Jews in the Piazza: Jewish Self-government in the Fifteenth-century Kingdom of Naples

in European Journal of Jewish Studies
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This study intends to make a contribution to the literature on Jewish autonomy in the Late Middle Ages by analyzing Jewish political life in the Kingdom of Naples in the fifteenth century. Contrary to Italian and European scholarship which has interpreted Jewry policy in the Kingdom of Naples in the fifteenth century as a direct emanation of the ‘good heart’ of the Aragonese kings, I argue that Jewish charters must be considered the product of Jewish agency. I suggest that the Jewish ruling elites, not the king nor the municipal governmets sought the administrative and juridical separation of the iudece (Jewish Communities) from the municipal governement of southern cities. Considering that Jewish political action, and the administration of the iudeca mirrored that of cities, I argue that Jewish Communities fit perfectly into the Aragonese administrative puzzle.

European Journal of Jewish Studies

The Journal of the European Association for Jewish Studies (Formerly: EAJS Newsletter)

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References

3

Bendetto Croce, History of the Kingdom of Naples (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965); Giuseppe Galasso, Storia dItalia: Il Regno di Napoli. Il Mezzogiorno Angioino e Aragonese (Turin: utet, 2005).

4

Salo Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews (New York: Columbia University Press, 1975); David Biale, Cultures of the Jews (New York: Schocken, 2002); Robert Bonfil, Jewish Life in Renaissance Italy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

6

Francesca Bregoli, Mediterranean Enlightenment, Livornese Jews, Tuscan Culture, and Eighteenth-Century Reform (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014); see also Francesca Trivellato, The Familiarity of Strangers (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009).

7

Nicola Ferorelli, Gli ebrei nell’Italia Meridionale dall’età romana al secolo XVIII (repr., Bologna: Arnaldo Forni Editore, 2007).

8

Maria Rosaria Tamblé, “Gli ebrei attraverso le fonti dell’Archivio di Stato di Lecce,” in Comunità ebraiche nel Salento: una scomparsa silenziosa—La presenza ebraica in Provincia di Lecce e la sua eredità, ed. Fabrizio Ghio (Monteroni di Lecce: Esperidi, 2013), 69–86.

9

Cesare Colafemmina, “I capitoli concessi nel 1465 da Ferrante I ai Giudei del Regno,” Studi Storici Meridionali 3 (1992): 279–303 idem, “La tutela dei giudei del regno di Napoli nei capitoli dei sovrani aragonesi,” Studi Storici Meridionali 7 (1987): 303–310; Anna Foa, The Jews after the Black Death (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 120.

13

Francesco Calasso, La legislazione statutaria nell’Italia meridionale (Rome: Angelo Signorelli, 1929).

16

Cirillo, Spazi contesi, 91.

19

Ferdinando Lionti, “I ministri della religione presso gli ebrei di Sicilia,” Archivio storico siciliano 8 (1885): 131–136; Leopold Zunz, “Storia degli Ebrei in Sicilia,” Archivio storico siciliano 62 (1879): 27–30.

20

Ferorelli, Gli Ebrei nell’Italia Meridionale, 151–172; on taxation, see also Giuseppe Galasso, Storia d’Italia: Il Regno di Napoli. Il Mezzogiorno Angioino e Aragonese (Turin: utet, 2005).

23

Cirillo, Spazi contesi, 193.

26

Cirillo, Spazi contesi, 193–194.

47

Colafemmina, Documenti per la Storia degli Ebrei in Puglia, 181.

49

Colafemmina, Documenti per la Storia degli Ebrei in Puglia, 129–130.

50

Ferorelli, Gli ebrei nell’Italia Meridionale, 106–107.

55

Cirillo, Spazi contesi, 190–193.

59

Cirillo, Spazi contesi, 190.

60

Colafemmina, La presenza ebraica in puglia, 78.

68

Colafemmina, Documenti per la Storia degli Ebrei in Puglia, 76.

71

For example, Colafemmina, The Jews of Calabria, 278–284.

75

Palumbo, Libro Rosso di Lecce, 84. The original reads: “niuno citatino cristiano o vero judeo sia costricto affare guardia.”

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