The Jews of Early Modern Venice

Overview

In this authoritative volume, specialists from many fields of Jewish studies provide an introduction to the history of the ghetto of Venice and up-to-date scholarship on the subject from the perspectives of various disciplines—including political, economic, women's, institutional, social and cultural history, religious studies, and musicology. While the book's coverage extends throughout Venetian history and to the broader contexts of Italy, the main focus is the period when Jewish life in the city was at its ...

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Overview

In this authoritative volume, specialists from many fields of Jewish studies provide an introduction to the history of the ghetto of Venice and up-to-date scholarship on the subject from the perspectives of various disciplines—including political, economic, women's, institutional, social and cultural history, religious studies, and musicology. While the book's coverage extends throughout Venetian history and to the broader contexts of Italy, the main focus is the period when Jewish life in the city was at its most vigorous—from the early sixteenth to early eighteenth centuries, a period which saw the creation of both the cultural heritage and the physical architecture that came to characterize the ghetto.

The eleven essays constituting the volume are divided into three sections. The first section, titled "Settlement," provides a historical overview and topographical prologue. The second section, "Ethnicities and Identities," examines the varied social groups that combined to make up the ghetto community. The final section, "Cultures," looks at the traditions of faith, thought, and art which were produced in the Venetian ghetto over the centuries.

As the editors point out, the ghetto and its community "paradoxically was at the same time an integral part of the city of Venice while also rigorously excluded from it." The constraints of the ghetto and the concomitant interaction of various Jewish traditions produced a remarkable cultural flowering.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Bibliotheque d'Humanism et Renaissance
The Jews of Early Modern Venice is a rich anthology of essays on ethinicity and identity, commerce and culture, and other matters relating to a time well before the great wooden gates of the ghetto of Venice were taken down.

— L. R. N. Ashley

Religious Studies Review
[This volume] contributes to an enhanced understanding of the varied social groups, the traditions of faith and thought, and the art produced in the Venetian ghetto... These essays demonstrate the remarkable cultural and religious complexity of Jewish life in early modern Venice.

— Stephen D. Benin

Renaissance Quarterly
We have reason to welcome this collection of essays on the Jews of Venice... [ The Jews of Early Modern Venice] offers a unified portrait that poionts the way toward understanding modes of acculturation: how Jews might be insiders and outsiders at the same time.

— Kenneth Stow

H-Net Reviews
This unusually coherent collection of essays on the theme of Jewish community life in early modern Venice deserves a wide readership.

— John K. Brackett

Historian
The essays in this fine volume are the result of years of intensive research of a diverse collection of source materials by a cadre of some of the most renowned scholars in numerous fields within the history of early modern Venice and early modern Judaism... The volume eloquently contextualizes the history and development of Jewish settlement in Venice and the role of the Jews in the broader city and its territories.

— Dean Phillip Bell

History: Reviews of News Books
[ The Jews of Early Modern Venice] is a particularly good study of how a minority group can fit into a general culture, yet retain its identity and develop new forms of culture.

— Donald B. Epstein

History: Reviews of News Books - Donald B. Epstein

[ The Jews of Early Modern Venice] is a particularly good study of how a minority group can fit into a general culture, yet retain its identity and develop new forms of culture.

Bibliotheque d'Humanism et Renaissance - L. R. N. Ashley

The Jews of Early Modern Venice is a rich anthology of essays on ethinicity and identity, commerce and culture, and other matters relating to a time well before the great wooden gates of the ghetto of Venice were taken down.

Religious Studies Review - Stephen D. Benin

[This volume] contributes to an enhanced understanding of the varied social groups, the traditions of faith and thought, and the art produced in the Venetian ghetto... These essays demonstrate the remarkable cultural and religious complexity of Jewish life in early modern Venice.

Renaissance Quarterly - Kenneth Stow

We have reason to welcome this collection of essays on the Jews of Venice... [ The Jews of Early Modern Venice] offers a unified portrait that poionts the way toward understanding modes of acculturation: how Jews might be insiders and outsiders at the same time.

H-Net Reviews - John K. Brackett

This unusually coherent collection of essays on the theme of Jewish community life in early modern Venice deserves a wide readership.

Historian - Dean Phillip Bell

The essays in this fine volume are the result of years of intensive research of a diverse collection of source materials by a cadre of some of the most renowned scholars in numerous fields within the history of early modern Venice and early modern Judaism... The volume eloquently contextualizes the history and development of Jewish settlement in Venice and the role of the Jews in the broader city and its territories.

Benjamin Kohl
A volume of substantial, scholarly essays that is without parallel in its field. The Jews of Early Modern Venice is an encyclopedic work: between two covers the reader will find sound, comprehensive treatments of all aspects of the Jewish experience in Venice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801865121
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,090,911
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert C. Davis is an associate professor of Italian history at the Ohio State University. His publications include Shipbuilders of the Venetian Arsenal, The War of the Fists, and (coedited with Judith Brown) Gender and Society in Renaissance Italy. Benjamin Ravid is Jennie and Mayer Weisman Professor of Jewish History at Brandeis University. He is the author of Economics and Toleration in Seventeenth Century Venice: The Background and Context of the Discorso of Simone Luzzatto.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Contents and Contributors:

Introduction, Robert C. Davis

I. Settlement

The Venetian Government and the Jews, Benjamin Ravid • The "City of the Jews," Donatella Calabi

II. Ethnicities and Identities

Jewish Banks and Monti di Pietà, Brian Pullan • Jews in International Trade: The Emergence of the Levantines and Ponentines, Benjamin Arbel • Jews, Crypto-Jews, and the Inquisition, Pier Cesare Ioly Zorattini • The Ghetto Republic, David J. Malkiel • Jewish Women and Family Life, Inside and Outside the Ghetto, Howard Tzvi Adelman

III. Cultures

A Cultural Profile, Robert Bonfil • Medicine and Scientific Thought: The World of Tobias Cohen, David B. Ruderman • Jewish Musical Culture: Leon Modena, Don Harrán • Processions, Piety, and Jewish Confraternities, Elliott Horowitz

Johns Hopkins University Press

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