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Full-Text Articles in European History

Looking Backward And Forward: Rethinking Modernity In The Light Of Early Modernity, David B. Ruderman Jan 2017

Looking Backward And Forward: Rethinking Modernity In The Light Of Early Modernity, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

Given its composite nature, The Cambridge History of Early Modern Judaism cannot easily stake out a single authoritative position on what early modern Jewish culture and society means in its totality. Taking as a whole the variegated perspectives presented elsewhere in this volume, and despite the strong hands of the editors in organizing a coherent exposition of the period, it is virtually impossible to expect one unified viewpoint to emerge. Without some notion of what the whole representes, however, one is hard pressed to suggest in what ways this epoch is continuous or discontinuous with the period that follows it ...


The 12 Covenants Of Pinchas Hurwitz: How An 18th-Century Eastern European Kabbalist Jew Produced One Of The First Hebrew Bestsellers, David B. Ruderman Oct 2016

The 12 Covenants Of Pinchas Hurwitz: How An 18th-Century Eastern European Kabbalist Jew Produced One Of The First Hebrew Bestsellers, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

The Book of the Covenant (Sefer ha-Brit) was one of the most popular Hebrew books read by modern Jews, as reflected in 40 editions spanning two centuries, including three Yiddish and six Latino translations. Part scientific encyclopedia, part manual of mystical ascent, and part plea to Jews to embrace a universal ethics, the work was widely influential in an era of radical change and internal debate for Jews as well as for others. The amazing popularity of the author, the Eastern European Jew Pinchas Hurwitz (1765-1821), stemmed from his kabbalistic pedigree. He offered his readers an exciting compendium of scientific ...


The Transformations Of Judaism, David B. Ruderman Jul 2015

The Transformations Of Judaism, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

This chapter addresses the primary transformations in Jewish civilization in the early modern era considering primarily the distinct histories of five large sub-communities—those of Italy, the western Sephardim (descendants of Jewish settlers from the Iberian peninsula who had primarily settled in Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Livorno beginning at the end of the sixteenth century), Germany and Central Europe, Poland-Lithuania, and the Ottoman Empire. It traces considers five markers in tracing the major political, social, and cultural transformations of early modern Jewry: mobility, migration, and social mixing; communal cohesion and laicization, a knowledge explosion, primarily the impact of print; the crisis ...


Early Modern Jewish History, David B. Ruderman Apr 2015

Early Modern Jewish History, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

The term "early modernity" as the name of a period roughly extending from the end of the 15th to the end of the 18th century has only recently been employed by historians of Jewish culture and society. Despite a plethora of new studies in the last several decades, there have been few attempts to define the period as a whole as a distinct epoch in Jewish history, distinguishable from both the medieval and modern periods. Some historians have remained indifferent to demarcating the period, or have simply designated it as an extension of the Middle Ages, or have labeled it ...


Governance (Spain), Antonio Feros Jan 2014

Governance (Spain), Antonio Feros

Departmental Papers (History)

No abstract provided.


Las Varias Vidas Del Duque De Lerma, Antonio Feros Sep 2013

Las Varias Vidas Del Duque De Lerma, Antonio Feros

Departmental Papers (History)

This article examines the figure of the Duke of Lerma, a favourite and chief minister of Philip III between 1598 and 1618, in the context of the literature on his reign, the historiographical debates over his court status, and historical biography.


The Hague Dialogues, David B. Ruderman Jan 2012

The Hague Dialogues, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

Imagine the following scenario: A young scholar from Vilna, having wandered through several cities in Eastern Europe and Germany arrived in the city of the Hague at the close of the 1780s, enjoyed the material support of the richest family of Jewish merchants in the city, the Boaz family, and sought and gained the religious approval of the rabbi of the city, Judah Leib Mezerich. His name was Pinhas Elijah ben Meir Hurwitz (1765-1821) and he was about to complete the first draft of a manuscript of his soon-to-be published book, an encyclopedia of the sciences entitled Sefer ha-Brit (The ...


