1st Edition

The History of the Jews in Early Modern Italy From the Renaissance to the Restoration

By Marina Caffiero Copyright 2022
    228 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    228 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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.