Maimi, Simon

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MAIMI, SIMON (d. 1497), a rabbi from Segovia, in Castile, who found refuge in Portugal. Maimi was martyred when *Manuel i, king of Portugal, tried to force him to accept Christianity, thinking that if the chief rabbi set the example all the Jews could soon be baptized. The attempt to convert Portuguese Jewry occurred during the spring of 1497, following the promulgation of the edict of expulsion on Dec. 4, 1496. Maimi and about eight leading personalities – including his son-in-law, and probably Abraham b. Jacob *Saba, Abraham b. Samuel *Zacuto, and Isaac b. Joseph *Caro – were thrown into a dungeon and buried up to their necks. The group refused to yield, and when the wall was torn down a few days later Maimi was dead. His body was stealthily taken by several Marranos who, at the risk of their lives, succeeded in burying him in the Jewish cemetery near Lisbon.


Roth, Marranos, 60; N. Slouschz, Ha-Anusim be-Portugal (1932), 9, 63.