ABSTRACT At the heart of the sodomy trial against Lazarro de Norsa in 1670 before the Modenese Inquisition lies a relationship between the Jewish tailor Lazarro and the son of the household, Cesare Cimicelli. Lazarro sleeps, not in the servants’ quarters, but with Cimicelli. There is nothing unusual or sinister about two men sharing a bed, but when two men of different faiths and status do so it gives rise to gossip and suspicion. This essay focuses on enmity, friendship and homo-sociality among Jews and Christians in an early modern Italian Christian household. It shows how men had a primary role within this domestic space and how relationships between servants could be made and unmade. It also reveals an unusual case in which a Jew appearing before an inquisitorial tribunal was successfully defended by a Christian procurator, paid for by the head of the Christian household, Signor Enrico Cimicelli.

issue 24 / n.2 (2023) by Katherine Aron-Beller

ABSTRACT This essay focuses on the “rhetoric of paternal affliction” that late eighteenth-century Italian Jewish merchant patriarchs employed in letters and supplications addressing threats to their intertwined paternal and commercial authority, particularly when filial disobedience or apostasy was involved. I examine this rhetoric as an emotional style that illuminates Jewish merchant masculinity. Although the image of a suffering father seems to deviate from known early modern models of hegemonic masculinity, within the context of the eighteenth-century culture of sensibility this rhetoric emphasized Jewish patriarchs’ honesty and righteousness, beseeching male compassion and sympathy. By performing vulnerability vis-à-vis Jewish associates, as well as Jewish and state authorities, the vocal expression of paternal affliction was meant to reinforce threatened mercantile patriarchal power. This complicates our understanding of early modern fatherhood, demonstrating that a sentimental display of masculine helplessness went hand in hand with better-known notions of hegemonic paternal authority.

issue 24 / n.2 (2023) by Francesca Bregoli

ABSTRACT The Jewish community of Szeged, Hungary, has a rich cultural and historical heritage dating back more than two centuries. Approximately 60% of the Szeged Jewish population was killed in the Holocaust. In the end of June 1944, three trains departed from Szeged, taking the Jewish population from Szeged and the surrounding towns and villages. The first train went to Auschwitz, where most of the Szeged Jews were killed upon arrival. The second train was uncoupled, half going to Auschwitz, while the second half of the second transport and the third train ended up at the Strasshof Labor Camp near Vienna, where most people survived. The setup of the three transports resulted in Szeged’s Jewry having an exceptionally high survival rate in the Holocaust, including children and elderly. Basic human needs formed the core of concentration camp survivors’ interests following liberation. Jewish camp survivors received help from the Jewish community, obtained nourishment from Jewish-run soup kitchens, and mostly survived on care packages from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and other Jewish organizations. The current paper aims to present and analyze the role played by the Joint as well as the post-war life of women of three generations in Szeged, thus depicting life immediately after the war in Szeged.

issue 24 / n.2 (2023) by Dóra Pataricza

ABSTRACT This paper focuses on Giovanni Antonio Costanzi, a converted Jew in the service of the Holy Office. Primary sources, including his writings and documents related to his service in the Roman Inquisition, form the foundation of our study, supplemented by secondary sources from ecclesiastical archives. These materials allow us to reconstruct aspects of Costanzi’s life, comprehend his involvement with the Holy Office, and explore his potential contributions to Anna del Monte’s Diary. Building upon previous research, the aim is to present new data, establishing a revised chronology for Costanzi and shedding light on his role within a broader historical context. As individuals straddling two worlds, converts occupied a precarious position, continually striving to demonstrate their loyalty to Christianity. The paper includes an appendix that details Costanzi’s direct involvement in the conversion of Jews, revealing the intricate dynamics of this period.

issue 24 / n.2 (2023) by Miriam Benfatto