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Juan (Poeta), de Valladolid

JUAN (Poeta), DE VALLADOLID (c. 1420–after 1470), Spanish *Marrano poet, nicknamed "el judío." As many of the 15th-century cancioneros clearly show, Juan Poeta was long a center of controversy and a butt for satire, owing to the ambiguity of his religious position. Antón de *Montoro sneered at his humble origins, while others maintained that he was "neither a Jew nor a Christian, but an excellent Marrano." He is reputed to have been an astrologer and to have enjoyed the favor of Queen Isabella. While on a voyage to the Holy Land, Juan Poeta was said to have been captured by Moslems and to have embraced Islam, for which reason he was bitterly attacked by Gómez Manrique. Like other members of his family, Juan Poeta seems to have retained or reverted to his ancestral Jewish traditions, at least after he left Spain. He was one of the group of poets associated with Alfonso V of Aragon in Naples, and a number of his poems appear in the Cancionero of Juan Alfonso de *Baena and in other collections of the period.


Kayserling, Bibl. 54; Baer, Spain, 2 (1966), 301–2, 490; Levi, in: Homenaje… Menéndez Pidál 3 (1925), 419–39.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.