Michele Luzzati

Jewish slaves and slaves of the Jews in central-north Italy in medieval and modern history. Research notes

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract


Through the study of a collection of medieval and early modern documents from different areas of central-north Italy we will illustrate some interesting aspects of slavery in Jewish communities. This analysis highlights the problem of a clear distinction between hostages and slaves and between slavery and serfdom. Moreover, it offers a chance to evaluate the pressure imposed on Jewish slaves in order to obtain their conversion - while considering how the same pressure affected the Jewish community as a whole, even when free. Finally, the study will examine the various attitudes towards conversion within the community of Jewish slaves: from strong attachment to the religion of origin, to unreserved adhesion to a new faith or indifference to the different options.

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