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trice de Luna. He owned a large banking-house in
Lisbon, which had branches in Flanders and France,
and which advanced money to Charles V. and other
rulers. After Mendes-Nasi's death his brother
Diogo, director of their Antwerp branch and hus-
band of Beatrice de Luna's sister, was the richest
Portuguese Marano, and, togetlier with his sister-
in-law, sacrificed great sums to prevent the intro-
duction of the Inquisition into Portugal. Diogo
died at Antwerp about 1546, leaving, like his
brother, one daughter. A kinsman of both the
Mendes was Hector Mendes, a very rich man, who,
when asked by the King of Portugal what he called
his own, replied: "The alms wiiich I have given."

Bibliography : Herculano, Da Origem e Extahelecimento da
ln(pii.w;ao em Portugal, il. 159, Lisbon, ia54 ; Griltz, Oesch.
ix. iWiO et .teg.; Kayserlin?, (ie.'<ch. der Juden in Portugal,
pp. 211, 2GDct neq.

n. M. K.

MENDESIA, GRACIA (called also Beatrice
de Luna) : Philanthropist; born about 1510, prob-
al)ly in Portugal ; died at Constantinople 1569; mem-
l)er of the Spanish family of Ben veniste. As a Marano



489



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Mendes
IfendlizL



she was married to her coreligionist Francisco
Mendes-Nasi. After the early death of her hus-
band, Gracia no longer felt secure in Portugal,
where the introduction of the Inquisition had endan-
gered her life and property; and together with her
only daughter Reyna and several relatives, she fled
in 1536 to Antwerp, where many Maranos were then
sojourning and where her brotiier-in-law Diogo
Mendes was manager of the branch of the Lisbon
banking-house, which was soon transferred entirely
to Antwerp.

Gracia did not feel at ease in the capital of Flan-
ders, despite the esteem in which she was held ; for
she could not endure the equivocation, imposed upon
all Neo-Christians, of appearing to be a good Catho-
lic, and she longed for a place where
At she could openly avow her religion.

Antwerp. All preparations had been made for
departure, when her brother-in law
Diogo, who had married her younger sister, died (c.
1545). Being appointed in his will manager of the
business and trustee of the entire property, which
the rulers indebted to the house had claimed and
confiscated under the cloak of religion, Gracia was
obliged to remain for some troublous years in Ant-
werp. It was not until 1549 that she was able to
go with her daughter, her widowed sister, and the
latter 's daughter to Venice. Here she met with new
difficulties, occasioned by her own sister, for Gracia
had been appointed by her brother-in-law guardian
of his minor daughter and trustee of her property
until her marriage. The younger sister, who was anx-
ious to escape from Gracia's tutelage, betrayed the
latter as a secret Jewess to the Venetian authorities,
alleging that she intended to flee with her wealth
to Turkey and there openly to avow Judaism. At
the same time the sister employed an anti-Semitic
Frenchman to denounce Gracia to the French gov-
ernment, within whose territory a large part of
her wealth was invested. In consequence of these
machinations the King of France as well as the Sen-
ate of Venice confiscated the property of the Mendes
family, and imprisoned Gracia at Venice in order
to prevent her flight. Her nephews, especially the
energetic Joao Miguez (or Joseph Nasi, as he called
himself as a Jew), who was also Gracia's son-in-law,
took steps to liberate her and to save the fortune.
They appealed to Sultan Sulaiman, explaining to
him that a widow liad the intention of bringing
great treasures into the Turkish empire, but that
the republic of Venice prevented her from doing so.
Moses Hamon, physician to the sultan, also took
the matter up, hoping that the heiress
Causes of the wealthy Gracia would marry
War Be- his son. Thereupon a Turkish ambas-
tween Ven- sador was despatched to Venice, with
ice and a mandate to the signoria to grant the
Turkey. captive Marano woman free passage
to Turkey, together with her property
and suite, and Gracia thus became unwittingly the
cause of war between Venice and the Porte.

In spite of the sultan's mandate, the negotia-

. tions dragged over two years. Meanwhile Gracia

was liberated (c. 1550) and immediately went to Fer-

rara, where she acknowledged herself to be a Jewess.