Das Ghetto Und Die Entstehung Einer Jüdischen Kultur Im Europas Der Frühen Neuzit: Betrachtungen Zur Geschichtsschreibung, David B. Ruderman Jan 2012

Das Ghetto Und Die Entstehung Einer Jüdischen Kultur Im Europas Der Frühen Neuzit: Betrachtungen Zur Geschichtsschreibung, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

Der Mythos des Ghettos als Ort der kulturellen Isolation der Juden wird uns trotz einer Fülle gegensätzlicher Erkenntnisse, die diesen Mythos widerlegen, immer begleiten. Immer noch müssen wir lesen, die Juden hätten Aufklärung und Emanzipation dadurch erreicht, dass sie eine hermetisch abgeschlossene und entfremdete Existenzform überwanden, die durch ihre sozialen und politischen Einschränkungen fest gefügt war, um Schließlich einen vollkommenen Status von Integration und sozialer Gleichstellung mit den nicht-jüdischen gesellschaftlichen Mehreithen zu erlangen. Diese Geschichte des triumphalen Wegs vom Ghetto zur Emanzipation, deren wichtigster Verfechter Heinrich Graetz1 war, hat nicht nur die moderne jüdische Geschichtsschreibung seit dem 19. Jahrhundert ...


Behind The Best Sellers: A Scholar Revisits An 18th-Century Popular Tone—Reprinted For Centuries—That Mixes Science, Kabbalah And Ethics, David B. Ruderman Feb 2011

Behind The Best Sellers: A Scholar Revisits An 18th-Century Popular Tone—Reprinted For Centuries—That Mixes Science, Kabbalah And Ethics, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

"The Book of the Covenant" (Sefer ha-Brit) was one of the most popular Hebrew books read by Jews in the Modern Era, reflected in its 36 editions, including three Yiddish and two Latino translations. It was first published by a relatively unknown Eastern European Jew named Phinehas Elijah Hurwitz. in Brünn, Moravia in 1797 and then in a much expanded edition in Zolkiev, Galicia, in 1807. The work purports to be an extended commentary on a popular Jewish mystical work called "Gates of Holiness" (Sha'arei Kedushah) written by Hayyim Vital (1542-1620), the well-known mystic and prominent figure of 16th-century ...


Buchdruck Und Jüdische Kultur In Der Frühen Neuzeit Europas, David B. Ruderman Jan 2009

Buchdruck Und Jüdische Kultur In Der Frühen Neuzeit Europas, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

Ich beginne diesen Vortrag mit der Erinnerung an zwei große Geister des 16. Jahrhunderts, nämlich an den aschkenasischen Rabbiner Moses Isserles (1525/1530-1572), und insbesondere an die Publikation von Karos standardisiertem Kodex des jüdischen Gesetzes.1 Der Kodex wurde 1565 in Venedig erstmals veröffentlicht und dann 1578-80 in Krakau mitsamt den Kommentaren von Moses Isserles neu aufgelegt. Isserles führte diesen Text kühn in seiner Jeschiwa in Krakau ein, wodurch er nicht nur die gesamte aschkenasische Gesetzepraxis auf das Material reduzierte, das in diesem Sammelwerk vorgelegt wurde, sondern, mehr noch, ein neues Gesetzeskompendium schuf, bei dim die traditionellen Grenzen verschwammen, die ...


The King’S Favorite, Antonio Feros Mar 2008

The King’S Favorite, Antonio Feros

Departmental Papers (History)

Don Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, better known as the Duke of Lerma, is not a familiar name to those interested in the annals of power and politics. The Duke of Lerma, the favorite (El Favorito o Valido) and unofficial prime minister of Philip III of Spain from 1598 to 1618, was, however, in his own time, both in Spain and throughout Europe, quite famous. And infamous. He was respected, feared, attacked, satirized, gossiped about, eulogized, and even dramatized in plays such as The Great Favourite or the Duke of Lerma, written in 1668 by the English playwright Sir ...


Le Ghetto Et Les Débuts De L'Europe Nouvelle: Vers Une Nouvelle Interpretation, David B. Ruderman Jan 2007

Le Ghetto Et Les Débuts De L'Europe Nouvelle: Vers Une Nouvelle Interpretation, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

Le mythe du ghetto comme un lieu d'isolement culcurel des juifs perdure largement, en dépit d'une profusion de preuves contraires. Nous lisons encore fréquemment des analyses qui expliquent de quelle manière les juifs ghettoïsés ont accédé aux Lumières et à l'émancipation en surmontant une existence hermétiguement fermée sur elle-même et retranchée du reste de la société, forgée par leurs faiblesses sociales et politiques, et comment ils ont pu finalement gagner un statut de pleine intégration et d'égalité avec la majorité non juive. Ce récit du chemin triomphant menant du ghetto á l'émancipation, dont le principal ...


