Silveyra, Miguel de

views updated


SILVEYRA, MIGUEL DE (c. 1578–1638), Portuguese *Marrano poet, physician, and mathematician. Silveyra, who was a relative of the great classical scholar Thomas de Pinedo, began his professional career in Madrid, where he was royal mathematician and, later, physician to the House of Castile. In 1634 he was denounced to the Inquisition and fled to Naples, where he spent the remaining few years of his life. His masterpiece, El Macabeo ("The Maccabee"), a baroque heroic poem written in Castilian, was published in Naples at the royal expense in 1638. The 20 books of this epic relate the exploits of Judah Maccabee culminating in the restoration of the Temple. Although modern critics have considered El Macabeo excessively bombastic, the poem enjoyed great esteem throughout the 17th century. It was reprinted in Madrid (1731) and published in an Italian verse translation (Naples, 1810). Silveyra's other works include El sol vencido (Naples, 1639).


J. Amador de los Ríos, Estudios históricos, políticos y literarios sobre los judíos de España (1848), 534–46; F.M. de Sousa Viterbo, Poesias avulsas do Dr. Miguel de Silveira (1906); E. Toda y Güell, Bibliografía espanyola d'Italia… (1927–31), no. 4700; A. Rubens, Jewish Iconography (1954), 112; J. Caro Baroja, La Sociedad Criptojudía en la Corte de Felipe iv (1963), 93–101.

[Kenneth R. Scholberg]

About this article

Silveyra, Miguel de

Updated About content Print Article