In this session, we learn why the ghetto was established and how it affected Jewish life. Legally, Jews were cives, citizens, but they were highly restricted “in favor of the (Catholic) faith.” In such a faith-based “confessional” state, emancipation was impossible. Jewish struggles, especially those of women, were exemplified by the “diary” of Anna del Monte, whose kidnapping into the Roman House of Converts will be part of our discussion.
In 1555, Pope Paul IV ordered the Jews of Rome who lived there since Ancient times to reside in a Claustrum, a Serraglio, as it was called, and after 1588, nostro ghet, by the Jews themselves. The first ghetto was Venice, in 1516. However, it was only after this took place in Rome that ghettoization spread throughout Italy.