The Impact Of Early Modern Jewish Thought On The Eighteenth Century: A Challenge To The Notion Of The Sephardi Mystique, David B. Ruderman Jan 2007

The Impact Of Early Modern Jewish Thought On The Eighteenth Century: A Challenge To The Notion Of The Sephardi Mystique, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

In one of the most dramatic introductions to an elementary manual on the natural sciences, Judah Loeb Margolioth (1747-1811) opens his Or 'olam 'al hokhmat ha-teva' (1782) with the provocative words of a woman in black personifying the science of nature. She proclaims:

Who will listen and pay attention to me? Wait. I am the science of nature who in the past was the cornerstone but now I have become like a lost vessel and like a rejected definition, abandoned and forgotten and forsaken. Canals run dry [Isa. 19:6] and there is no one on the earth who cures ...


Three Anglo-Jewish Portraits And Their Legacy For Today: Moses Marcus, The Convert; Abraham Tang, The Radical Maskil; David Levi, The Defender Of Judaism, David B. Ruderman Jan 2007

Three Anglo-Jewish Portraits And Their Legacy For Today: Moses Marcus, The Convert; Abraham Tang, The Radical Maskil; David Levi, The Defender Of Judaism, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

My fascination with Anglo-Jewish history emerged by chance, but has been profound enough for me to write two books on the subject. My appreciation of the richness, diversity and significance of the history of Jewish cultural history on English soil continues to grow and deepen. There is a long tradition of Jewish historical writing, exemplified by the work of the Jewish Historical Society of England. But modern historians have barely begun to take pre-twentieth century Anglo-Jewish history seriously. The drama of modernity seems still to be regarded as a German story, beginning with Mendelssohn and continuing into Eastern Europe. Historians ...


Twin Souls: Monarchs And Favourites In Early Seventeenth-Century Spain, Antonio Feros Nov 2003

Twin Souls: Monarchs And Favourites In Early Seventeenth-Century Spain, Antonio Feros

Departmental Papers (History)

No abstract provided.


Review Of Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, How To Write The History Of The New World, Antonio Feros May 2003

Review Of Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, How To Write The History Of The New World, Antonio Feros

Departmental Papers (History)

In a plenary session of the Spanish Royal Academy of History (April 1776), Francisco Jose Viana y Teran lectured his colleagues about the type of history that the Academy should promote and the role history should play in vindicating the Spanish nation’s past, especially at a time when many European scholars and philosophers were claiming that the Iberian peninsula had isolated itself to prevent the penetration of Enlightened ideas. For Viana, and undoubtedly for many of his colleagues, the vindication of their nation, “unfairly calumniated by foreigners,” required something other than propaganda and apologies. It called for a comprehensive ...


De Culturele Betekenis Van Het Getto In De Joodse Geschiedenis, David B. Ruderman Jan 2003

De Culturele Betekenis Van Het Getto In De Joodse Geschiedenis, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

Bezien vanuit het perspectief van het joodse culturele geheugen wordt de term 'getto' vaak beschouwd als een vies woord.* De joden, die naar verondersteld wordt voor een groot deel van de joodse geschiendenis een gettobestaan leden, raakten pas 'geëmancipeerd' in de moderne tijd en ondanks de vaak negatieve consequenties van hun bevrijding en hun integratie in de westerse seculiere culturen — het virulente antisemitisme en de genocide die volgden — wordt hun geëmancipeerde staat meestal gezien als een zegen vergeleken met het hermetisch afgesloten en vervreemde bestaan van voor hun bevrijding. In het bijzonder voor hedendaagse joden heeft de term 'getto' allerlei ...


