Abraham Cohen de Herrera

Rabbi, Deceased Person

1570 – 1635


Who was Abraham Cohen de Herrera?

Abraham Cohen de Herrera also known as Alonso Nunez de Herrera or Abraham Irira was a religious philosopher and cabbalist. He is supposed by the historian Heinrich Graetz to have been born in 1570. He is widely supposed to have been descended from a Marrano family: place of birth is unknown but may have been Lisbon, Portugal. Other sources link him to Italy, specifically Tuscany, and as the son of the last Chief Rabbi of Córdoba in Spain.

He is known to have married a Sara de Herrera in Amsterdam in 1600; however, it is unlikely that this is the wife's original surname. It is also reasonably certain that he had an uncle, Juan de Marchena, who worked as a factor for the Sultan of Morocco Moulay, Achmed-el-Mansur.

While in Cadiz on the Sultan's business, Herrera is supposed to have been captured by the English, was released again after an exchange of diplomatic correspondence between the Sultan and Queen Elizabeth I, and travelled thereafter to Amsterdam, where he returned to Judaism. His date of death is between 1635 and 1639: Wiener believes it was 1635. According to Rodriguez de Castro he may have died in Vienna. He wrote several works, originally in Spanish but later translated to Hebrew.

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on July 23, 2013


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