SCARCE 1702 EDICT CONCERNING COMMUNAL TAXES LEVIED ON JEWS IN FERRARA, ITALY, PART OF A SYSTEM OF DISCRIMINATORY TAXATION IMPOSED ON JEWS THROUGHOUT ITALY AND THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT
(JUDAICA). In Nome del Signore Iddio: Regole della Tasse della Nationè Hebrea di Ferrara, Adi 14 Maggio 1702 [regulations concerning communal taxation]. Ferrara: Stampa. Camerale, 1702. Broadside (measuring 17 by 22 inches), printed on recto; handsomely framed. $3500.
Scarce broadside delineating 12 regulations concerning taxes imposed on Jews by the Jewish community in order to meet the community’s financial obligations to the state, handsomely framed.
The history of Jewish taxation in Europe—and particularly in Italy—goes hand in hand with a broader history of antisemitism and persecution. Throughout their history, Italian Jews were often subjected to indignities including ghettoization, the taking of the humiliating "Jewish Oath" in court, removal of civil liberties, and, perhaps most often, discriminatory taxation imposed by the state. The Jewish community of Ferrara began to organize its financial obligations towards the Duchy of the Principality through the levying of internal taxes from the beginning of the 16th century. Rather than have individuals pay taxes directly to the state, the Jewish community—like many others—chose to collect its taxes and issue one large payment from the community as a whole. Tax regulations were published until the end of the 18th century and chart the economic changes of Ferrara Jewry and the kinds of property and income that were taxable. It is striking that the Statutes are enforced by the threat of excommunication against those not contributing their dues. Also of note is the active involvement of the Community rabbis in upholding the tax structure. Large woodcut armorial device; woodcut initial. Text in Italian and Hebrew.
Fine condition. A handsome framed piece.