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Bidding Information
Lot #    8848
Auction End Date    1/11/2005 10:52:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Decree Granting Priviledges to Jews
Author    [Ms. - Community] Ferdinando of Tuscany
City    Italy
Publication Date    c. 1709
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [22] pp., 287:211 mm., light age staining, ink on paper, script, signed and dated.
   Decree by Duke Ferdinando of Tuscany (1653-1709) granting the Jews, Spaniards, and Persians of Pisa and Leghorn assorted rights and religious privileges. The 43 paragraphs build on the freedoms granted in June 1593 proclamation of grand duke Ferdinand I de'Medici and are an important insight into the emnacipation of Italian Jewry in the early eighteenth century.

Jews and New Christian fugitives from Portugal settleled in Pisa and Leghorn in large numbers by the generous terms of the proclamation issued in June 1593. Addressed particularly to Sephardim and Marranos wherever they happened to live, the Medici wished to promote Pisa as the market capital of Tuscany, with the port of Leghorn dependent on Pisa. However, Leghorn developed more successfully and also attained greater importance as a Jewish center, and in 1614 became independent of Pisa.

Jews and other nationalities were given many rights and privileges. Ferdinand Iís charter offered the Jews religious freedom, amnesty from previous crimes, full Tuscan citizenship and special courts with civil and criminal jurisdictions. Safe passage of goods and persons was guaranteed to all Jews who moved to Livorno. Jews could own houses, inherit property, carry arms at any hour, open shops in all parts of the city, have Christian servants and nursemaids, study at the university, work as doctors and did not have to wear the Jewish badge. Finally, unlike many other cities in Tuscany, Jews did not have to live in a ghetto.

These conditions proved attractive to Marranos and Levantines and the Jewish population grew from 114, in 1601 to 3,000 by 1689. Jews came to be the most important nation living in Livorno. Spanish and Portugese became the official language of Jewish merchants in Livorno and remained so until the late 18th century.

   EJ; jewishvirtuallibrary.org
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
History:    Checked
Language:    Italian
Manuscript Type
Other:    Decree
Kind of Judaica