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NASI, REYNA:

Duchess of Naxos; born in Portugal; only daughter of the Marano Francisco Mendes-Nasi and Gracia Mendesia (Beatrice de Luna). She lived with her mother at Antwerp, then at Venice, going with her to Constantinople about 1552, where she was married to her cousin João Miguez, or Joseph Nasi, Duke of Naxos, after he had openly confessed Judaism.

After the death of her husband (Aug. 2, 1579), Reyna, who had no family, devoted her fortune of 90,000 ducats to the interests of Jewish learning. In 1593 she opened a printing-office at Belvedere, near Constantinople, which was under the direction of Joseph b. Isaac Askaloni, and which was transferred in 1597 to Kuru Chesme, a village near Constantinople on the European side of the Bosporus. Several works, now very rare, were issued from this press. Among them were: two works by Isaac Jabez, "Yafeḳ Raẓon" (1593) and "Torat Ḥesed"; Menahem Egozi's "Gal shel Egozim"; Meïr Angel's allegorical drama "Ḳeshet Neḥushah"; several Bible commentaries; and the Talmudic treatise Ketubot. Reyna survived her husband two decades.

Bibliography:
  • M. A. Levy, Don Joseph Nasi, p. 29, Breslau, 1859;
  • E. Carmoly, D. Joseph Nassy, pp. 11 et seq., Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1868;
  • Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibl. i. 67 et seq.;
  • Grätz, Gesch. ix. 455 et seq.
D. M. K.
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