In 1552 she settled with her daughter Reyna at Con-



stantinople and there also openly confessed Judaism.
Her sister soon followed her, and although the two
had become reconciled, she still had many difficul-
ties with her and with a nephew.

Gracia M'as one of the noblest of women and was-
honored like a princess. She spent her large fortune
in relieving her suffering coreligionists. She made
great sacrifices to prevent the introduction of the
Inquisition into Portugal, and was tlie guardian
angel of the Maranos. Tlie poet Samuel Usque,
wlio dedicated to her his Portuguese
Her work, "Consolavam as Tribula(;oes de

Charities. Ysrael," praises her as "tiie heart of
her people." She relieved the impov-
erished Maranos in Flanders and other countries,
protected them, and "gathered them together in
obedience to the prescriptions of their ancient faith ";
and in the words of Immanuel Aboab, "Whosoever
should undertake to tell of the noble deeds and rare
virtues of Donna Gracia would have to write entire
books" ("Nomologia," p. 304). Gracia appealed
to the sultan against the cruelties of the fanatical
Pope Paul IV., who condemned many Portuguese
Maranos to the stake, and contemporary rabbis
praise the piety, philanthropy, and nobility of soul
with which she founded synagogues and aided Jew-
ish scholars. A synagogue which she built at Con-
stantinople still bears her name.

Gracia betrothed her niece, Gracia Mendesia II.,
to her nephew Samuel Nasi ; the portrait of this
Gracia at the age of eighteen was engraved bj' Gio-
vanni Paolo Poggini of Ferrara on a medal which is
now preserved in the Cabinet of Medals, Paris.

Bibliography: Joseph Caro, ^/)fca( Rokel, Responsum No.
80; Joseph ha-Kohen, VBmefc hd-BakUyXi. 116; Joseph ibn
Leb, Responsa, 1. 63b, li. 26ii ;" M. A. Levy, D. Juseph Natd,
HerzoQ von Naxos, Breslau, 1859 ; Gratz, Gesch. Ix. 366 et
seq.; Idem, in Wiener Jahrhuch, 1&57, pp. 7 et seq.; Kay-
serling, Oesch. der Judcn in PortuqaU P- 211 ; Idem. L>ie
Jildisehen Frauen, pp. 81 et seq., 345 et seq.; see also Nasi,
Joseph.
D. M. K.

MENDL, SIGISMUND FERDINAND :

English politician; born 1866. He was educated

at Harrow School and University College, Oxford,

and in 1888 was admitted to the bar at the Inner

Temple, London. After unsuccessfully contesting

the Isle of Wight in 1892, and Plymouth in 1895,

he was elected member of Parliament for Plymouth

in the Liberal interest in 1898, serving until 1900.

Bibliography: Who's Who, 1903; Harris, Jewish Year
Bonk, 1901-2.

J. M. W. L.

MENDLIN, JACOB WOLF : Russian Hebrew
economist; born at Moghilef-on-the-Dnieper 1842.
He was the first of the Hebrew writers to treat of
economic questions in their application to the con-
dition of the Jewish masses in Russia. About 1862
he went to Germany, where he studied the labor
movement under Lassalle. This movement roused
his ambition to go more deeply into the study of
economics and cooperation.

In 1879 Mendlin made his first appearance as a
writer in "Ila-Meliz," with an article on the eco-
nomic condition of the Russian Jews; and since
then he has contributed articles on the same and
allied questions to "Ha-Zefirah," "Ha-Meliz," "Rus-
kii Yevrei," "Voskhod," and "Ulei." Mendlin has



fiEendoza
Meuelaus



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



490



also written: "Ba-Meh Niwwashea' " (St. Peters-
burg, 18H3), four essays on the improvement of the
economic condition of the Jews in Russia; "Mekore
ha-'Osher " (Odessa, 1898), a politico-economic study ;
and " Quellen fun Selbsthilfe " (in Yiddish), ib. 1894.
In these writings Mendlin points to the mutual aid
and cooperative organizations as the most effective
means of improving the wretched condition of the
Jewish masses in Russia. Mendlin also effected the
founding of certain charitable institutions in the
Jewish community of Odessa, where he is now
(1904) living.
Bibliography: Khronika Voshhoda, 1904, No. 15.

