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Langallerie, Philippe Gentil de°

LANGALLERIE, PHILIPPE GENTIL DE° (1656–1717), French general and adventurer who dreamed of establishing a Jewish state. After serving under the French, the Austrians, and the Poles, in 1716 Langallerie made an offer to the Turks through their envoy in The Hague. He would lead a motley army of disguised pilgrims into Italy, overthrow the pope, and hand Rome to the Turks. In return, he would receive one of their islands, or possibly the Holy Land itself, in order to settle there the lost Jewish tribes. He then appealed, though fruitlessly, to the Jewish communities in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Altona, and elsewhere to equip a fleet of 50 men-of-war and an army of 10,000 soldiers. His project attracted the kabbalist Alexander Susskind of Metz, who was to act as treasurer in Langallerie's chimerical "théocratie du verbe divin." In 1716 he was arrested near Hamburg and brought to Vienna. He was tried for conspiracy and high treason and died in prison.


Kaufmann, in: REJ, 28 (1894), 193–211; Gelber, in: REJ, 89 (1930), 224–36.

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