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Between Intergration and Segregation: The Jewish Community of Venice in the 16th – 17th Centuries: III. State Interests, Xenophobia and Segregational Practice in Venice
Budai Miklós, MA
Five hundred years ago, in March 1516 the authorities of Venice gave an order to establish a segregated section in the town for the Jews to settle there, thus – unintentionally – creating a long lasting paradigm for segregation in Christian societies, i.e. the concept of the ‘ghetto’. However, it is also a widely held opinion that during the Italian Renaissance Jews were largely integrated into the majority even during the time of the ghetto. The editors’ intention with this jubilee series of essays on the Jews of Venice in a period full of light and shadows, between the years of 1500 and 1650, is to provide a picture of the life in the ghetto, with its main characteristics, to explore the nature of the boundaries between Jews and Christians, to shed light on the dynamics of segregating and integrating forces in the society at that time.

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