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Cities of Splendour in the Shaping of Sephardi History$
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Jane S. Gerber

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113300

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113300.001.0001

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The Jews of Venice: Between Toleration and Expulsion 1516–1648

The Jews of Venice: Between Toleration and Expulsion 1516–1648

Chapter:
(p.124) Chapter Four The Jews of Venice: Between Toleration and Expulsion 1516–1648
Source:
Cities of Splendour in the Shaping of Sephardi History
Author(s):

Jane S. Gerber

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113300.003.0005

This chapter focuses on the legal arrangements and designations of Jews on the right to live in Venice. It argues that their right of residence would require periodic renewal of specific charters and limited duration. Dwelling in Venice on 'sufferance and not as of right' and in a legal arrangement that required periodic renewal, the Jews in Venice were suspended between acceptance and rejection. The chapter highlights the tension between religiously motivated antagonism and economically motivated toleration which frequently made Jewish life unpredictable. As a result of this unique physical and legal arrangement, Jewish Venice emerged as the site of a highly organized Jewish communal structure that boasted an extremely rich culture. The chapter presents the life of Sephardi migrants, who were recently expelled or forcibly converted on the Iberian peninsula, and how they found refuge and renewal behind its walls. It assesses the roles played by the ghetto of Venice in shaping Sephardi history, despite its inconvenient location and fetid alleyways.

Keywords:   Venice, Jews, Sephardi, Iberian peninsula, ghetto, legal arrangement, refuge, Sephardi history, Jewish communal

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