NAUPAKTOS (Lepanto, Inebahti), town in W. central Greece. Benjamin of Tudela, the 12th-century traveler, reported 100 Jews in the town. The Venetians ruled there from 1408 to 1499. Documentation from 1430 shows the existence of large-scale commercial dealings by Jewish bankers between the ports of Lepanto and Patras. There was a *Romaniot community in Naupaktos and after 1492 refugees opened two synagogues, one according to the Spanish rite and the other according to the Sicilian. Jewish merchants used to send to Budapest and Turkey lulavim and etrogim which they grew in the vicinity of Naupaktos. A special "Purim of Lepanto" was celebrated on the 11th of Tevet in memory of the community's miraculous preservation following the Turkish conquest of the city (1571). In the 16th century R. Joseph Pirmon attempted to unite the three communities but was opposed by the Romaniot minority who were supported by Samuel *Medina. At the beginning of the 17th century, the local Jews suffered greatly from efforts of the local governor to extort large sums of money from them. In the 1720s and 1730s, two local Jewish partners served Ottoman ministers. In 1746, a group of 16 Jews left the city to settle in Ereẓ Israel but were captured at sea and taken to the Island of Mykinos, being released after enduring much hardship. In 1806, the Jewish community numbered 30 families, or 150 people. In the wake of the Greek uprisings against the Turks in 1821-22, the Jewish community was destroyed.
Rosanes, Togarmah, vols. 1 and 3, passim; S. Krauss, Studien zur byzantinisch-juedischen Geschichte (1914), 79. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: L. Bornstein-Makovetski, "Naupaktas," in: Pinkas Kehillot Yavan (1999), 183–88; S.B. Bowman, The Jews Of Byzantium 1204–1453 (1985), 88, 307–8.
[Simon Marcus /
Yitzchak Kerem (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.