MORPURGOa, North Italian family of Austrian origin. Its earliest known member was Israel b. Pethahiah *Isserlein (1390–1460), who settled in Marburg, Styria, and became known also as R. Israel Marburg. In 1624 members of the Marburger or Marpurger family were appointed Court *Jews by Emperor Ferdinand II. About the mid-17th century, they were to be found in various parts of Europe, North Africa and the East, but mainly in northern Italy, at Trieste, Ancona, Venice and Padua. Arriving there from Gradisca d'Isonzo (Austria), they eventually changed their name to Morpurgo, and distinguished themselves in various fields. Members include the noted talmudist Samson *Morpurgo and ELIJAH MORPURGO (1740–1830), a Hebraist. GIUSEPPE LAZZARO MORPURGO (1759–1833) was a poet and financier. He wrote verses in Hebrew and Italian, was a supporter of Napoleon and founded the well-known insurance company, Assicurazioni Generali of Trieste. He also presided over the Jewish community there. MOSÉ MORPURGO visited Ereẓ Israel, where he met Ḥayyim Joseph David *Azulai (1764). Also of the family were Rachel *Morpurgo, poet, and EMILIO MORPURGO (1822–1882), who taught economics at Padua University and was undersecretary for agriculture in 1867. ABRAHAM VITA MORPURGO, a publicist from Gorizia, founded the Corriere Israelitico in 1867. He made a collection of prayers in Italian for the Jews of Trieste (1855), and translated the Haggadah into Italian (1864). Salomone *Morpurgo was a philologist and librarian. ELIO MORPURGO (1858–1943) was born at Udine, of which he was mayor in 1908. He served as undersecretary for posts in 1906 and 1908, and was made a senator for life in 1920. He was deported by the Germans in 1943. BENEDETTO MORPURGO (1861–1944), pathologist, member of the Lincei academy, held the chair of pathology at Turin University from 1900 to 1935. Following the Fascist discriminatory laws of 1938, he took refuge in Argentina, and died in Buenos Aires. GINO MORPURGO translated the Books of Ecclesiastes and Esther into Italian (1898–1904). GIULIO MORPURGO (1865–1931), of Gorizia, taught commercial technology at Trieste University and wrote numerous monographs on commercial subjects. EDGARDO MORPURGO (1866–1942), physician and Jewish historian, wrote Psicologia e psicopatologia degli Ebrei (1905); Le origini del movimento Sionista (1905); La Famiglia Morpurgo di Gradisca sull' Isonzo, 1585–1885 (1909). Morpurgo donated to the library of Padua University the collection of Judaica belonging to his family, the Raccolta Morpurgo di letteratura e storia dei popoli semitici, whose catalog he published in 1924. LUCIANO MORPURGO (b. 1886), born in Spalato, publisher, wrote Poesia della famiglia ebraica (1948). Giuseppe *Morpurgo was an author and educator. VITTORIO MORPURGO (b. 1890), de Janeiro. MARCO MORPURGO (1920–1948) and EDGARDO an architect, designed buildings in Rome, Tirana, and Rio. Two grandsons of the historian Edgardo Morpurgo were Zionist pioneers. Both met their deaths during Israel's War of Independence, the first near Sedeh Eliyahu, and the second near Haifa.
E. Morpurgo, La Famiglia Morpurgo di Gradisca sull' Isonzo (1909); I.M. Molho, in: Oẓar Yehudei Sefarad, 9 (1966), 102–3; G. Bedarida, Ebrei d'Italia (1950), index; M. Vardi, in: RMI, 15 (1949), 523–8; F. Luzzatto, ibid., 17 (1951), 12–31; M.A. Szulwas, Roma vi-Yrushalayim (1944), 176.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.