Skip to main content

Vera Y Alarcon, Lope de

VERA Y ALARCON, LOPE DE

VERA Y ALARCON, LOPE DE (1620–1644), Spanish martyr. Vera was born at San Clemente in La Mancha, Spain, to a Christian noble family. At 14 he entered the University of Salamanca, where he excelled in ancient languages, particularly Hebrew. He competed, albeit unsuccessfully, for a university professorship in Hebrew when only 19. The continual reading of the Hebrew Bible led him to follow the Law and he came to consider himself a practitioner of Judaism. When he tried to share his new convictions with a friend – perhaps his brother – he was denounced to the Inquisition and arrested for heresy on June 24, 1639. The trial dragged on for over a year. At the hearing of May 29, 1641, Vera announced that he was intent on becoming a Jew. The Holy Office subjected him to torture, to confrontations with leading churchmen, and to the harassment of his relatives, but could not change his mind. One night in his cell, Vera fashioned a bone knife and circumcised himself, thereafter calling himself Judah the Believer. The tribunal tried to compromise him by means of theological debates, but Vera remained silent even under duress and he was finally permitted to set out his views fully in writing. Having lost all hope of reclaiming Vera's soul, the Inquisition consigned him to the stake at Valladolid on June 25, 1644. Vera's martyrdom made a profound impression on the *Marranos and Jews throughout Europe. Interest in the particulars of the episode was so intense that the document in which Vera propounded his views was smuggled out of the Inquisition palace and deposited in the library of the talmud torah at *Leghorn, Italy, where it remained. The inquisitor Bartholomeo Marques Mirezo noted with a tinge of admiration, "Vera was the Church's greatest heretic"; but 100 years later a Spanish writer explained away Vera's heresy as the result of his probably having had a Marrano nursemaid during infancy.

bibliography:

C. Roth, Personalities and Events in Jewish History (1953), 182–91; L.D. Barnett, in: jqr, 15 (1924–25), 229–39.

[Aaron Lichtenstein]

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Vera Y Alarcon, Lope de." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Vera Y Alarcon, Lope de." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vera-y-alarcon-lope-de

"Vera Y Alarcon, Lope de." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved October 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vera-y-alarcon-lope-de

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com 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, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com 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

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com 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.