By Edward L. Goldberg

In the 17th century, Florence was once the sumptuous capital of the Medici Grand Dukedom of Tuscany. in the meantime, the Jews in its tiny Ghetto struggled to earn cash via any attainable capacity, particularly loan-sharking, rag-picking and second-hand dealing. They have been seen as an uncanny individuals with infrequent supernatural powers, and Benedetto Blanis—a businessman and aspiring pupil from a exotic Ghetto dynasty—sought to parlay his alleged mastery of astrology, alchemy and Kabbalah right into a grand place on the Medici court docket. He gained the patronage of Don Giovanni dei Medici, a scion of the ruling kin, and for 6 tumultuous years their lives have been inextricably linked.

Edward Goldberg unearths the dramas of way of life behind the curtain within the Pitti Palace and within the slender byways of the Florentine Ghetto, utilizing millions of recent files from the Medici Granducal Archive. He indicates that truth—especially old truth—can be stranger than fiction, whilst seen during the eyes of the folks such a lot instantly involved.

Show description

Read Online or Download Jews and Magic in Medici Florence: The Secret World of Benedetto Blanis (Toronto Italian Studies Series) PDF

Best judaism books

What We Talk about When We Talk about Anne Frank

From the up-and-coming younger American author who has contributed to McSweeney's and written for the recent Yorker comes a masterful number of brief tales that has already acquired rave reports from a few of the so much well known writers operating at the present time. a number of the tales are comedian masterpieces, a few include as darkish a imaginative and prescient of the universe as you will definitely come upon, and them all show off a author grappling with the nice questions of contemporary lifestyles.

Responses to Suffering in Classical Rabbinic Literature

The life of agony poses an noticeable challenge for the monotheistic religions. Why does an omnipotent, benevolent God enable people to endure? And on condition that God does, what's the acceptable human reaction? nowa days Jewish theologians specifically, confronted with the enormity of the Holocaust, have struggled to come back to grips with those matters.

Israeli Culture in Perspective

###############################################################################################################################################################################################################################################################

The Origins of Israel, 1882–1948: A Documentary History

In 1880 the Jewish group in Palestine encompassed a few 20,000 Orthodox Jews; inside sixty-five years it was once reworked right into a secular proto-state with well-developed political, army, and monetary associations, a full of life Hebrew-language tradition, and a few 600,000 population. The Origins of Israel, 1882–1948: A Documentary historical past chronicles the making of recent Israel ahead of statehood, delivering in English the texts of unique resources (many translated from Hebrew and different languages) followed through vast introductions and commentaries from the amount editors.

Extra info for Jews and Magic in Medici Florence: The Secret World of Benedetto Blanis (Toronto Italian Studies Series)

Example text

27 Around 1571 Laudadio son of Moyse Blanis and his dependents moved from the gardens and orchards of Gualfonda to the close confines of the new Ghetto near the central market (Mercato Vecchio). 28 Also, for the first time in their lives, they had to coexist on a daily basis with other Jews – if not quite as equals, at least as neighbours. Doctor Laudadio Blanis had seldom, if ever, prayed in a public synagogue until the opportunity was forced on him by Cosimo I and Crown Prince Francesco. 29 Meanwhile, at least three hundred others voted with their feet and went elsewhere, particularly those who might have been Doctor Laudadio’s social and economic peers.

Don Giovanni dei Medici Don Giovanni dei Medici (1567–1621) was the second to last of Cosimo I’s fifteen children. Born out of wedlock to the Grand Duke’s mistress Eleonora degli Albizzi, Giovanni soon won his father’s affection and favour. Although not quite seven years old at the time of his sire’s death, in 1574, the boy had already been legitimized and handsomely endowed with money and a Florentine palace of his own. At the age of twelve, he represented the Medici in the first of many diplomatic missions – travelling to Venice when his half-brother Francesco I married his long-time Venetian mistress Bianca Cappello (1548– 1587), complicating relations between the two states.

19 Less than a year later, on 5 March 1588, he explained away his predilection for gambling, in a letter from Antwerp to Grand Ducal Secretary Belisario Vinta: ‘If it is reported in Florence that my disorders here are due to gambling, I hope that as a gentleman you will treat these rumours as false and malicious and affirm this to His Highness. ’20 Don Giovanni’s transgressions did not cease with his youth. At the age of forty-four, on 6 July 1611, he asked his nephew Cosimo II to excuse his latest violent outburst – the killing of a man in Florence on a hot summer’s night: After dinner, Don Garzia di Montalvo and I withdrew to my rooms, where 14â•… Jews and Magic in Medici Florence there was a certain young woman with whom I have a certain friendship.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.29 of 5 – based on 23 votes