Stones Speak - Hebrew Tombstones from Padua, 1529-1862


From Renaissance to Risorgimento, the Hebrew tombstones of Padua express the cultural currents of their age, in text and art. The inscriptions are mainly rhymed and metered poems, about life, love and faith, while the design and ornamentation of the actual stones reflect prevailing architectural and artistic tastes. Additionally, the inscriptions illuminate the society of Padua's Jews, and the social and cultural changes they underwent during the 330 years covered by this study. Thus these tombstones capture the flow of Italian Jewish culture from Renaissance to Baroque, and from the early modern to the modern era.

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David Malkiel, Ph.D. Harvard University (1988), is Professor of medieval Jewish history at Bar-Ilan University. He has written widely on the history of the Jews in medieval Franco-Germany and in early modern Italy, including A Separate Republic (1991), Reconstructing Ashkenaz (2009) and Poems in Marble (2013).
"In conclusion, the book Stones Speak – Hebrew Tombstones from Padua, 1529-1862 is an important contribution to our historical knowledge of the Jewish cemeteries in Italy. It is our hope it will also contribute to the development of future conservation projects of the important and rich architectural and sculptural heritage of Italian Jewry." -Andrea Morpurgo,Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History, Issue 10 (Dec 2016).
I. Words
II. Stones
III. Lives
Stones Speak will appeal to educated readers interested in Jewish culture and/or the society and culture of early modern Europe, especially to students of Italian literature and art.
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