Luis de Torres

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Posted by Jeff ( on September 30, 2001 at 00:20:10:

"Columbus's connections with the Jews, New Christians, and Marranos, was not limited to court officials. There is the controversial matter that some of his shipmates
were of Jewish stock. Five crew members are generally singled out for this distinction; Alonso de la Calle, a bursar, who eventually settled in Hispaniola and whose
very name indicates that he was born in the Jewish quarter; Rodrigo de Sanchez of Segovia, who was related to Gabriel sanchez, the high treasurer of Aragon;
Marco, the surgeon; Maestre Bernal of Tortosa, a physician who had been reconciled by the Inquisition in 1490, but was forced to witness his wife's death at the stake
of an auto-da-fe, and Luis de Torres, the official interpreter of the expedition, who had been baptized a few days before the fleet sailed. Torres had been specifically
appointed by Columbus as interpreter because he knew Hebrew, Chaldean and arabic. This knowledge was expected to prove useful if the voyagers came across
'Asiatic" descendants of the Ten Last Tribes of Israel."

It's interesting that a Jew, Luis de Torres, who pretended to be a Christian (due to the Inquisition) was specifically chosen to go on Columbus' voyage because he knew 3 important languages: Hebrew, Aramaic (OUR language), and Arabic.

The question is ... where did he learn our language?

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