Montalto, Elias

Montalto, Elias a Jewish savant, was born in Portugal in the second half of the 16th century, and, professing Christianity, went under the name of Felipe or Filotheo. About 1598 he went to Italy, where his medical skill and fame attracted the attention of Concino Concini, who caused his appointment as principal physician to Mary de Medici, queen of Henry IV of France, and this obtained for him the free exercise of his religion. He was subsequently physician and counsellor to Louis XIII, and died at Paris in 1616. The queen caused his body to be embalmed, and it was conveyed into Holland by some of his Jewish relations whom he had about him. Montalto not only wrote some esteemed medical works, but also a theologico-apologetical book in the Portuguese language, wherein he defends Judaism against Christianity — his Livro Fayto, 2:388 sq. He also wrote a tract on Isaiah 53, and on Daniel, which are still in MS. See First, Bibl. Jud. 2:388 sq.; De Rossi, Dizionario (Germ. transl.), page 233; Cassel, Leiffcaden fur jud. Gesch. u. Literatur (Berlin, 1872), page 100; Basnage, Histoire des Juifs (Engl. transl.), page 676; Lindo, Hist. of the Jews in Spain, etc., page 362 sq.; Gratz, Gesch. d. Jumden, 9:521, 524; 10:10; Kayserling, Gesch. d. Juden in Portugal (Leipsic, 1867), page 274 sq., 283, 308; Sephardim, pages 176, 201; his essay, "Drei Controversisten," in Frankel's Monatsschrist, 1858, page 323 sq.; Zunz, Die Monatstage des Kalenderjahres (Berlin, 1872), page 9; Geiger, Ud. Zeitschriftfur Wissenschaft u. Leben, 1867, page 184 sq.; 1868, page 158 sq. (B.P.)

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