H. R. A. S. W.

MENDOZA, DANIEL (nicknamed "Star of
Israel"): English pugilist; born 1763 in AVhite-
chapel, Loudon; died Sept. 3, 1836. Champion of
England from 1792 to 1795, he was the founder of a
distinct school of boxing which marks a period in
the history of pugilism. In Miles's "History of
British Bo.\ing," London, u.d., the first period
(1719-91) is described as "From the Championship
of Fig to the Appearance of Daniel Mendoza" (i. 1-
70). Mendoza entered the prize-ring April 17, 1787,
at Barnet, where he defeated, in less than thirty
minutes, Samuel Martin, a butcher of Bath. This
victory led to his being matched against Richard
Humphries, by whom he was defeated Jan. 9, 1788,
at Odiham, Hampshire, after a contest that lasted
twenty-nine minutes, and during which more skill
and science were displayed than had been shown in
any match hitherto in England. In anotlier match,
at Stilton, Huntingdonshire, May 6, 1789, Hum-
phries in the twenty-second round dropped to the
ground without being hit, and on a repetition of
these tactics Mendoza was declared the conqueror.
He fought a third battle with Humphries at Don-
caster Sept. 29, 1790, and again defeated him. A
popular ballad was composed on these encounters.

In 1791 Mendoza went on a sparring tour and,
crossing over to Ireland, thraslied "Squire Fitz-
gerald," an amateur, wlio had expressed a desire to
test his .skill with the champion (Aug. 2, 1791). On
his return to England Mendoza was matched against
William Warr (sometimes called " Ward ")of Bristol,
whom he defeated in two encounters, at Smitham
Bottom, near Croydon, May 14, 1792, and at Bex-
ley Heatli Nov. 12, 1794, respectively.

Mendoza was appointed sheriff's officer for the
county of Middlesex in 1806, and later went on ex-
hibition tours, tlie most successful being that made
in the summer of 1819. After an absence of four-
teen years from the ring, Mendoza was matched
against Tom Owen, a Hami)siiire innkeeper, and
met him July 20, 1820, at Banstead Downs. At this
time Mendoza was in liis fifty-seventli year, liis op-
ponent being six years younger. Owen, who had
terribly "punished " his a<lver.sary, was declared the
winner after twelve rounds. Advancing age and
ciiagrin at liis defeat led Mendoza to retire from
the prize-ring, and to become the landlord of the
"Admiral Nelson " in W]iitechai)el. It is clear that
Mendoza introduced a more skilful method of de-
fense than had been current before his time, and
tended to make boxing more "scientific," a contest
of skill rather than a struggle of brute force.



Bibliography: Boxiana : Sketches of Antient and Modern
Pugilism, Loudon, 1812 ; Miles, Pugilistica, vol. i., London,

1880.

J. F. H. V.

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN

(|"'D"iD1 h?r\ N:d XJn) : Words written by a mys-
terious hand on the wall of Belshazzar's palace, and
interpreted by Daniel as predicting the doom of the
king and his dynasty. The incident is described
as follows: Once av hen King Belshazzar was ban-
queting with his lords and drinking wine from
the golden vessels of the Temple of Yhwh, a man's
hand was seen writing on the wall certain mysteri-
ous words. Frightened by the apparition, the king
ordered his astrologers to explain the inscription;
but they were unable to read it. Daniel was then
summoned to the royal palace; and the king prom-
ised him costly presents if he would decipher the
inscription. Daniel read it "Mene, mene, tekel,
upharsin " and explained it to mean that God had
" numbered " the kingdom of Belshazzar and brought
it to an end ; that the king had been weighed and
found wanting ; and that his kingdom was divided
and given to the Medes and Persians (Dan. v. 1-28).

