Skip to main content

Montezinos, Antonio de


MONTEZINOS, ANTONIO DE (Aaron Levi ; d. c. 1650), Marrano traveler. On a trip to South America during 1641–42, Montezinos discovered a group of natives in Ecuador who could recite the Shema and were acquainted with other Jewish rituals. He brought this news to Amsterdam in 1644, and the congregational authorities – *Manasseh Ben Israel among them – had him repeat his account under oath. The assumption was that these natives were a remnant of the *ten lost tribes, of the tribes of Reuben and Levi according to Montezinos. He then left for Brazil where he died, reasserting on his deathbed the truth of his report. Manasseh Ben Israel dwells on Montezinos' discovery in a booklet entitled Esperança de Israel ("The Hope of Israel," Amsterdam, 1650), which he dedicated to the British parliament, appending it to his petition for the readmittance of Jews to England. His thesis was that Montezinos' account points to an imminent fulfillment of the messianic prophecy of the lost tribes of Israel being reunited with Judah. The Montezinos report aroused literary interest even outside Jewish circles. In 1650 Thomas Thorowgood (1595–1669) published his Iewes in America, or Probabilities that the Americans Are of that Race. In reply Sir Hamon L'Estrange (1583–1654) wrote Americans no Iewes, or Improbabilities that the Americans Are of that Race (London, 1652). Thorowgood then retorted with Jews in America, or Probabilities that those Indians are Judaical, Made More Probable by Some Additionals to the Former Conjectures (London, 1660).


C. Roth, Life of Menasseh Ben Israel (1934), 176–92, 330–1.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Montezinos, Antonio de." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 21 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Montezinos, Antonio de." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (January 21, 2019).

"Montezinos, Antonio de." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved January 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.