Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Jews of Rome, 1766

THE Jews in this city are indulged in the use of synagogues ; but are obliged to live all together in the Ghetto *, as they call such places in the cities of Italy. At nine o'clock every evening the gates of the place where they live are shut up, and opened again in the morning ; but at Easter they are locked up from Thursday in passion-week 'till the Monday following, during which time no Jew dares to be seen abroad. When they appear in the streets they are distinguished by a piece of yellow silk, or crape, on the crown of their hats, and are subject to a great penalty if seen without it. They are most of them very poor, and little respect is paid to the richest of them. Their synagogue has a mean appearance; yet it has some sine apartments, adorned with a great number of silver lamps.

These places have several little streets, and a synagogue; but the gates at the several entrances are all shut about sun-set. Wright, p. 31

Source: John Northall. Travels through Italy. 1766.

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