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15 The Jews: Institutions, Economy, and Society

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Chapter Summary

In the core centuries of the Middle Ages, most Italian Jews lived in urban centres in the Centre and South of the Italian peninsula. There is much documentary evidence demonstrating the ways in which the Milanese Dukes, from the second half of the fifteenth century, intervened in institutions and local societies in order to resolve disputes concerning the withholding of pawned goods by Jews, their redemption or their sale at auction, or their reuse. The attitudes of the Dukes of Milan towards the Jews were not always univocally benevolent. The limitations placed on the presence of Jews inside the walls of the city of Milan were, even in the Spanish era, a matter of controversy. On the eve of the French Revolution, nothing had substantially changed for the surviving Milanese Jews from the times of the Visconti and Sforza rules.

Keywords: French Revolution; Italian Jews; Milan; Sforza rule; Spanish era; Visconti rule



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