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Decree affecting Jews
[Ms. - Community - Vellum]
This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
 p., 325:225 mm., faded ink on vellum, signed and dated.
The first record of a Jewish settlement in Mantua dates from 1145, when Abraham Ibn Ezra lived there for a while. A small Jewish community existed during the heyday of the city-republic. Sometime after the Gonzaga had become lords of Mantua, Jewish bankers were invited to start operations in the capital and province. Subsequently the Jewish population increased, reaching 3,000 by 1600. The merchant and artisan population soon outnumbered the bankers. Some 50 Jewish settlements of varying size flourished in the province, the major ones being Bozzolo, Sabbioneta, Luzzara, Guastalla, Viadana, Revere, Sermide, and Ostiano. The Jews were protected by a series of privileges granted them by popes, emperors, and the Gonzaga rulers. A Christian loan bank (monte di pietà) was established in Mantua in 1486 to compete with Jewish banking, but initially at least had little success. Anti-Jewish riots took place at Mantua in the 15th century, fostered by the Church and aided and abetted by the business competitors of the Jews. There was also an isolated case of blood libel in 1478. At the end of the 15th century the regulation imposing the Jewish badge was introduced in Mantua. Rioting in 1495, after Duke Francesco Gonzaga's indecisive encounter with the French forces at Fornovo, resulted in the confiscation of the house of the leading Jewish banker in the city, Daniel Norsa, and the erection of the Church of the Madonna della Vittoria on the site. David Reuveni visited Mantua in 1530, but failed to obtain the support of either the ruler or the Jews. Two years later Solomon Molcho was burned at the stake there. The Counter-Reformation began to affect the Jews of Mantua adversely in the last quarter of the 16th century. Restrictive measures and anti-Jewish propaganda culminated in riots and murder.
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Kind of Judaica