Rosales, Jacob

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ROSALES, JACOB (first half of 16th century), Portuguese merchant and shipowner who, after the expulsion of the Jews from *Portugal (1497), went to *Morocco. Rosales shipped imported textiles and resins from *India for varnish, mainly to Larache and *Salé-Rabat, the large port of the kingdom of *Fez. His commercial house in *Lisbon was well known. After the expulsion he probably lived in Fez. The court of Fez benefited from Rosales' commercial affairs and he maintained good relations with the court of John iii of Portugal. When Moulay Ali ben-Hassan became sultan in May 1526, he invited Rosales to take up his residence in *Meknès. Rosales used his influence to protect his coreligionists and the Megorashim (exiles from the Iberian Peninsula) regarded him as their leader. When, in September 1526, Moulay Ahmad dethroned his uncle Moulay Ali ben-Hassan and assumed the sultanate at Fez, he chose Rosales as his confidant. From then onward, Rosales was entrusted almost exclusively with political relations with the Christian world and was sent officially to Portugal in 1529. Rosales appears to have been the initiator of diplomatic relations between Morocco and *France. Pierre de Piton, the French ambassador, arrived in Morocco with a shipment of Jewish books for the community (such consignments were absolutely prohibited by the Church and this breach was like providing the enemies of Christianity with weapons). In 1534 the sultan entrusted Rosales with opening important negotiations with John iii; he was in charge of the negotiations in Portugal for two years; they led to the signing of a peace treaty on May 8, 1538, at Arzila. In the meantime Rosales died, probably in Portugal. His successor as counselor, ambassador, and foreign minister was Jacob (i) *Rote.


D. Corcos, in: Sefunot, 10 (1966), 104ff. and the sources quoted; Bernardo Rodrigues, Anais de Arzila, ed. by D. Lopès, 2 (1919), 104, 191; J.D.M. Ford (ed.), Letters of John iii (1931), nos. 126, 151; Les Sources Inédites de l'Histoire du Maroc, ser. 1 index (1926); Hirschberg, Afrikah, index.

[David Corcos]