Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Love, Work and DeathJewish Life in Medieval Umbria$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ariel Toaff

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774198

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774198.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Doctors and Surgeons

Doctors and Surgeons

(p.215) 10 Doctors and Surgeons
Love, Work and Death

Ariel Toaff

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on Jewish doctors and surgeons in Umbrian communes in the late Middle Ages. Public records, notarial deeds, and contracts in Hebrew and Latin all bear witness to the presence and activity of a host of Jewish doctors, hired by the communes to treat the people of any given town and contado. The practice appears to have been widespread throughout Italy, and its roots are to be sought less in the supposed Jewish penchant for medical studies than in the fact that such studies were virtually the only ones to which Jews had access in the Italian universities of the time. Moreover, the privileges and prestige which often accompanied the medical profession constituted an appreciable attraction for Jews in search of a social standing that might exempt them from the restrictions that went with their identity. Such advantages included above all the right of citizenship, with its attendant privileges, primarily that of being able to acquire property and enter it in the town's land register; exemption from payment of city tributes and special taxes; authorization to carry defensive weapons; and dispensation from wearing the distinctive badge. However, from the mid-fifteenth century onwards, the employment of Jewish doctors by the communes began to be hotly and openly contested.

Keywords:   Jewish doctors, Jewish surgeons, Umbrian communes, medical studies, medical practice, medical profession, citizenship

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.