Del Banco, Anselmo

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DEL BANCO, ANSELMO (Asher Levi Meshullam ; d. 1532), head of the Jewish community in Venice. Owner of several loan-banks in the Venetian territories, Anselmo took refuge in Venice (from which the Jews had been hitherto excluded) when Padua was sacked by troops of the League of the Cambrai in 1509. From then on he acted as spokesman for Venetian Jewry and was largely responsible for securing rights of residence and taxation. He represented the community also in 1516 when the senate decided to establish a ghetto. He was also involved with the Jewish community of Jerusalem, sending money and helping those who sailed there from Venice. He also corresponded with the famous kabbalist *Abraham ha-Levi of Jerusalem on messianic subjects, and his son Shimon covered the expenses of David *Reuveni in Venice. His daughter Diamant was married to Jehiel da Pisa.

His brother vita (Hayyim) was also a wealthy banker and philanthropist. The family members were proprietors of one of the seven Venetian synagogues, known as the Scuola Meshulamim. Some of their descendants settled in Hamburg and were among the ancestors of the *Warburg family.


N. Porgès, in: rej, 77 (1923), 20–40; 78 (1924), 15–34; C. Roth, Venice (1930), 40–58, 141, 203; M. Sanuto, Diarii (1879– ), indices. add. bibliography: A. David, in: Shalem, 6 (1992), 319–33 (Heb.); S. Simonsohn and M. Benayahu, Seder Eliyahu Zuta, 2 (1977), 215–327; B. Pullan, Rich and Poor in Renaissance Venice (1971), 479–88.

[Giorgio Romano /

Moti Benmelech (2nd ed.)]