publication . Article . 2010

From Egypt to Umbria: Jewish Women and Property in the Medieval Mediterranean

Frank, Karen A;
Open Access English
  • Published: 01 Jan 2010
  • Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
  • Country: United States
Abstract
This article compares the financial activities of medieval Jewish women in Italy and the Mediterranean. Contrary to Jewish legal tradition, which curtailed women’s financial autonomy, by the later Middle Ages communities across the region increasingly allowed women to manage their own dotal property, inherit property from a variety of sources, and engage in loan banking. An examination of the historical developments of some Jewish communities in Egypt, Spain, and central Italy suggests that this only occurred in times of communal crisis. Because all Jewish communities in the Middle Ages owed their respective governments a fiscal contribution or faced expulsion, ...
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