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These volumes of the "Documentary History of the Jews in Italy", illustrate the history of the Jews in Genoa and surroundings from Antiquity to the French Revolution. The earliest documentary evidence takes the form of letters from King Theodoric. For the Middle Ages the documentation is relatively fragmentary and sporadic. Later there is greater abundance of historical evidence, which portrays chiefly the destinies of the Jews in the Republic from the sixteenth century on, when the presence of the Jews became permanent and a regular community was established also in the capital.
The historical records presented illustrate mainly the relationship between the government of the Genoese Republic and the Jews, the latter's economic activities and their communal and social life. Some of the detailed descriptions of the Jewish population in Genoa, their living conditions and occupations, allow for a close examination of the social conditions of this Northern Italian community. For a while Genoa became a haven of refuge for some of the exiles from Spain, including the historian Joseph Hacohen and members of the Abarbanel family. The volumes are provided with an extensive introduction, bibliography, glossary and indexes.