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The last will and testament of Simone Luzzatto (1583?‐1663) and the only known manuscript of the Discorso (1638) Newly discovered manuscripts from the state archive of Venice and the Marciana library, Venice

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image of European Journal of Jewish Studies

The State Archive of Venice and the Marciana Library (Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana) are a veritable treasure house for documenting Jewish life in Venice in past centuries. As result of a recent research visit by Gianfranco Miletto to the former state of the Serenissima, the last will and testament of the famous Rabbi and philosopher Simone Luzzatto came to light.1 In addition to this, Guido Bartolucci discovered the perhaps only extant manuscript of the Discorso in the Biblioteca Marciana. It sheds new light on the question of the composition and use of this apologetic piece of writing by the Rabbi of Venice.

This research note publishes only the documents, enumerating at first the exceptional data contained in both of them, contributing to a better understanding of the biography of Simone Luzzatto. A later publication,2 English translation and future studies of all the extant documents on Luzzatto’s family will evaluate these texts in a broader biographical context.

Affiliations: 1: University of Halle-Wittenberg; 2: University of Calabria


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