LAGUNA, DANIEL ISRAEL LOPEZ


LAGUNA, DANIEL ISRAEL LOPEZ (c. 1653–c. 1730), Portuguese-born poet of Marrano parentage. As a child, Laguna was taken to Peyrehorade in the south of France. Later he went to study in Spain, where he was arrested by the Inquisition. On his eventual release, presumably after reconciliation to the Church, he settled in Jamaica; there he openly professed Judaism and was naturalized in 1693. About 1720 he went to London where with the help of Mordecai Nuñes de Almeyda, his patron, he published a paraphrase of the Psalms in a variety of Spanish verse forms. He dedicated the work, titled Espejo fiel de Vidas que contiene los Palmos de David in Verso (London, 1720), to De Almeyda. The book had been planned in prison and was the fruit of 23 years' labor. In a number of places, the author makes allusions to the Inquisition and its persecutions. The volume is prefaced by commendatory poems by some 20 persons, including women, in Hebrew, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, and English. Laguna later returned to Jamaica, to his wife and three sons David, Jacob, and Isaac, and died there.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Roth, Marranos, 330–1; I. Solomons, in: JHSET, 12 (1931), 92–93; M. Kayserling, in: JQR, 12 (1900), 708–17.

[Cecil Roth]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.