"Sacred And Terrifying Gazes": Languages And Images Of Power In Early Modern Spain, Antonio Feros Jan 2002

"Sacred And Terrifying Gazes": Languages And Images Of Power In Early Modern Spain, Antonio Feros

Departmental Papers (History)

In 1640 Diego de Saavedra y Fajardo, one of the most influential seven­teenth-century Spanish writers, made a remarkably explicit reference to the effect that images of kings had upon their subjects as he recalled his own experience of viewing a royal portrait by Velazquez. In it Philip IV appeared "full of grace, august in his countenance ... [and] I was over­come with such respect, [that] I !melt down and lowered my eyes." The importance of the king's representation within a monarchy like Spain's, composed of a number of territories where the king was an "absent" ruler, is ...


Introducción A Antonio Feros, El Duque De Lerma: Realeza Y Privanza En La España De Felipe Iii, Antonio Feros Jan 2002

Introducción A Antonio Feros, El Duque De Lerma: Realeza Y Privanza En La España De Felipe Iii, Antonio Feros

Departmental Papers (History)

Este libro reconstruye y analiza los contextos sociales, culturales, políticos e intelectuales de la época de Felipe III a través de la carrera de don Francisco Gómez de Sandoval, duque de Lerma, el favorito del rey entre 1598 y 1618. Porque, pese a la marginación historiográfica de este período, el reinado del tercer Felipe resulta crucial para entender el proceso de la constitución de la monarquía hispana. No se trata sin embargo, de una biografía tradicional, sino de nuevas interpretaciones sobre algunos de los temas que siguen atrayendo la atención de los historiadores y del público interesado por la historia ...


Jewish Medicine And Science, David B. Ruderman Jan 2000

Jewish Medicine And Science, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

It is difficult to speak about Jewish involvement in the medicine and science during the Renaissance and beyond without reference to Jewish traditions of medical and scientific activity in the ancient and medieval periods. Perceiving themselves as proud heirs of such medieval luminaries as the physician Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), the astrologer Abraham ibn Ezra (1089-1164), and the astronomer Levi ben Gershom (Gersonides; 1288-1344), as well as the biblical Abraham, Solomon, and the ancient rabbis, Jewish thinkers living in early modern Europe continued to believe that the study of nature was a supreme religious ideal and that the roots of magic ...


Introduction To Kingship And Favoritism In The Spain Of Philip Iii, 1598-1621, Antonio Feros Jan 2000

Introduction To Kingship And Favoritism In The Spain Of Philip Iii, 1598-1621, Antonio Feros

Departmental Papers (History)

"I am writing at the end of an era and the beginning of another about a monarch [Philip III] who never became a real king [de un monarca que acabó de ser rey antes de empezar a reinar]." These words, written by one of the most distinguished and influential seventeenth-century Spanish authors, Francisco de Quevedo, represent perhaps the most famous derogatory statement ever made about Philip III of Spain (1598-1621). Quevedo's sharp criticism extended to the royal privado, Don Fran­cisco Gomez de Sandoval y Rojas, better known as the Duke of Lerma, and also to his allies and ...


Was There An English Parallel To The German Haskalah?, David B. Ruderman Jan 1999

Was There An English Parallel To The German Haskalah?, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

Judging from recent work by Jewish historians of both Germany and England, the unequivocal response to the heuristic question posed in the title of my essay should be emphatically negative. If indeed the Haskalah was "a socio-cultural movement powerful enough to effect a major shift in consciousness"1 or "a new ideology to shape a new community … a public social world informed with a new ideal of man",2 it could only have emerged within the particular political and cultural ambience of Germany. Despite Cecil Roth's relatively feeble attempt more than three decades ago to describe what he ambiguously ...


Images Of Evil, Images Of Kings: The Contrasting Faces Of The Royal Favourite And The Prime Minister In Early Modern European Political Literature, C. 1580-C. 1650, Antonio Feros Jan 1999

Images Of Evil, Images Of Kings: The Contrasting Faces Of The Royal Favourite And The Prime Minister In Early Modern European Political Literature, C. 1580-C. 1650, Antonio Feros

Departmental Papers (History)

Some three decades years ago, Leicester Bradner examined two distinct views held by seventeenth-century English and Spanish dramatists when writing about royal favourites. Spanish playwrights, Bradner noted, sought to 'arouse sympathy for the king and the friend he loves', while the English stressed 'the issues of good and bad government' by presenting the royal favourite as an evil counsellor and a usurper, and the monarch who let him prosper as a weak ruler. Why these disparate treatments of the royal favourite? This query is particularly poignant when we consider that the English and Spanish dramatists believed that they were confronting ...


