MAGINO, MEIR (late 16th century), Venetian inventor. In 1587 Pope Sixtus V invited him to introduce into the Papal States his process of extracting silk thread from the cocoon twice a year. Concerning this new process, Magino published an Italian work entitled Dialoghi di M. Magino Gabrielli Hebreo venetiano sopra l'utili sue invenzioni circa la seta (Venice, 1588); this elegantly printed book contains numerous illustrations, among them a portrait of the author, and a Hebrew poem written by him with an Italian translation by S. Tellarino. A second patent secured for Magino the rights to a new process for polishing mirrors and colored cut glass with a special kind of oil. He was also granted the exclusive right to produce special wine bottles, which are still in use in Roman wineshops. One of his children, GABRIEL induced Ferdinand I of Tuscany to issue the famous appeal to Jews to come and settle in Leghorn (1593). He was promised the office of consul general of the Jews in Pisa and Leghorn, but the appointment did not materialize.


Roth, Jews in the Renaissance (1959), 238f.; A. Milano, Ghetto di Roma (1964), 81f.

[Attilio Milano]

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