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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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Four Entering the Medical Republic Jewish Physicians and the Pursuit of the Public Good

Four Entering the Medical Republic Jewish Physicians and the Pursuit of the Public Good

(p.96) Four Entering the Medical Republic Jewish Physicians and the Pursuit of the Public Good
Mediterranean Enlightenment

Francesca Bregoli

Stanford University Press

This chapter focuses on three Livornese Jews educated at the University of Pisa between 1754 and 1785--Angelo de Soria, Joseph Vita Castelli, and Graziadio Bondì. It shows that their studies and relationships with their mentors shaped their interest in the brand of Enlightenment reforms that characterized eighteenth-century Tuscan culture, expressed as an aspiration to progress, human happiness, and the public good. University attendance, moreover, strengthened these Jewish physicians' ties to the Tuscan state. The chapter argues that, unlike later maskilic physicians, these Livornese doctors were not concerned with the Jewish body, be it individual or social, and did not prescribe modern medical remedies to heal Jewish society of its perceived ills. Rather, they believed that medical university training would allow Jews to heal and reform the broader society, beyond the boundaries of the Jewish community and without explicit connection to Judaism.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, medicine, physicians, universities, Pisa, Jewish-Christian relations, reforming absolutism

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