Living under the Evil Pope

The Hebrew Chronicle of Pope Paul IV by Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan from Civitanova Marche (16th cent.)

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In Living under the Evil Pope, Martina Mampieri presents the Hebrew Chronicle of Pope Paul IV, written in the second half of the sixteenth century by the Italian Jewish moneylender Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan (alias Guglielmo di Diodato) from Civitanova Marche. The text remained in manuscript for about four centuries until the Galician scholar Isaiah Sonne (1887-1960) published a Hebrew annotated edition of the chronicle in the 1930s. This remarkable source offers an account of the events of the Papal States during Paul IV’s pontificate (1555-59). Making use of broad archival materials, Martina Mampieri reflects on the nature of this work, its historical background, and contents, providing a revised edition of the Hebrew text as well as the first unabridged English translation and commentary.

Martina Mampieri has been granted a special mention of excellence in the Alberigo Award 2021 by the European Academy of Religion and Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose. (https://www.europeanacademyofreligion.org/alberigo-award)

"Martina Mampieri provides scholars with a source of great interest, which helps better understand the complex period following the election of Pope Paul IV Carafa from a Jewish perspective. This is undoubtedly an important book that contributes to the advancement of our knowledge regarding that historical moment."
-Alessandra Veronese, AJS Review 45/1 (2021)

"This valuable source is now available to the many – the many including, and this is no small thing, those who study the history of historical writing for itself as that writing began emerging from the shadows at just this time. We are deeply indebted."
-Kenneth Stow, University of Haifa, Emeritus, Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 20/1 (2021)

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Martina Mampieri, Ph.D. in History and Jewish Studies (University of Roma Tre and University of Hamburg, 2017), is a Moritz Stern Fellow at the University of Göttingen and was a Starr Fellow in Judaica at Harvard University. She specializes in Jewish cultural history and historiography in early modern and modern times.
"The first half of Mampieri’s edition of this work provides a detailed background for everything discussed by Benjamin in his chronicle. (...) This thoroughness will enable novices in Jewish studies, early modern Catholicism, or Italian history to catch up easily on context they need. (...) The second half of the book provides an English translation and Hebrew transcription of the text itself, annotated and presented with superlative linguistic skill. Mampieri has also furnished the volume richly with maps, useful tables, a luxurious number of plates and figures, and a full facsimile of the only surviving copy of the original manuscript (a transcription made in the nineteenth century). These all enhance its use as a teaching tool and give the chronicle solid purchase and context."
- Emily Michelson, University of St Andrews, in: Renaissance and Reformation, Vol. 44 No.1 (2021).

"Thanks to Martina Mampieri’s exhaustive research and careful analysis, however, we now have a much fuller perspective on this work and its context. Mampieri’s Living under the Evil Pope, a revision and expansion of her PhD dissertation, offers a new critical edition of the chronicle, an English translation, critical and historical notes, a facsimile of the manuscript (now at the National Library of Israel), and some of the key archival documents. Mampieri also offers a full-scale monograph that uses the chronicle and archival sources to shed new light on the Jews of Civitanova Marche and the status of Jews in the Papal States during the papacy of Paul IV, 1555-1559.
(...) Indeed, one of the most fascinating aspects of Mampieri’s work is her account of the modern traces of the work’s history—including a 1943 novelistic reworking of the Merchant of Venice based on Benjamin’s account. Mampieri also notes some of her research on the nachlass of Sonne here. We can look forward to her future publications that will tell us more about both twentieth-century scholarship and the Jews of sixteenth-century Italy. In the meantime, we have Mampieri’s careful study and excellent edition of an important primary source that offer us considerable advances in understanding the second half of the 1550s, a crucial moment in Italian Jewish history and Jewish-Christian relations."
- Adam Shear, University of Pittsburg, in: Annali d’italianistica, Vol. 39 (2021).

"Martina Mampieri provides scholars with a source of great interest, which helps better understand the complex period following the election of Pope Paul IV Carafa from a Jewish perspective. This is undoubtedly an important book that contributes to the advancement of our knowledge regarding that historical moment."
- Alessandra Veronese, University of Pisa, in: AJS Review, Vol. 45 No. 1 (2021).

"(...) even Hebrew speakers will benefit from the translation. This valuable source is now available to the many – the many including, and this is no small thing, those who study the history of historical writing for itself as that writing began emerging from the shadows at just this time. We are deeply indebted."
- Kenneth Stow, University of Haifa, Emeritus, in: Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, Vol. 20 No. 1 (2021).

