Challenging traditional historiographical approaches, this book offers a new history of Italian Jews in the early modern age. The fortunes of the Jewish communities of Italy in their various aspects – demographic, social, economic, cultural, and religious – can only be understood if these communities are integrated into the picture of a broader European, or better still, global system of Jewish communities and populations; and, that this history should be analyzed from within the dense web of relationships with the non-Jewish surroundings that enveloped the Italian communities. The book presents new approaches on such essential issues as ghettoization, antisemitism, the Inquisition, the history of conversion, and Jewish-Christian relations. It sheds light on the autonomous culture of the Jews in Italy, focusing on case studies of intellectual and cultural life using a micro-historical perspective. This book was first published in Italy in 2014 by one of the leading scholars on Italian Jewish history.
This book will appeal to students and scholars alike studying and researching Jewish history, early modern Italy, early modern Jewish and Italian culture, and early modern society.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Global Contexts and Transcultural Networks
Part One: The Geopolitics of Italian Jewry between the 15th and 16th centuries. The Structures
Chapter 1: Demography and Geographic Distribution
Chapter 2: Settlements and Networks. The Topography and Characteristics of Italy’s Judaisms
Chapter 3: Women in the History of Italian Jews
Chapter 4: The First Trauma. The New Arrivals in Italy After 1492
Part Two: The Invention of the Ghettos
Chapter 5: The Second Trauma. The Birth of the Ghettos: Geography and Chronology
Chapter 6: Jewish Culture and Christian Culture
Part Three: The Age of Emancipation
Chapter 7: The Turning Point of the 18th Century
Chapter 8: The Contradictions of the "Happy Regeneration" of the Jews
Marina Caffiero is honorary professor of History at the University of Rome La Sapienza. A scholar of the social and cultural history of early modern and modern Europe, her research focuses on religious history and the relationship between politics and religion in Italy and Europe between the 16th and 19th centuries, the history of minorities, particularly Jewish minorities, gender history, and women's writings. She has published numerous monographs and edited collections as well as articles in Italian and other languages.