from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Jew or Muslim in Spain or Portugal who converted to Roman Catholicism under duress, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish converso.


  • Interestingly, it's almost hip now to claim converso ancestry, and there has been something of a movement among people claiming converso ancestry to "reconvert" -- or restore themselves -- to the faith of their very distant fathers.

    Anti-semitism in Mexico

  • I wasn't aware of similar pro-converso sentiment in Mexico.

    Page 2

  • For example, poor Jewish men and women sometimes came to converso homes requesting alms.


  • The rabbis were constantly attempting to trace the parentage of the conversos who left the Peninsula; if the mother was of Jewish origin, the converso or conversa would be recognized discreetly by the community.


  • The forced conversions of 1391 destroyed and divided their communities, but contacts between Jew and converso were common.


  • The holidays often provided an opportunity for contact between the two groups, and many a converso visited a synagogue or a sukkah during the festival holiday.


  • It, too, was dedicated to Doña Gracia, whom Usque called “the heart within the body” of “our Portuguese [i.e., ex-converso] nation.”

    Do��a Gracia Nasi.

  • They must have been reassured by the fact that the Venetian authorities tended to turn a blind eye to the religious apostasy of converso emigrés from Spain and Portugal, except in rare cases when they were stirred to action.

    Do��a Gracia Nasi.

  • Born into a converso family in Portugal, Beatrice married Francisco Mendes, a wealthy trader in gems and spices.


  • In other words, by the end of the fifteenth century the converso community included descendants of the original forced converts of 1391, descendants of voluntary converts, Jews who chose to remain in Spain as Catholics and even some exiles who returned home within seven years of the fateful decree.



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