Jews of Rome – Three Printed Decrees from the 16th Century – Papal Bull Instituting Mandatory Sermons on Shabbat / Directive Forbidding the Harassment of Jews / Decree Establishing Segregation between Jews and Christians

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Three printed decrees pertaining to the Jews of Rome. 16th century. Italian and Latin.

1. "Sancta Mater Ecclesia", papal bull issued by Pope Gregory XIII (1502-1585). Rome: Haeredes Antonii Bladii, 1584. Latin.
Papal bull requiring Jews to attend missionizing sermons every Shabbat, where they would be reprimanded for their errors, and educated as to the correct interpretation of the Scriptures. Missionizing sermons were customary in Italy since the 13th century; Pope Gregory XIII strengthened this practice and expanded it in the present bull and in an additional bull he published previously, in 1577. Regarding missionizing sermons in Rome, see: Attilio Milano, The Ghetto of Rome (Tel Aviv, Sifriat Maariv, 1992), pp. 171-179 (Hebrew).

2. "Bando – Che non si debbano molestare, ne dar fastidio alli Hebrei", official decree prohibiting Christian citizens to attack or harass Jews: Rome: Paolo Blado Stampatore Camerale, 1591. Italian.
Decree instituting a punishment of flogging for whoever "dares [...] directly or indirectly, to harass, disturb or hamper in any way any Jew, man, woman, or infant… ridicules, touches or insults them in any way, in actions or words, whether by day or by night, in public or in hiding".
Such decrees were published by the rulers of Rome before the February carnivals. The carnival brought about wild, unbridled conduct, and the Jews of Rome, who would walk through the streets amongst the customed citizens, were susceptible at these times to ridicule and insult, even violence. The authorities would fulfill their duties towards the Jewish residents of Rome by publishing these decrees.
See: Attilio Milano, The Ghetto of Rome. Maariv, 1992, p. 208 (Hebrew). A picture of a similar decree (from 1595) appears in the Italian edition, opposite p. 96.

3. "Bando sopra li Hebrei", decree issued by Cardinal Girolamo Rusticucci (1537-1603), Vicar General of Rome. Rome: Paolo Blado, 1592. Italian.
The decree establishes segregation between the Jewish community and the Christian community in Rome. Among other things, it prohibits Jews from inviting Christians to synagogues and to Jewish schools, and from visiting Christian businesses and institutions.
See: Giacomo Ferri, La giurisdizione del card. vicario sugli ebrei di Roma tra il XVI e il XVII secolo, limiti e prospettive di una ermeneutica filosofica post-strutturalista (Rome, 2016), pp. 49-52.

Approx. 36X23 cm to 42X27 cm. Condition varies. Stains and creases. Several open tears (slightly affecting text). Placed in new frames; not examined outside of frames.

Italian Jewry – Manuscripts and Printed Items