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Critical Notices. 353 



Geschichte der Juden in. Bom von der dltesten Zeit Us zur Oegenwart 
(2,050 Jahre). Von Dr. A. Berliner. Frankfurt am Main, 1893. 
Two vols. (History of the Jews at Rome from the earliest time 
to the present, comprising 2,050 years.) 

Nobody could have been better prepared for writing the later history 
of the Jews at Rome than Dr. Berliner, who has paid so many visits 
to Rome, not only to investigate the Hebrew MSS. in the Vatican 
Library, but also the Municipal documents concerning the Jews. 
As forerunners he" has already published two important pamphlets, 
viz., Aus den letzten Tagen des ronisehen Ghetto (1886), and Gensur 
und Confiscation hebr'discher Bucher im, Kirehenstaate (1891), as well 
as articles which appeared in his Magasin fur die Wissensehtift des 
Judenthums, and elsewhere. 

The work is divided into two volumes. Vol. I. has for its object 
the history of the Jews in heathen Rome, viz., from 160 B.C. to 315 
a.d. Here we cannot expect many new facts, after Mommsen's 
History of Borne, and P. Manfrin's Gli Ebrei sotto la dominazione 
romarta. Still, the complete apergu of this epoch is useful, and more 
especially the translation of the inscriptions in the catacombs. 

The second volume has for its object the history of the Jews in 
Christian Rome (viz., from 315 a.d. to 1885), which is divided into 
two parts : (1) From the beginning of the Christian domination (315) 
to the exile into the Ghetto (1555) ; (2) From 1555 to 1885. The first 
mention of a Jewish community at Rome is under Pope Gregory 
the Great ; but it is most likely that the Jews had remained in 
Rome through all vicissitudes. Dr. Berliner discusses the synagogues 
which are reported at Rome, of which he mentions the Porcaleone, 
Bozecco, and Gallichi ; others remain doubtful. 

Here follows a chapter which will be new for those who read, for 
instance, M. Rodocanacbi's book on the Ghetto ; it treats of the 
literary occupation of the Jews at Rome. The first place is given 
to the famous liturgist, Eleazar Qalir, who, according to an hypo- 
thesis, lived in the eighth century at Portus, near Rome. It is not 
the place here to discuss this hypothesis. Dr. Harkavy, who believes, 
and perhaps rightly, that Qalir lived in Palestine (Tiberias), promises 
to bring forward his arguments, which we await with curiosity. The 
first literary Jew who may be said to belong to Rome with certainty 
was Meshullam ben Qalonymos, of Lucca. The Talmud scholars at 
Rome were, according to Haya Gaon (1032), not very important. Dr. 
Berliner mentions family names in Hebrew which were found at Rome, 
such as DWIKn (de Bossi), D^ITlQnn (de Points), Dnj»n (Giovani), 
and others. There were many physicians and artisans. The pride of 



354 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

Jewish learning at Rome was the famous Nathan, son of Jehiel, 
author of the Arueh. The father, as well as th6 two brothers, Abra- 
ham and Daniel, are also known ; they are quoted as the '"I JV3 *31KJ 

?N*ni. The words of Benjamin of Tudela concerning his visit to 
Rome are then given (in German translation). The classical epoch 
finishes with the poet Immanuel ben Solomon, the friend of Dante, 
and the sons of Abraham, "VUX, Benjamin, and the more celebrated 
Zedekia. 

Next comes a chapter on the last Pope at Rome before the transfer 
to Avignon. It was Bonifacius VIII., one who could not bear oppo- 
sition, and naturally the Jews were the first to feel his hand. Still, 
he favoured the Jewish physician, Angelo Manuel, whom he styled 
" familiaris." In a following chapter we find the names of Isaac 
Zarphati, Bonet de Lates, Jacob Mantino, Obadja Sforno, Elia 
Bachur, and others, concluding with the famous David Reubeni 
and Solomon Molkho. This carries us on to the sixteenth century, 
when we find at Rome seven synagogues, used by the Jews 
who immigrated from various countries, such as Italy, Catalonia, 
Castile, Sicily, besides the German and French Jewish colony, who 
had no special synagogue. Many of these synagogues had to be given 
up when the Jews were relegated to the Ghetto. This chapter is 
full of interest for the interior history of the Jews at Rome, being 
taken from documents in the Jewish archives. In these portions 
Dr. Berliner's book is original, and very instructive. And with this 
ends Part I. of the second volume, which is followed by learned 
notes concerning the literary names mentioned. 

We come now to the second part, which begins with Cardinal Car- 
raffa, later on Pope Paul IV. (1555), who cut all the threads of life 
of the Jews by forbidding them to exist except in the Ghetto. This 
part is indeed, on the whole, the most interesting of Dr. Berliner's book, 
and here are original documents in abundance. In the fourth chapter 
is given still more of the interior history of the Jews in Rome. The 
indexes which follow each volume greatly facilitate the finding of 
facts and literary matters. The last is completely ignored in M. 
Rodocanachi's excellent book on the Ghetto. This second part does 
not lack notes concerning the documents used by the author. 

Dr. Berliner has done well to dedicate the first volume to F. D. 
Mocatta, Esq., an English Maecenas for Jewish literature, and the 
second to the memory of Samuel Alatri and Isidore Loeb. He 
also acknowledges his thanks to the keepers of various archives at 
Rome, and more especially to Signor Tranquillo Ascarelli, and his 
colleague, Signor Crescenzo Alatri, who put their knowledge of the 
Jewish archives at Dr. Berliner's disposal. 

A. Neubauer.