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Love, Work and DeathJewish Life in Medieval Umbria$
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Ariel Toaff

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774198

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774198.001.0001

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Banks and Bankers

Banks and Bankers

(p.234) 11 Banks and Bankers
Love, Work and Death

Ariel Toaff

Liverpool University Press

This chapter assesses the Jewish banks and bankers in late medieval Italy, particularly in Umbria. From the end of the thirteenth century, the communes of central and northern Italy held a powerful attraction for Jewish financiers from Rome and beyond the Alps, and the origins of many Italian Jewish communities are linked to the migrations of these first Jewish merchants and bankers. Umbria received one of the earliest, and largest, waves of migrating Jewish bankers from Rome: here, introduced and supported by the circles of the Roman Curia, whose political and economic interests they often represented, these bankers were invited by the communes to invest their capital in the local economy. The priors gave them official status in the money-market, binding them to the strict observance of charters laying down permitted charges and other regulations protecting prospective borrowers, but also granting them the rights of citizenship and numerous privileges of a legal and religious kind. The chapter then studies the structure and functioning of the great Jewish banking and trading companies. It also looks at the major banking families in Umbria, as well as the bankers' servants.

Keywords:   Jewish banks, Jewish bankers, Umbria, Jewish financiers, Italian Jewish communities, money market, Jewish trading companies, banking families

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