Elijah Montalto

Optica intra philosophiae, 1606

Elijah Montalto (1567 – 1616) was a Marrano physician and polemicist from Paris, who became the personal physician of Maria de Medici.[1]

He had been reared as a Christian in Portugal and openly returned to Judaism on settling in Venice. His Suitable and Incontrovertible Propositions was an anti-Christian polemic.[2][3] He was one of the teachers of Joseph Solomon Delmedigo.[4]

When Montalto died, Saul Levi Morteira went to Paris to recover his body for burial in Beth Haim of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, one of the Jewish cemeteries in Amsterdam.


  1. Michael Heyd Be sober and reasonable: the critique of enthusiasm in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries Leiden: E. J. Brill 1995 Page 58 "In 1611 he returned to France to become a court physician to Marie de Medicis. For a recent interesting discussion of Montalto, which is focused, however, on his anti-Christian polemics, see Bernard Cooperman, "Eliahu Montalto's .
  2. Bernard Cooperman, "Eliahu Montalto's Suitable and Incontrovertible Propositions: A. Seventeenth-Century Anti-Christian Polemic," in Jewish Thought in the Seventeenth-Century Isadore Twersky Bernard Septimus, eds., ISBN 9780674474659 Harvard University Press 1987 Harvard Judaic Texts and Studies
  3. Ralph Melnick From polemics to apologetics: Jewish-Christian rapprochement in 17th Century Amsterdam Assen: Van Gorcum, 1981 "Our portrait of Montalto is that of a former Marrano, returned to his ancestral faith, living as a learned Jew in the medieval Sephardic tradition"
  4. Yoseph Shlomo Delmedigo, Yashar of Candia: his life, works and times Page 45 Isaac Barzilay - 1974 "Besides Galileo, Yashar also mentions among his teachers Elijah Montalto (d. 1616), the famous Jewish physician, who at the end of the sixteenth century left Portugal and after short stays at the royal court of France, Livorno, Florence and Pisa, finally settled in Venice, where he openly returned to Judaism and ..
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