The first question which presents itself to the
critic— namely, why could the inscription be deci-
phered by Daniel only — engaged the attention of the
Talmudists, who advance<l various answers. Cer-
tain of them concluded that the Hebrew writing
had been changed in the time of Ezra, so that even
the Jews that were found in the royal court could
not read an inscription written in archaic characters.
But those who followed R. Simeon in maintaining
that the writing had not been changed found other
solutions for the problem; e.g., it was written in the
cryptographic combination of ^2 DX. each letter of
each pair being substituted by its companion, e.g.,
t30n J1Q "inx nO' ntO' ; or the words were written
thus: p^XS ■'DpjJ DinOD, one above
Talmudical the other, having to be read verti-
Explana- cally ; or IQ-ID"": np^ DJX D3N. each
tions. word backward; or, again, XDJ NOJ
pDIID irip. the first two letters of each
word being transposed (Sanh. 22a). It is evident
that the author of the Book of Daniel meant that the
inscription was written in characters familiar to the
king and the wise men of Babylon, but that, as often
happens with ancient inscriptions, the transposition
of certain letters baffled every attempt to decipher
them.

Various difficulties of the writing present them-
selves also in Daniel's interpretation: e.g., the repe-
tition of X3D is not explained, and instead of the
plural PD1D1, the singular D"1Q without the con-
junctive 1 is translated. It is true that Thcodotiou
and Jerome, by giving three words only to verse 25,
make it uniform with versos 26-28 (Theodotion read-
ing "Mane"), and that the Septuagint, though dif-
fering from Theodotion as to the meaning of the
words, has also only three words, which it transfers
to verse 17. Nevertheless the discrepancy in the
Masoretic text as well as the grammatical construc-
tion of the words has greatly puzzled the modern
critics. It may be noted that the author chose
words which had a double meaning and that Daniel,
accordingly, gave the king a dual interpretation,



491



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Mendoza
Menelaus



applying both meanings of the words. Thus he in-
terpreted XJD as " to count " and " to finish " ; ^pn,
to " weigh " and " to be wanting " ; DID. " to divide "
and "Persia." Tlie question now arises as to the
grammatical construction of these words. Accord-
ing to Theodotion, Jerome, and Josephus(" Ant." x.
11, § 3), they are substantives; but
Views of according to the Septuagint they are
Modern verbs in the perfect passive, which,
Scholars, owing to their vocalization, are difficult
of explanation. Clermont-Ganneau, in
along article on this subject ("Journal Asiatique,"
series 8, viii. (1886), 36 et seq.), first advanced the
opinion that they are names of weights, namely, a
mina, a shekel, and a peras, which last-named in the
Talmud means a half-mina (comp. the expression
D"iD1 n:)0 in 'Eduy. iii. 3), and that ]"'D1D1 may be
the dual form, "two lialf-minas." Thus the mina
would be an allusion to Nebuchadnezzar ; the shekel,
which in value is a very small part of the mina, to
Belshazzar; and the two halfmiuas to Media and
Persia (comp. Ta'an. 21b). But as this interpreta-
tion does not show how the words predicted the fall
of Babylon, Clermont-Ganneau admits the possibil-
ity of the first two words being verbs, but suggests
that the •( of poiQI should be aflUxed to the prece-
ding word, which may be vocalized either ^ppn,
"they weighed," or !|^pn, "weigh"; in either case

having j^DID as its direct object.

Among the many other suggestions offered by
modern scholars that of J. Marquart may be men-
tioned ("Fundamente Israelitischer und Judischer
Geschichte," 1896, p. 73). He thinks that the legend
of Belshazzar's vision is connected with that of
Heliodorus, and that possibly the writer of Dan.
V. was of the Maccabean age. ]Marquart makes no
emendation in the text of the passage in Daniel;
but if his suggestion is well founded the sentence
may be amended to read as follows: ?t2p NflD NPID
C^ID = " Smite, smite, slay, thou horseman ! " As to
the historicity of the inscription, Boissier points out
that predictions written by a mysterious hand are
referred to in a cuneiform tablet (see " Proc. Soc.
Bibl. Arch." 1896, xviii. 237).

Bibliography: Cheyne and Black, Enct/c. Bibh; D. Margo-
liouth, in Hastings, Diet. Bible; J. D. Prince, Mene, Mene,
Tekel, Upharsin, Baltimore, 1893.
8. M. Sel.

