Katherine Aron-Beller
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The Jew’s balcony
A tale of a young Jewess’s flirtation with Christianity

This chapter begins with a survey of the eighteen proceedings, followed by a micro-historical analysis of the trial against Viviano Sanguinetti, who was accused of dissuading his oldest daughter Miriana from being baptized in 1602. Of the eighteen cases, eight involved the purported dissuasion of potential male converts, nine potential female converts, and one a neophyte who had actually been baptized already for two years by the time the Jews were indicted for having tried to dissuade him. In one processo, that of Mariana Mantuano of 1633, Mariana came to denounce herself, testifying that she had wanted to convert but had then changed her mind, clearly believing that this was the best way of defending herself and preventing further exposure to judicial proceedings. According to Faustina, Miriana had openly discussed Christianity with her, criticized Jewish ritual, and carried a ring engraved with the Madonna of Reggio.

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Jews on trial

The Papal Inquisition in Modena, 1598–1638


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