Journals Higher Education

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Published: 01 July 1998

308 Pages

ISBN: 9781874774334


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Bookseller Code (06)

Love, Work and Death

Jewish Life in Medieval Umbria

Ariel Toaff and Judith Landry

The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization in association with Liverpool University Press

The latter part of the thirteenth century is regarded as a key period in the history of Italian Jewry. During that time many Jewish communities sprang up in the regions of central and northern Italy. Their appearance marked a turning-point in the history of Jews in the Italian peninsula as the Jewish presence had previously been focused on Rome and the south. In this much-acclaimed study, originally published in Italian, Ariel Toaff captures all the intricacies of everyday life in the medieval Jewish communities of Umbria. A thorough examination of Hebrew and Italian archival sources enables him to characterize in detail the defining features of Jewish life in the region at that time and to show clearly how the common stereotype of a single, undifferentiated Jewish community does not reflect the reality. Instead, he presents a picture of a complex society that-far from being a 'mere' minority and somewhat isolated-actually contributed greatly to contemporary society and played a significant role in shaping it, while at the same time also being influenced by the surrounding Christian society.

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