was in attendance on the count of Hesse, the bishop of Bremen, and the king of Denmark. His De universa mulierum morborum medicina (Hamburg, 1603) is considered to have laid the scientific foundations of the study of gynecology, while in his Medicus Politicus (ibid., 1614) he was one of the fathers of medical jurisprudence. His son, bendito de castro (alias Baruch Nehamias; 1597–1684), after studying in Padua, returned to Hamburg where he was physician to Queen Christina of Sweden. He was active in communal life and an ardent votary of *Shabbetai Ẓevi. His Flagellum Calumniantium seu Apologia in qua Anonymi cujusdam calumniae refutantur published under the pseudonym "Philotheus Castellus" (Amsterdam, 1631) answered the attacks on Portuguese physicians made by Joachim Curtius (1585–1642). He also published a work on fevers, Monomachia sive certamen medicum (Hamburg, 1647), dedicated to Queen Christina. Another son of Rodrigo de Castro, andre de castro (alias Daniel Nehamias) was also a physician of note and attended the Danish king.


H. Friedenwald, Jews and Medicine, 2 vols. (1944), index; Roth, Marranos, index. add. bibliography: Y.H. Yerushalmi, From Spanish Court to Italian Ghetto… (1971).

[Cecil Roth]

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