It is a little known fact that as early as the thirteenth century, Europe’s political and religious powers tried to physically mark and distinguish the Jews from the rest of society. During the Renaissance, Italian Jews first had to wear a yellow round badge on their chest, and then later, a yellow beret. The discriminatory marks were a widespread phenomenon with serious consequences for Jewish communities and their relations with Christians. Beginning with a sartorial study – how the Jews were marked on their clothing and what these marks meant – the book offers an in-depth analysis of anti-Jewish discrimination across three Italian city-states: Milan, Genoa, and Piedmont. Moving beyond Italy, it also examines the place of Jews and Jewry law in the increasingly interconnected world of Early Modern European politics.
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