Constantijn L’Empereur’s Contacts with the Amsterdam Jews and his Confutation of Judaism

  • Peter T. Van Rooden
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 119)


Constantijn L’Empereur (1591 – 1648) was professor of Hebrew at Leiden University from 1627 to 1646. He gained international recognition and fame by publishing translations of Mishnaic tractates and other tools for the study of rabbinical literature. In the second quarter of the seventeenth century he was one of the most eminent Christian authorities on Jewish literature and Judaism, and in studies of the relationship between Jews and Christians in the Dutch Republic he is usually mentioned in connection with his appointment as Professor Controversiarum Judaicarum in 1633. This appointment has been considered an official response to Manasseh ben Israel’s first Latin publication.1 In this article we will reject such an interpretation. Nevertheless, L’Empereurs conception of Judaism, and his personal contacts with Jews, remain matters of some consequence, and he was undoubtedly the foremost Dutch authority on Jews and Judaism.


Seventeenth Century Jewish Community Dutch Translation Latin Translation Dutch Authority 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter T. Van Rooden
    • 1
  1. 1.Free UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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