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Mediterranean EnlightenmentLivornese Jews, Tuscan Culture, and Eighteenth-Century Reform$
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Francesca Bregoli

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804786508

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804786508.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Mediterranean Enlightenment

Francesca Bregoli

Stanford University Press

This chapter introduces the implications of the Livornese case for three broad fields of Jewish historiographical inquiry: the nature of Jewish acculturation; the history of the Jewish Enlightenment; and processes of Jewish emancipation. Livornese Jewry complicates the supposedly linear connection between acculturation and modernization. While privileged Jews consumed and participated in outside culture, they did so without rejecting Judaism and the corporate community. The chapter additionally introduces the notion that the Livornese Jewish encounter with the Enlightenment provides an alternative to both the Haskalah and the Anglo-Jewish model, because of its focus and its development in Tuscan cultural sites and through European languages. Finally, an examination of the relationship between the Tuscan state and Livornese Jewry shows that the process toward emancipation in merchant enclaves was neither linear nor simple as previously believed.

Keywords:   acculturation, modernization, Enlightenment, Haskalah, reforming absolutism, emancipation, state policies, merchant enclaves

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