The Cultural Significance Of The Ghetto In Jewish History, David B. Ruderman Jan 1997

The Cultural Significance Of The Ghetto In Jewish History, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

Surely one way of understanding the title of our distinguished conference, "From Ghetto to Emancipation," is the conventional way.2 One might assume that the direction of our deliberations should lead from an inherently bad condition, designated by the term "ghetto," to a good one, leading to a desirable state of freedom. This trajectory follows that of most standard accounts of the Jewish experience: Jews who had lived a "ghettotized" existence were finally "emancipated" in the modern era, and despite the negative consequences of their liberation and integration within Western secular cultures—virulent anti-Semitism and genocide—their emancipated state was ...


Was There A "Haskalah" In England? Reconsidering An Old Question, David B. Ruderman Jan 1997

Was There A "Haskalah" In England? Reconsidering An Old Question, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

No abstract provided.


Review Of Robert Bonfil, Jewish Life In Renaissance Italy, David B. Ruderman Jan 1996

Review Of Robert Bonfil, Jewish Life In Renaissance Italy, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

This is a major work by one of the most creative and original historians of medieval and early modern Jewish history. Based on his extensive scholarship on Italian Jewry over the past twenty years, published primarily in Hebrew and Italian, it brings to the English reader a bold but mature synthesis of a significant epoch in Jewish and western history. Eschewing extensive annotation, the book, while hardly a popular survey, has a quality made more accessible to a wide readership by the elegantly simple and supple prose of the English translator Anthony Oldcorn, which captures Bonfil's original insights and ...


Vicedioses, Pero Humanos: El Drama Del Rey, Antonio Feros Jan 1993

Vicedioses, Pero Humanos: El Drama Del Rey, Antonio Feros

Departmental Papers (History)

No abstract provided.


Review Of Ilana Zinguer, L'Hébreu Au Temps De La Renaissance, David B. Ruderman Jan 1993

Review Of Ilana Zinguer, L'Hébreu Au Temps De La Renaissance, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

Ilana Zinguer, who teaches French literature at the University of Haifa, has assembled an interesting selection of essays on various aspects of Hebraic studies in the Renaissance in this volume. Of the eleven contributors, most are French or specialize in French literature in the Renaissance while several are European scholars of Hebrew or Semitic studies. Despite the editor's proximity to the centers of Jewish scholarship in Israel, however, the volume displays minimal awareness of and contact with that scholarship or scholarship stemming from North America. The result, as Ilana Zinguer readily acknowledges in her introduction, is less than a ...


Philosophy, Kabbalah And Science In The Culture Of The Italian Ghetto: On The Debate Between Samson Morpurgo And Aviad Sar Shalom Basilae, David B. Ruderman Jan 1993

Philosophy, Kabbalah And Science In The Culture Of The Italian Ghetto: On The Debate Between Samson Morpurgo And Aviad Sar Shalom Basilae, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

Two common assumptions about Jewish culture in the period of the Italian ghettos have been disavowed by contemporary scholarship. First, that in contrast to the earlier period of the Renaissance, Jewish culture had become and arid intellectual desert, relatively devoid of contact with the outstide world, sterile and uncreative, isolated and absorbed in pietistic and messianic delirium; and second, that the primary agent of this cultural retreat, that throwback to medievalism and obscurantism, was the kabbalah. To the contrary, we have come to learn that despite the patent diminution of social and cultural contacts between Jews and Christians engendered by ...


Tragedy And Transcendence: The Meaning Of 1492 For Jewish History, David B. Ruderman Jan 1992

Tragedy And Transcendence: The Meaning Of 1492 For Jewish History, David B. Ruderman

Departmental Papers (History)

This year we commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of a tragic expulsion. Our history is replete with tragic moments, but this moment is of enormous significance for Jewish as well as for Christian and Moslem history. For Jews, 1492 constituted the abrupt end of an extraordinary cultural experience, a formative and repercussive period in the life of our people affecting every area of its civilization: Halakha, philosophy, kabbalah, poetry, ethical literature, messianism, political thought, and more.2 A world of enormous vitality and effervescence, a world, both in its high and low points, that can teach us a great deal ...