Italian Jews and the Catholic Reformation: Ghettoization, Restriction and Demarcation in Rome, Venice and Florence

Spriit Waite


Instability had characterized the lives of Italian Jews long before the Catholic Reformation broke out in the early sixteenth-century. However, once reforming zeal was kindled in earnest, Italian Jews became targets of the heightened hostility toward non-Catholics. The popular attitudes and official policies that developed throughout the politically fractured Italian peninsula during this era demonstrate that hostility toward Jews increased dramatically during the zenith of the Catholic Reformation, and that tremendous variance existed in the manifestations and severity of this hostility from state to state.

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