Literary Connections between Abravanel and England

Paper read before the Jewish Historical Society of England, May 25, 1937.1

Isaac Abravanel was born in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, in 1437, and from the early age of 20 until his precipitate flight from Lisbon in 1484 in fear of his life?that is, for an unbroken period of over a quarter of a century?he acted as Finance Minister to Alfonso V (1443?1481) and to his successor, John II (1481-1495).

Portugal is England’s oldest ally, the first commercial treaty having been signed between the Portuguese envoy Alfonso Martins Alho and the merchants of London in 1353, guaranteeing mutual good faith in all their commercial dealings, while in the previous year Edward III issued a proclamation in favour of Portuguese traders

In the hundred and thirty years between this treaty and the depar? ture of Abravanel from Portugal, the ties thus formed were cemented in various ways. John I, founder

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