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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Persecution of the Jews: The Inquisition of the church against the Jews 1481-1834

How criminal Catholic "Christian" church and the criminal Pope justified anonymous allegations against the Jews and New Christians with torture, degradation, and burning - and confiscation of the property

from: Inquisition; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 8

presented by Michael Palomino (2007)

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20. Inquisition elsewhere in Europe: Mantua, Venice, and Tuscany

<MANTUA. Elsewhere in Italy, conditions were much the same. Thus at Mantua Solomon *Molcho was burned in 1532 as an apostate Judaizer. In the same place, an old woman named Judith Franchetti was burned alive for sorcery in 1600 at the age of 77: the main charge against her was that she had persuaded a certain nun to embrace Judaism.

VENICE. The Inquisition at Venice, one of the principal centers of refuge for the Conversos from the Peninsula, similarly dealt with many Jewish cases. Between 1557 and 1711 the records of no less than 80 are preserved. Of these approximately one-third are concerned with immigrants from Spain and Portugal; the rest deal with insincere local converts and with technical offenses committed by conforming Jews.

Notable amongst the latter is a case against Leone *Modena, who for the sake of security voluntarily denounced the uncensored Paris edition of his Historia de' Riti ebraici (1637). The persecution of the Conversos in Venice by the Inquisition reached its height in the decade 1558-68, when Fra Felice Peretti da Montalto (later Pope Sixtus V) was inquisitor. In comparison with the Roman tribunal, however, it was humane, and never seems to have proceeded to any sentence of death.

TUSCANY. In Florence, the Inquisition seems to have restricted itself to a considerable degree to the supervision and encouragement of apostates to Christianity. However, it also prosecuted a number of Conversos from Spain and Portugal resident in the city, especially in the first decade of the 17th century. In Pisa and Leghorn, the operation of the Inquisition against the Conversos was expressly limited by the concessions of 1593, which were confirmed in the case of Jacob Gutiérrez Penha in 1730.> (col. 1400)

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