"This thorough volume makes available for the first time the diplomatic edition and English translation of an extraordinary sixteenth-century Hebrew source on the pontificate of Paul IV Carafa (1555–59), written by Benjamin Nehemiah ben Elnathan from Civitanova Marche in the Papal States. (...) Benjamin’s chronicle was previously known—the Galician scholar Isaiah Sonne published a version of the text in 1930–31 with Hebrew annotations—but Mampieri corrects several mistakes from Sonne’s first, partial edition, and she accompanies the text with a meticulously researched introduction built on a veritable wealth of archival and literary sources. The volume also includes a facsimile of the only extant copy of Benjamin’s work, housed at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem; a documentary appendix; maps; and plates. (...) Not only is the publication and translation of Benjamin’s chronicle a very welcome addition for Jewish historians, but her detailed introduction will be essential reading for any scholar interested in the pontificate of Paul IV."
- Francesca Bregoli, Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, in: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 74 No. 4 (2021).

"Mampieri provides almost 200 pages of historical background placing the Hebrew chronicle in its context before offering a revised edition and an English translation, followed by a facsimile of the only surviving copy of the chronicle done in the 19th century. Recommended to all academic libraries."
- Roger S. Kohn, Silver Spring, MD, in: AJL News and Reviews, Vol II, No 2 (2020-2021).
Contents
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations and Bibliographical Notes
Notes on Currency, Measures, and Time
List of Maps and Plates
Transliteration from Hebrew
The Popes of the Roman Catholic Church (16th Cent.)

Introduction

Part 1: The Work and Its Context


1 The Jews in Civitanova Marche (15th–16th Cent.)
 1.1 At the Origins of the Jewish Settlement
 1.2 Networks of Credit: Moneylending, Trade, and Other Jewish Businesses
 1.3 Jewish Life, Jewish Spaces
 1.4 Family, Dowry, and Inheritance
 1.5 Observant Preaching and the Rise of the Monte di Pietà (1556)
 1.6 Crisis and Decline of the Jewish Presence in Civitanova Marche

2 Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan and His Chronicle of Pope Paul IV
 2.1 The Author between Fiction and History
 2.2 Narrative Structure
 2.3 Sources, Language, and Style
 2.4 The Legacy of Amalek and the Writing of History

Part 2: A Reading of Paul IV’s Pontificate (1555–59)


3 Paul IV and Papal Policy towards the Jews
 3.1 Marcellus II and the Alleged Blood Libel against the Jews of Rome
 3.2 Paul IV’s Election to the Papal Throne (1555)
 3.3 “Since It Is Absurd …”
 3.4 The Burning at the Stake of the Portuguese Conversos in Ancona (1556)

4 Between the Centre and the Periphery of the Papal States
 4.1 The Strengthening of the Roman Inquisition
 4.2 The Pope’s War with Spain (1556–57)
 4.3 The Exile of the Carafas and the Creation of the Sacro Consiglio
 4.4 The Government of the Marca and Its Jews (1557–59)

5 Arrest and Imprisonment of the Jews of Civitanova Marche
 5.1 “Dangerous Bonds”: Neophytes, Slanderers, and “Jewish Dogs”
 5.2 From Civitanova Marche to Rome
 5.3 The Inquisition Prisons at Ripetta

6 From Paul IV “the Evil” to Pius IV “the Merciful”
 6.1 Sickness and Death of Paul IV
 6.2 The Vacancy of the Holy See
 6.3 Pius IV’s Election and the Fall of the House of Carafa

Part 3: The Text


Preface to the Edition and Annotated English Translation
 The Manuscript and Isaiah Sonne’s Edition
 Notes and Abbreviations
 List of Hebrew Abbreviations (רשימת הקיצורים)

Hebrew Text and English Translation

Facsimile of NLI, Ms. Heb. 8°984

Documentary Appendix
 Archival Documents
 Chronology of the Events Reported in the Chronicle
Bibliography
 Archival and Manuscript Sources
 Primary Sources
 Studies and Reference Works
Index of Names and Places
All interested in the history of Italian Jewry and Jewish-Christian relations in the early modern period, and anyone concerned with the history of the Catholic Church and the Roman Inquisition.
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