Venice's Colonial Jews: Community, Identity, and Justice in Late Medieval Venetian Crete
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CitationLauer, Rena. 2014. Venice's Colonial Jews: Community, Identity, and Justice in Late Medieval Venetian Crete. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractThis dissertation offers a social history of the Jews of Candia, Venetian Crete's capital, by investigating how these Jews related to their colonial sovereign, their Latin and Greek Christian neighbors, and their diverse co-religionists in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Latin ducal court records, Hebrew communal ordinances, and notarial materials reveal the unique circumstances of Venetian colonial rule on Crete, including the formalized social hierarchy dividing Latin and Greek Christians, ready access to the Venetian justice system, and Venetian accommodation of pre-colonial legal precedents. Together, these elements enabled and encouraged Jews--individuals and community alike--to invest deeply in the institutions of colonial society. Their investment fostered sustained, meaningful interactions with the Latin and Greeks populations. It even shaped the ways in which Jews engaged with one another, particularly as they brought their quotidian and intracommunal disputes before Venice's secular judiciaries. Though contemporary religious authorities frowned upon litigating against co-religionists in secular courts, people from across the spectrum of Candiote Jewry, from community leaders to unhappily married women, sought Venetian judicial intervention at times.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12274135
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