Challenging traditional historiographical approaches, this book offers a new history of Italian Jews in the early modern age. The fortunes of the Jewish communities of Italy in their various aspects – demographic, social, economic, cultural, and religious – can only be understood if these communities are integrated into the picture of a broader European, or better still, global system of Jewish communities and populations; and, that this history should be analyzed from within the dense web of relationships with the non-Jewish surroundings that enveloped the Italian communities. The book presents new approaches on such essential issues as ghettoization, antisemitism, the Inquisition, the history of conversion, and Jewish-Christian relations. It sheds light on the autonomous culture of the Jews in Italy, focusing on case studies of intellectual and cultural life using a micro-historical perspective. This book was first published in Italy in 2014 by one of the leading scholars on Italian Jewish history.

This book will appeal to students and scholars alike studying and researching Jewish history, early modern Italy, early modern Jewish and Italian culture, and early modern society.

chapter |4 pages


Global Contexts and Transcultural Networks

part Part One|68 pages

The Geopolitics of Italian Jewry between the 15th and 16th Centuries. The Structures

part Part Two|61 pages

The Invention of the Ghettos

chapter 5|24 pages

The Second Trauma. The Birth of the Ghettos

Geography and Chronology

chapter 6|35 pages

Jewish Culture and Christian Culture

part Part Three|51 pages

The Age of Emancipation

chapter 7|26 pages

The Turning Point of the 18th Century

chapter |5 pages


Anti-Judaism and Antisemitism. The Modern Roots of Antisemitism