Benjamin Ravid

Benjamin Ravid is a Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. His interests lie in Medieval and early modern Jewish history. Jews of Venice; institution of the ghetto, raison d'etat and the Jews in early modern Europe

Publications by Benjamin Ravid

The Third Charter of the Jewish Merchants of Venice, 1611: A Case Study in Complex Multifaceted Negotiations

For over twenty years, the Jewish “projector” Daniel Rodriga sought to convince the Venetian government that it could revive its declining commerce with the Levant, which had once been the source of the greatness of Venice, and thereby also greatly increase its diminishing customs revenues, by issuing a charter allowing Levantine and Ponentine Jews (the euphemism used for Iberian New Christians) to settle in Venice as Venetian subjects. Finally, in 1589, the Venetian government responded favorably, as the Senate approved, for
ten years, a slightly changed version of a charter-text that Rodriga had proposed. The Venetian government was pleased with the results, and consequently, at Rodriga’s request, it routinely renewed the charter for another ten years in 1598. Read More »