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Title: Walls and gates : Jewish ghettos and the built environment in Ferrara, Florence, and Modena (c. 1750-1840)
Author: Martin, Myrna Gene
ISNI:       0000 0005 0291 3249
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis analyses how management of the urban landscape influenced interactions between Italian Jews and Catholics in Ferrara, Florence, and Modena from the creation of the ghettos to the 1840s. I argue that the physical location of the ghettos at the heart of these cities demanded inclusion within the urban community through bureaucratic actions, a process I call embeddedment. Drawing upon Edward Soja's notion of the socio-spatial dialectic, in conjunction with social identity theory, I take a comparative approach which highlights broader patterns of convergence and divergence Italy since these three case studies illuminate practices under three different political regimes: the theocratic Papal States, the Habsburg Empire, and the Este dynasty. In all three cases, this thesis demonstrates that embeddedment, rather than the standard tropes of inclusion and exclusion, defined Italian Jewish experience during the era of the ghettos. Using a longue durée approach, Part One explores the legal foundations for Jewish presence in Italy (Chapter 1), the creation of the ghettos in these cities (Chapter 2) and the historical evolution of the primary institutional actors - the Inquisition, the Italian health boards, and Jewish leadership (Chapter 3). Part Two proceeds topically and chronologically through the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. Chapter 4 focuses on the policies for ritual slaughter and burial of the dead in all three cities. The issue of lunacy in Enlightenment Florence is discussed in chapter 5. Chapter 6 explores conversion through the lens of a civil marriage petition in Modena during the first emancipation under Napoleon. Chapter 7 focuses on the Restoration era through analysis of the arrest of five Christian men who entered the ghetto of Ferrara on the Sabbath. Chapter 8 considers fire management the impact of epidemic cholera in these cities and their ghettos.
Supervisor: Green, Abigail Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Ghettos ; Jewish History