MENEIiAXJS (known also as Onias) : High
priest from 171 to about 161 B.C. ; successor of Ja-
son, the brother of Onias III. The sources are di-
vided as to his origin. According to II Maccabees
(iv. 23), he belonged to the tribe of Benjamin and
was the brother of the Simeon who had denounced
Onias III. to Antiochus IV. (Epiphanes) and revealed
to the Syrians the existence of the treasure of the
Temple; according to. Josephus ("Ant." xii. 5),
Menelaus was the brother of Onias III. and of Ja-
son. Of these two conflicting statements the evi-
dence is in favor of tlie former, first because it is
unlikely that two brothers would be called by the
same name, and secondly because the popular opposi-
tion to Menelaus in favor of Jason, though both be-
longed to the Hellenistic party, is more easily ex-
plained if the successor of Jason did not belong to the



priestly family. It is possible that Josephus con-
founded Simeon, the brother of Menelaus, with Sim-
eon, the father of Oniaa and Jason.

Although during the three years of his pontificate
Jason had given many proofs of his attachment to
the Hellenistic party— by building a gymnasium in
Jerusalem and by introducing many
Hellenistic Greek customs — the zealous Hellenists
Tenden- of the stamp of the Tobiads plotted
cies. his overthrow, suspecting him of par-
tiality to traditional Judaism. At
their head stood Menelaus, who professed the ut-
most contempt for the religion of his fathers and
was ready to commit any crime in order to gratify
his ambition. Having been sent to Antiochus to
pay the annual tribute, he took the opportunity to
outbid Jason and secure for himself the office of high
priest. An officer named Sostrates was sent by An-
tiochus with a troop of Cyprian soldiers to subdue
any opposition that might be attempted by the fol-
lowers of the deposed high priest Jason and to collect
at the same time the sum Menelaus had promised.

Menelaus' first act Avas to seize the sacred vessels
in the Temple stores in order to meet the pecuniary
obligations he had incurred. This sacrilegious act,
which was regarded even by the Greeks as heinous,
came to the ears of the deposed high priest Onias
III., who publicly accused Menelaus of robbing the
Temple. The latter, afraid of the consequences of
this accusation, induced the king's lieutenant An-
dronicus, who had had his share of the plunder, to
get rid of Onias before a formal complaint had been
lodged with the king. Accordingly Onias was de-
coyed from the sanctuary at Daphne, in which he
had sought refuge, and murdered. Menelaus con-
tinued to plunder the treasures of the Temple until
the people were aroused and scenes of violence en-
sued, in which his brother Lysimachus met his death.
He then brought before the king an accusation
against the people of Jerusalem, that they were par-
tizans of the Egyptians and persecuted him only
because he was opposed to their party intrigues.
This accusation caused the execution of several
Jews who, although they proved beyond any
doubt that Menelaus and Lysimachus had desecrated
the Temple, were sentenced to death.

Meanwhile Jason had not abandoned his claims to
the high-priesthood, and while (170) Antiochus was
waging war against Egypt he suc-
Conflict ceeded in making himself master of
with Jason. Jerusalem and in forcing Menelaus to
seek refuge in the citadel. Antiochus
regarded this proceeding as an affront upon his
majesty, and, having been compelled by the Ro-
mans to leave Egypt, he marched against Jerusa-
lem, massacred the inhabitants, and plundered the
Temple ; in this he is said to have been assisted by
Menelaus.

According to II Maccabees, it was Menelaus who
persuaded Antiochus to Hellcnize the Jewish wor-
ship, and thereby brought about the uprising of the
Judcans under the guidance of the Maccabees.
During the first years of the restoration of the Jew-
ish worship Menelaus still remained (though only
nominally) high priest. He is said to have been put
to (ieath by Antiochus V. (Eupator) when the latter



ICeziephtha
Meuorah



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



492



made definite concessions to the Jews, the reason as-
signed being that Menelaus, by his evil counsel, was
indirectly responsible for the Jewish rebellion.
Bibliography : II Mace. iv. 23 et 8cq.; Josephus, Ant. xll. 5 ;
Idem, B. J. i. 1, §§ 1-6; Griitz, Gesc/i. il. 303 et seq.\ Sohurer,
Oexch. i. 195 et seq., 215 ; Buchler, Die Tnbiaden unil Onia-
den, pp. 106 et seq. _ _,

8. I- Br.

MENEPHTHA.



