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4. Lives

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Chapter Summary

The caption to this chapter, an incipit rooted in the epigraphy of ancient Greece and found in the Padua graveyards, exhorts visitors to consider for a moment the person beneath the gravestone. The chapter discusses the periphery of Padua's Jewish society, studying the presence of those on the margins, the outsiders. It then turns to the city's unmarried population and its elite groups before addressing the rank and file. A set of questions is posed to each population sector. The chapter attempts to assess their presence in society in terms of their demographic weight, including their numbers relative to the population. The titles and epithets used to identify and describe the individuals have much to teach us regarding prevailing values. The location of a grave in the graveyard, its "burial geography", sheds light on kinship ties and social status. A tombstone's architecture and heraldry illuminates a person's image in society.

Keywords: ancient Greece; Padua's Jewish society; population sector; tombstone's architecture



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