Humanism and Hebrew Culture

Humanism and Hebrew Culture in the Italian Renaissance

10 March 2016 – International Studies Institute, Florence

Palazzo Rucellai – Via della Vigna Nuova 18 – 50123 Firenze +39 055-2645910 – –


Research, beginning in the Nineteenth Century, has demonstrated the crucial role of the Jews as intellectual mediators in Western Europe, especially during the later Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Along the way, scholars have tended to emphasize the unilateral transmission of Jewish cultural materials (primarily biblical exegesis) and Greek and Arabic thought. In fact, the contribution of erudite Jews was considerably more complex than this. Not merely mediators, they integrated, adapted and commented on diverse sources of both Eastern and Western origin, including these in their extensive and varied writings. In this way, they shared the conclusions of their investigations with non-Jewish colleagues and discussed topics of mutual interest while embodying a range of interpretive methods.

In this conference, our goal is to shed light on several features of this complex intellectual dynamic, focusing in particular on literary, philosophical and religious texts from late medieval and Renaissance Italy. We will be privileging younger scholars who demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach, covering the full range of topics considered crucial by writers and thinkers from fourteenth-century pre-humanism to the late Cinquecento. These topics will include poetry, music, biblical exegesis, apologetics, philosophy and kabbalah.

Moderator: Matteo Duni (Syracuse University in Florence)

Welcome: Stefano U. Baldassarri (Direttore, ISI Florence)

9:15 Vito Andrea Mariggiò (Università del Salento), Le “mahbarot” di Immanuel Romano e la circolazione dei testi nell ’Italia del Trecento

9:45 Brian Ogren (Rice University), Leone Ebreo, Jewish Wisdom, and the Textual Transmission of Knowledge

11:00 Rita Comanducci (ISI Florence), Musica e liutisti ebrei fra Quattro e Cinquecento

11:30 Saverio Campanini (Università di Bologna) “Elchana Hebraeorum doctor et cabalista”. Le avventure di un libro e dei suoi lettori

Moderator: Edward Goldberg (Florence)

15:00 Stefano U. Baldassarri (ISI Florence) Dissimulazione e apologetica cristiana nell ’Adver- sus Iudaeos et gentes di Giannozzo Manetti

15:30 Emma Abate (EPHE, Parigi) and Maurizio Mottolese (Roma), La qabbalah in volgare: manoscritti dall’atelier di Egidio da Viterbo

16:00 Fabrizio Lelli (Università del Salento), Circolazione di materiali ebraici e arti visive nell ’Italia rinascimentale

16:30 Guido Bartolucci (Università della Calabria), David de’ Pomis e l’apologia dell’ebraismo tra latino e volgare


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