Silva, Rodrigo Mendez (Jacob) da

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SILVA, RODRIGO MENDEZ (Jacob) DA (1606–c. 1676), Marrano historian and genealogist. Mendez was born in Colorico, Portugal, and later settled in Madrid where he published numerous books on various aspects of Spanish history and genealogy. The most important was the widely read Catalogo real de España. These works led to his appointment as royal chronicler (cronista general) at the Spanish court. In 1659 he was arrested by the *Inquisition on a charge of Judaizing and after prolonged torture was admitted to penance. Later he managed to leave the country and take up residence in the *ghetto at Venice. There he adopted the name Jacob and was circumcised. As a Jew, he is said to have acted inconsistently in his beliefs and religious practices.


J. Caro Baroja, Los judíos en la España moderna y contemporánea (1962), index; C. Roth, in: rej, 89 (1930), 222–3.

[Cecil Roth]