MÓNTORO, ANTÓN DE


MÓNTORO, ANTÓN DE (1404–1480?), Spanish Converso poet who denounced the persecution of his fellow converts. He was born in Andalusia, probably in Montoro, and because he dealt in clothes he came to be known as the "tailor of Cordoba." He flourished during the reigns of Henry IV and Ferdinand and Isabella. Montoro was a noted writer of humorous and satirical verse which won him the esteem of the court poets but, despite his success, he never denied his humble origin or relinquished his trade. In a humorous poem addressed to his horse, he admitted that he had children, grandchildren, parents, and a sister who had not converted. Montoro was one of the few authentic and sincere voices of the age. He protested vigorously against the treatment of the Conversos and satirized the weak efforts of Alfonso de Aguilar, the governor of Cordoba, to stop the outrages. After the sack of Carmona in 1474, Montoro implored Ferdinand and Isabella to protect his people, whose sufferings he portrayed most movingly. He concluded his poem with a ferocious joke, saying that the killing should at least be postponed until Christmas, when the fire would be more welcome. Critics have therefore accused Montoro of cynicism, not realizing that the remark represents the black humor of despair. Despite his work on behalf of the Conversos, Montoro himself was apparently sincere in his Catholic beliefs and in a poem addressed to Queen Isabella toward the end of his life lamented that in 70 years he had been unable to lose the name of "old Jewish dog," despite the fact that he went to church and ate bacon. Montoro engaged in a poetic feud with another convert, *Juan (Poeta) de Valladolid. The two men exchanged mutual insults, much to the amusement of their contemporaries. Montoro also rebuked Rodrigo de *Cota de Maguaque for his thoughtless attacks on fellow Conversos; such criticism, he claimed, might eventually rebound on its author.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

E. Cotarelo y Mori (ed.), Cancionero de Anti̥ de Montoro (1900); Roth, Marranos, 37; Baer, Spain, 2 (1966), 310ff. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ch. V. Aubrun, in: Filología (Buenos Aires), 13 (1968–69), 59–63; M. Ciceri, in: Codici della tragressività in area ispanica (1980), 19–35; idem, in: Rasegna iberistica, 29 (1987), 3–13; R. Mai, Die Dichtung Antón de Montoros, eines Cancionero-Dichters des 15. Jahrhunerts (1983); A. de Montoro, Cancionero, F. Cantera Burgos and C. Carrete Parrondo (eds.), (1984); M. Costa, in: Anuario medieval, 1 (1989), 87–95.

[Kenneth R. Scholberg]


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