The Eugene Grant Jewish History Program

Piergabriele Mancuso Director

Since its inception in 2013, staff and fellows of the Eugene Grant Jewish History Program at the Medici Archive Project (MAP) have been uncovering and valorizing over 2000 documents on Jews and Jewish culture from the Medici Archives. These records, which are published online on MAP’s digital portal (mia.medici.org), describe both the everyday life and extraordinary events of Jews in Florence and around the world. In 2016, an even more important discovery was made: over two hundred manuscripts volumes detailing the foundation, development, and demolition of the Florentine ghetto. This treasure trove comprises all the names of Jews who have ever resided in the ghetto; the detailed blueprints of every single apartment; the records of every single professional activity that took place within and outside its walls; the mapping of Jewish mercantile networks; the artistic, musical, and scientific production of Florentine Jews; and accounts on their legal vicissitudes as well as the preservation of Jewish customs and religion.

The Eugene Grant Jewish History Program, directed by Dr. Piergabriele Mancuso, has been presenting his body research both to the general public and academic communities. Most notable are the international conferences at Palazzo Ducale in Venice, Center of Jewish History in New York and Tel Aviv University (co-organized by MAP), and the lecture series at the Streicker Center, also in New York. Aside from numerous scholarly publications that have come out during these past years, the monograph entitled Before the Ghetto: Cosimo I de’ Medici and Jews, will be published by Brepols/Harvey Miller in 2021.

Recent Publications

Piergabriele Mancuso, “Religione e dinastie: gli Abrabanel nella Firenze medicea (1537-1574),” in Firenze nella crisi religiosa del Cinquecento (1498-1569), edited by Lucia Felici (Florence, 2020), 147-159.
 
Piergabriele Mancuso, “Minoranze religiose nella Firenze medicea- La comunità ebraica e la nascita del ghetto di Firenze,” Riforma e movimenti religiosi – Società di Studi Valdesi 4 (2018).
 
Lisa Kaborycha, “We do not sell them this tolerance”: Grand Duke Ferdinando I’s Protection of Jews in Tuscany and the Case of Jacob Esperiel,” Sixteenth Century Journal  XLIX/4 (2018), 987-1018.
 
Piergabriele Mancuso, “Jacobiglio Hebreo.
 Mercante, antiquario, informatore di Cosimo I de’ Medici,” in The Medici and Their Archive, edited by Alessio Assonitis and Brian Sandberg (Turnhout, 2017), 79-90.
 
Piergabriele Mancuso and Lorenzo Vigotti, “‘Reconstructing a lost space’ – The Ghetto Mapping Project at the MAP,” Materia Giudaica XXII (2017), 221-232.
 
Piergabriele Mancuso and Lorenzo Vigotti, “From Centuries-Old Squalor: The Ghetto of Florence, from History to Virtual Life,” Rivista di Letteratura Storiografica Italiana I (2017), 123-34.

Conferences

The Medici and the Jews: Religion, Culture and Urban Strategies in Early Modern Florence, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 13-14 June 2018  (in partnership with Tel Aviv University)

La comunità ebraica fiorentina tra Medioevo e Rinascimento: studi e ricostruzione virtuale del Ghetto, Florence, SAGAS, 16 November 2017

The Ghetto and Beyond: The Jews in the Age of the Medici, New York, 18-19 September 2016 (in partnership with the Center for Jewish History).

“…li giudei debbano abitar unidi…”: The Birth and Evolution of the Venetian Ghetto (1516-1797), Palazzo Ducale, Venice, 5-6 May 2016 (in partnership with Beit Venezia, Comitato “I 500 anni del Ghetto di Venezia”, Maimonides Center for Advanced Studies – Universität Hamburg, and Soprintendenza belle arti e paesaggio per Venezia e laguna)