Saturday, 27 October 2012

Spanish Jews in Italy were clean-shaven, 1714

"As the King of Spain has driven the Jews out of all his Dominions; those that live in full Liberty here [Alessandria in Piedmont, northern Italy], are certainly one of the most notable Things of this Place. Interest is the great Mover of the World, and as Alexandria is a Place that was never well inhabited, a new and abortive Town; they have granted to the Jews Liberty in it, to people it is a little more, and to drive there some small Trade at least. The street where they dwell, is that which makes the best Figure. The Men never let their Beards grow. According to the strictness of the Terms agreed with ‘em, they are forced to distinguish themselves by grey Hats, but the Magistrates are not severe in that Point. The married Women wear very Grotesque Head-dresses, and the Maids or Virgins, wear nothing but their own Hair; that’s their Distinction."

Maximilien Misson . A new voyage to Italy. 1714. Vol II, Page 380

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