See Merneptah.



MENGS, ANTON RAFAEL: Austrian
painter; born in Aussig, Bohemia, March 12, 1728;
died in Rome June 29, 1779; son of Ismael Israel
Mengs. Anton Mengs was early destined for an
artist's career ; and his father with much strictness
kept him to his studies, although the boy at first
evinced but little inclination or ability for that call-
ing. In 1741 he was taken to Rome, where he stud-
ied the old masters, and upon liis return to Dresden
(1744) he was honored by King Augustus III. with
the title of court painter. He obtained the royal
permission to return to Rome to complete his stud-
ies, and in 1748 his first large canvas, "The Holy
Family," appeared. A beautiful peasant girl, Mar-
gareta Guazzi, who had posed as a model for this
painting, won his heart ; and in order to marry her
he abandoned tlie Jewish faith and was admitted
into tlie Roman Catholic Church. Mengs again vis-
ited Dresden in 1749, but returned to Rome in 1752,
where he spent the greater part of his life, and
where most of his important works were painted.
In 1754 he became the first director of the newly
founded Painters'- Academy in that city.

Mengs was an eclectic who endeavored to blend
the peculiar beauties of the old masters Raffael,
Titian, and Correggio. His taste was exquisite, his
groupings and compositions simple and noble, his
drawing always correct; while his coloring, with
regard to which he took Titian for his example,
was strong and true. Though his paintings lack
the originality of genius, their force and beauty give
them rank among the foremost works of art.

In Rome Mengs painted the following large pic-
tures: "Saint Eusebius Surrounded by Angels"
(on the ceiling of the Celestine Monastery ; 1757) ;
"Apollo and the Nine Muses on Parnassus " (on a
ceiling in Cardinal Albani's villa); "History Wri-
ting on the Shoulders of Time " ; "A Meeting of the
Gods " ; " Cleopatra." In 1761 Mengs was called to
Madrid by King Charles III. of Spain to decorate
the ceiling of the diuing-hall in the royal palace.
He painted "The Apotheosis of Trajan" and "The
Hall of Fame," Avhich latter is considered his mas-
terpiece. In Madrid he completed also " The Ascen-
sion of Christ " for the altar of a new Catholic
church in Dresden. Various other paintings by
Mengs arc in the possession of the art-galleries of
many European capitals. Berlin has a "Holy
Family"; Vienna. "St. Joseph's Dream," "The Vir-
gin," "The Infant Savior," "The Annunciation."
and " Infanta Maria Theresa " ; St. Petersburg, "An-
dromeda Liberated by Perseus"; Dresden, "Cupid
Sharpening an Arrow " ; Madrid, "Christ's Release
from Calvary " and "Mary of Magdala."

The "Opere di Antonio-Raff aelle Mengs" (2 vols.,
Parma, 1780) has been translated into German (by
G. F. Prange, Halle, 1786), English (London, 1796),
iiixl French (by Jansen, Ratisbon, 1782; Paris, 1786).



A young Englishman named Webb, to whom Mengs
had expressed his ideas on art, published them for
his own under the title " Untersuchungen ilber die
Schonheit " (Zurich, 1771), which act of plagiarism
gained him considerable fame.

Mengs had twenty children, seven of whom out-
lived him. Of tliese, five daughters were adopted
by King Charles III. of Spain, who also accorded
pensions to Mengs's two sons. Mengs bequeathed
his valuable collections of drawings, vases, and
gypsoplasts to the roj'al academies of art in
Madrid and Dresden. Empress Catherine II. of
Russia erected a monument to his memory in St.
Peter's Church, Rome, where he was interred.

Bibliography : Dictionnaire Universel Encuclnpedique ;
Brockhaus Konversations-Lexiknn; Meyers Knnversa-



Online LibraryIsidore SingerThe Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) → online text (page 120 of 169)