MOROSINI, GIULIO (Samuel ben David Nahmias; 1612–1683), apostate scholar, and polemicist. He was born in Salonika of a *Marrano family which had reverted to Judaism. His grandfather, Isaac, who had been a Christian in his youth, was referred to as "Paul Teshuvah" after his return to Judaism. When Morosini was a child, his family moved to Venice, where he studied under Leone *Modena. He at first engaged in commerce, traveling throughout the Ottoman Empire, and became converted to Christianity in Venice in 1649, when his family lost its fortune. In 1671 he became a clerk at the Collegium de Propaganda Fide. He completed the work, begun by the apostate Giovanni Battista Jonah, on textual variants in the Targums (Ms. Vat. Urb. 59; Ms. Oxford 2341). Morosini also engaged zealously in missionary activity among Jews, and wrote a work in three parts, La Via della Fede (Rome, 1683). In the first part, he attempts to show that it is the duty of the Jews to embrace Christianity. The second part contains important information on contemporary Jewish life and customs both in the home and in the synagogue. In the third part Morosini tries to demonstrate that the Jews do not observe the Ten Commandments, whereas the Christians do. A polemic against this work appears in Joshua *Segre's Asham Talui.
Wolf, Bibliotheca, 3 (1727), 1126f.; G. Bartolocci, Bibliotheca Magna Rabbinica, 3 (1683), 755f.; 4 (1693), 404; Neubauer, Cat, 816f. n. 2341; M. Steinschneider, in: Vessillo Israelitico, 30 (1882), 372f.; idem, in: MGWJ, 43 (1899), 514f.; Vogelstein-Rieger, 2 (1896), 287; D. Simonsen, in: Festschrift… A. Berliner (1903), 337–44; C. Roth, in: RMI, 3 (1928), 156f.
[Umberto (Moses David) Cassuto]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.