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The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia
Italian city, situated on the River Ticino; the chief city of the province of Pavia. The first indication of the presence of Jews in this city belongs to the eighth century, when occurred the religious disputation between Julius of Pavia and Pietro of Pisa. The Jews of Pavia, as of other cities of the Milan duchy, were chiefly engaged in banking, commerce, and agriculture. At the close of the fifteenth century there appeared in Pavia the famous Bernardinus of Feltre, whose preaching strongly incensed the populace against the Jews; but Duke Gian Galeazzo Sforza, seeing the effect of his sermons, forbade him to continue preaching (1480). In order to strike indirectly at the Jews, Bernardinus then occasioned the establishment of a "monte di pietà" (pawn-shop) in the city. In a document dated April 2, 1495, Duke Gian Galeazzo promised to sanction this institution as soon as it should be fairly established. Nevertheless, under the rule of the dukes the condition of the Jews was tolerable, and remained so until Pavia came under Spanish domination. Pope Julius III. commanded the burning of all the Talmudic writings, even in those provinces which were not under his dominion; but Don Ferdinand Gonzaga, the governor of the duchy of Milan, yielded to the entreaties of the Jews and refused to obey the pope's order.
In 1559 the preaching of two monks against the Jews in Pavia again aroused the dormant hatred of the populace. Many of the Jews were abused and maltreated, until the heads of their community had recourse to the senate of Milan, which intervened, threatened with heavy penalties all who molested the Jews, and thus restored quiet and order. In 1566 King Philip II. of Spain decreed the banishment of all Jews from the Milanese provinces, but at the urgent petition of the heads of the communities to the governor and the senate this decree was not enforced. Notwithstanding, in September of the same year the king obliged the Jews to wear the yellow cap and forbade them to lend money at interest.
On Aug. 29, 1582, a Jew of Cremona was killed by a Christian, who was put to death for the crime. This sentence so enraged the Christians of Cremona and Pavia that they besought Philip II. to banish all Jews from their territories. The king commanded the governor of Milan to take a census of the Jews immediately, but the expulsion did not take place because the Jews had been useful at a time of famine. In 1592, however, Philip again decreed their banishment. At the entreaty of the Jews the governor allowed them a respite and issued a safe-conduct to Samuel Cohen of Alessandria, who went to plead the cause of his coreligionists with the king; the result was that the king commanded the governor to suspend the execution of the edict. But owing to the further insistence of the people of Cremona and Pavia and the constant urging of his confessor, Philip again ordered the general expulsion of the Jews from the Milanese territory (March, 1596). The governor then gave them permission to remain in Lombardy until the beginning of 1597. The Christians of Cremona and Pavia accordingly wrote again to the king, who commanded the governor to permit no delay.
The governor then gave the Jews two months in which to depart. He obliged the poor to leave first, giving them an escort of soldiers and 5,000 florins in gold for the expenses of the journey. The majority, left the province of Milan after Easter, and the remainder after Pentecost. But two Jewish families were left in Cremona, Lodi, and Alessandria; in Pavia not one Jew remained.
The following were among the rabbis of Pavia: Moses da Pavia (11th cent.); Joseph ben Solomon Colon of Mantua (c. 1480); Liwa (Judah) Landau and his son Jacob (emigrants from Germany); and Uzziel ben Joseph. See ALESSANDRIA; CREMONA.
- Branchi, Delle Tipografie Ebraiche di Cremona del Secolo XVI. Cremona, 1807;
- Grätz, Gesch. 8:237,250,252,254; 9:379,488;
- Magenta, I Viscontie gli Sforze, nel Castello di Pavia, 2:454;
- Mortara, Indice;
- Pesaro, Cenni sull' ex-Comunità Israelitica di Cremona, in Il Vessillo Israelitico, 1882, pp. 302 et seq., 339 et seq.;
- 'Emeḳ ha-Baka, ed. Wiener, pp. 102, 106, 129 et seq., 154.
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Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Pavia'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/p/pavia.html. 1901.