A Jew at the Medici Court: The Letters of Benedetto Blanis <em>Hebreo</em> (1615-1621)

A Jew at the Medici Court: The Letters of Benedetto Blanis Hebreo (1615-1621)

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Edward Goldberg
Toronto Italian Studies
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2011
World Rights
448 Pages
ISBN 9781442643833
Published Nov 2011
Online discount: 25%
 $90.00    $67.50

Edward Goldberg shares his sensational discovery of the largest body of surviving correspondence from any Jew in Early Modern Europe. Over the course of six years, Benedetto Blanis — a scholar and entrepreneur in the Florentine Ghetto — wrote nearly 200 letters to his princely patron Don Giovanni dei Medici. For the first time, these letters are available in a definitive critical edition — with full transcriptions in the original Italian, English language summaries, and explanatory notes.

This book is a companion volume to Jews and Magic in Medici Florence, in which Goldberg narrates Blanis's startling rise and fall. Readers can now take a step closer and hear Blanis's compelling story in his own words — tracing his fraught relations with Jews and Christians, his desperate (and often illegal) business schemes, his disastrous strategies for advancement at the Medici Court, and his pursuit of arcane knowledge, including astrology, alchemy, and Kabbalah.

Edward Goldberg is an art historian and a long-time resident of Florence. He has worked for more than thirty years in the Medici Granducal Archive.


A Note to Readers

The Blanis Letters: A Critical Edition

Index: People

Index: Places

Index: Topics


‘It’s a terrific companion volume to the first book and the summaries of the letters give the key information in each (which is good for readers who have insufficient Italian). Goldberg’s passion for the past is expressed through his wish for us to see Blanis and understand his life, and he gives us all the tools we need. The letters themselves are the pure magic. Goldberg was clever to realise this and facilitate the transit between them and the reader. They’re a door opening to give us a peek into something amazing.’

Gillian Polack, Bibliobuffet.com/bookish-dreaming, 12 December 2011

‘These are two fascinating books…. Edward Goldberg presents us with an excellent edition of the letters of Blains and a monograph on this enigmatic Jew… the two books are a  treasure trove of knowledge and details as well as a look into the fascinating era of the late Renaissance and the dei Medici period.’

Giuseppe Veltri, Renaissance Quarterly vol 67:03:2014