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Spain

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Avraham ben Garton ben Yishaq

Abraham Garton was a Jewish printer who printed the first dated Hebrew book in Europe in 1475. Very little is known about the personal life of Abraham ben Garton. Most scholars believe he was born in Spain, and emigrated to Calabria, Italy prior to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Many other […]

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The Jews of Italy

Arnaldo Momigliano 1. Italian history is always a difficult subject. Behind it and inside it there is the extraordinary variety of regional and urban units; the history of Florence is not the history of Pisa, or even that of Arezzo, or Siena, or Volterra. Where the Jews are involved, the differences in local traditions are […]

The Giudecca of Ortigia

An attractive island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been a hub of migration routes for millennia. Jews are thought to have been part of the patchwork at least as early as the 1st century, after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. At the end of the 15th […]

Venice

In 1516, Venice’s ruling council confined all the Jews in a small area not far from today’s train station, where there had been getti, or foundries. The gates were locked at night, and restrictions were placed on Jewish economic activities. Jews were only allowed to operate pawn shops and lend money, trade in textiles, and […]

Asti

Up until the twelfth century, the episcopal and imperial powers alternated in the rule of Asti. In 1275, the Emperor Henry VII donated the city to Amedo V of Savoy. In 1387, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, lord of the city, gave it as dowry to his daughter when she married Louis d’Orleans. After the fall of the […]

Sardinia

 The settlement of Jews, in various parts of the island, goes as far back as the year 19 CE. During the reign of the emperor Tiberius, 4,000 Jewish youths were banished from Rome to Sardinia as a penalty for the misdeeds of four Jewish swindlers. Pretending to be collectors for the treasury of the Temple […]