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The Ten Lost TribesA World History$
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Zvi Ben-Dor Benite

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195307337

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195307337.001.0001

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“A Mighty Multitude of Israelites”

“A Mighty Multitude of Israelites”

(p.113) 4 “A Mighty Multitude of Israelites”
The Ten Lost Tribes

Zvi Ben‐Dor Benite (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how the story of the ten tribes gained purchase in European imagination. It centers on the story of David Reuveni, a man from Yemen who showed up in Rome at the time of the first European expansion to the Indian Ocean, and promised an “alliance” between Christendom and the Ten Tribes. The offer was in fact a fusion of the Prester John and Ten Tribes stories. The chapter narrates the story of this man and discusses the anxieties and ideas among European Jews and Christians that made the ten tribes so important in modern Europe.

Keywords:   Portuguese Empire, Clement VII, David Reuveni, Yemen, Ethiopia, Falasha Jews, Prester John, Portugal, Indian Ocean

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