Penso, Joseph

Penso, Joseph also called DE LA VEGA, a Jewish merchant of Spain, is noted for his literary labors as poet, moral philosopher, and orator. He was born about 1650 at Espejo, in Cordova; and lived afterwards at Livorno, Amsterdam, and Antwerp, at which last place he probably died. He belongs to the last Spanish Jews who cultivated Spanish poetry in a foreign land. He wrote, אִסַירֵי הִתַּקַוָה, "the Prisoners of Hope," an allegorical drama (Amsterd. 1673): — פֵּרדֵּס שׁוֹשִׁנַּים, "Orchard of Lilies." In both these dramas Penso shows the assiduity of Satan in deluding man from the worship of God, and the many snares he lays in his way to entrap him; but Providence frustrates all Satan's diabolic devices, and righteousness obtains at last the sway over him: — La Rosa, Panegyrica sacra, a panegyric poem in praise of the Mosaic law (ibid. 1683): — The Life of Adam, in Spanish (ibid. 1683): — Sermon funebre, a funeral oration in Spanish on the death of his mother, printed together with a funeral oration on the death of his father (ibid. 1683): — Discurso Academico moral y sanyrado, etc. (ibid. 1683): — Discursos academicos, morales, rhetoricos, y sangrados que recito en lafiorida Acadamia de los Floridos, etc. (ibid. 1685). See Furst, Bibl. Jud. 3:75; Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden, 10:198; 13; Kavserling, Sephardim, p. 316 sq.; Bibliothekjiudischer Kanzelredner, vol. i, Beilage, p. 17; Margoliouth, Modern Judaism investigated, p. 246; Delitzsch, Zur Geschichte der jidischen Poesie, p. 77, 160, 174; De Rossi, Dizionario storico degli autori Ebrei, p. 326 (Germ. transl. by Hamburger); Etheridge, Introduction to Hebrew Literature, p. 389; Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. 1:555; 3:417; 4:851. (B. P.)

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