Katherine Aron-Beller
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Introduction

This introduction provides an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores two areas of interest: the Papal Inquisition in Modena and the status of Jews in an early modern Italian duchy. It argues that trials of the two groups are different because the ecclesiastical tribunals viewed conversos as heretics but Jews as infidels. The study of these trials is based on three facets of the complex and multilayered text of Inquisitorial trials: the judicial aspect, the biographical aspect, and inter-community interaction. The book also focuses on the types of offences for which Jews were tried more often than others in the duchy, that of hiring Christian servants and blasphemy. It emphasizes the fundamental disparity in Inquisitorial procedure regarding Jews. The book provides a better understanding of how an Inquisitorial court assumed jurisdiction over a practising Jewish community in the seventeenth century.

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Jews on trial

The Papal Inquisition in Modena, 1598–1638

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