BARRASSA, JACOB (17th century), Marrano physician and writer. Born as Diego de Barros, probably in Portugal, he studied science, medicine, and astronomy in Spain, and published an annual "prognostication and calendar," Prognóstico e lunario (e.g. Seville, 1630 and 1635), based in part on Semitic sources. He embraced Judaism in Amsterdam shortly afterward and wrote a polemical work (still unpublished) on the ostensibly difficult passages of Scripture. He was one of the "Parnasim de Talmud Torah" in 1642, and a warden of the community in 1651. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Roth, Life of Menasseh ben Israel (1934), 122–3. (Cecil Roth)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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