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ticular part of it, which he pointed out, near the river, in a very low, unhealthy, and crowded neighbourhood, extending from the bridge Quattro Capi, to what is to-day called the “Place of Tears.” This quarter of the town was carefully closed in by walls and turrets, and as carefully watched. At first it was called Vicus Judæorum, (Jews' Street, Jewry,) and some time after the name Ghetto, by which it is known to this day, came into custom. He further commanded the Jews, in order at once to distinguish them from the rest, never to leave the Ghetto without wearing, the men a yellow hat, and the women a yellow shawl; “For,” says he, in the Bull above-mentioned, “it would be too absurd and unseemly for the Jews, whom their own guilt has condemned to eternal captivity, to be permitted, under the plea of Christian charity, to assume all kinds of liberties; such as to dwell or intermix with Christians, to wear no distinguishing dress, to employ Christian servants, and to possess houses.” It was on the 26th of July, 1556, that the Jews entered the Ghetto, amidst much wailing and lamentation. Contagious diseases, pestilence, and death, were soon produced by the overcrowded state of the Jewish houses, situated as they were in the low part of the river, and exposed to its exhalations. And of those that escaped the pestilence, many fell a prey to the infuriated proceedings of the Inquisition, whose activity and vigour had been renewed by this Pope. It is known that many Jews were at that time burned on the Place of Minerva, then dedicated to these horrible autos da fé.
The houses in the Ghetto, in which the Jews now took up their residence, had been just evacuated by Christians, some of them of high rank; and it may not be uncharitable to surmise that the cruel law, banishing the Jews to this unhealthy quarter, was prompted, in some measure at least, by the desire of these nobles to exchange, in a convenient manner, their uncomfortable residences for such houses, in more favourable situations, as the Jews had now to evacuate. At all events, they retained the proprietary right of their houses in the Ghetto, the Jews being considered merely in the light of hereditary inmates, or renters, without any
right in the property itself; from which, however, they cannot be ejected or removed, as long as they do not get in arrear with their rent, -about the only redeeming feature in the whole measure.
The cruel decrees just mentioned were fully ratified, and even enlarged upon by Pope Pius V.: (1566-1572:) a close watch was to be kept over the gates of the Ghetto, to see whether at nightfall erery Jew had returned within the gates of that quarter, which gates were to be closed immediately after Ave Maria prayers; and every Jew met with outside them, to be severely fined. In 1569 that same Pope prohibited their residing in any other town except Rome and Ancona; whilst, ere that, permission had extended also to Avignon and Benevento.
Hopeless and forlorn as their case now seemed to be, there yet appeared, quite unexpectedly, help from where it was least expected. In 1585, Sixtus V. was elected Pope, a man of mild, benignant, and thoughtful disposition, whence he has been called the “Christian renovator of Rome” (if such a thing was even then possible). He could not help feeling for the degraded and cruel position of his Jewish subjects; and the very year after his accession (1586) he issued the Bull headed, “Christiana pietas infelicem Hebræorum statum commiserans," in which he reinstated them in all their former privileges, extended their permission of residence to every city and walled-in place of the Papal States, and gave them access to every occupation, with the exception of a very few. He improved their dwellings, permitted them to build as many schools, and synagogues, and Hebrew libraries as they stood in need of ; abolished the mark of distinction they had been forced to wear; prohibited their being cited before the law courts on Sabbath-days, or their children being taken forcibly from them and baptized; and reduced the heavy taxation they were burdened with.
But this happy state of things did not extend much beyond their benefactor's death, which took place in 1590, scarcely five years after his succession; and the bright and genial sunshine which had been cheering up the miserable
existence of the persecuted Jews, was speedily succeeded by a long and weary storm of persecution and suffering. Pope Clement VIII., who succeeded not long after to the Papal chair, (1592—1605,) lost no time in revoking Pope Sixtus's favourable edicts, and in re-enacting the cruel law of Pope Pius IV. (Caraffa.) They thus again sunk back to their miserable state and unhealthy dwelling-place, from which they have not been released until lately. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, no mitigation whatsoever seems to have taken place in their condition; during the eighteenth it was rather enhanced, through the despotic rules of Clement XI., (1700—1724,) and Innocent XIII. (1721–1724). The latter formally renewed Pius IV.'s edicts, and forbade their trading in anything but old clothpieces and old rags; a limitation which was graciously enlarged by an edict from Pope Benedict XIV., (17401758,) when he permitted them also to deal in new cloth !
During the French rule at Rome, in the early part of the present century, the Ghetto was, as may be supposed, abolished, and the Jews enjoyed equal liberty with every other citizen. But as soon as the Papal rule was restored by the reinstatement of Pius VII., he hastened to re-establish it in all its severity (1814). To the present Pope, Pius IX., (since 1846,) belongs the honour (if any honour there be in it) to have abolished the Ghetto, in so far as to have its enclosing walls and turrets pulled down, thus placing it in the same position with any other quarter of the town, though it may be long ere the Jews will be induced to leave a place endeared by so many sad associations of fellow-suffering and misery. Their number at present is estimated at three thousand eight hundred individuals. Their internal affairs are managed by themselves, through the medium of three men, called Tattori di Ghetto, whom they select from among themselves every half-year. The taxes they have to pay to Government, and to divers religious houses, amount to about thirteen thousand francs.
Allusion has been made already in this paper to the tribute the Jews had to pay, and to the abject manner in which they had to renew their allegiance from time to time; and,
as this subject has been of late frequently referred to, it may not be out of the way to say a few words on the subject. It is known that very early in the middle ages certain obligations were imposed on the Jews, to be fulfilled on the accession of every new Pontiff; and some are of opinion that this custom has even descended from the times of the Roman Emperors. Calixtus II. (1119-1124) ordered them to take part in the ceremony which took place on his assuming the Papal chair. Their elders had to appear with the rolls of the Law, in a certain spot of the town which the Papal pageant had to pass. This
ceremony was, to our certain knowledge, repeated at the accession of Eugen. III., (1145—1153,)Alexander III., (1159—1181,) and Gregory IX. (1227--1241.) The deputation used to take up a position close to Monte Giordino, carrying a splendidly bound copy of the Law, which, on the Pope's approach, they humbly presented to him on their knees. While waiting his arrival, they were exposed to the scoffs and hootings of the intolerant and ignorant multitude that swarmed around them, to such extent, that at last, from mere humanity, Innocent VIII. (1484–1492) relieved them from the torture of their public presence, and ordained that they should pay their respects to him at the Castle of St. Angelo. The ceremony which took place on this occasion is thus described by Joh. Burchardus (Diarium Curiæ Romanæ): “On passing, (on his way to the palace,) in procession, the Castle St. Angelo, the new Pope stopped, and the Jews issued forth, dressed in their best robes, and bearing the Law, which they offered to him that he might pay his homage to it, addressing him at the same time in Hebrew, somewhat in the following manner: _Most holy Father, we Hebrew men beseech your Holiness, in the name of our synagogue, to deign to sanction and establish unto us the Mosaic Law, given by God on Mount Sinai unto Moses our Priest; as it has been sanctioned and established by many venerable Popes, the predecessors of your Holiness.' To which the Pope replied :• We sanction the Law; but your faith and exposition of it we condemn, because He of whom you say, that He shall come, has come, even the Lord Jesus Christ, as our Church
professes and teaches.' And with this concluded the ceremony.” This act was repeated at the accessions of Julius II. (1503—1513) and Leo X.,(1513-1521,) but never afterwards, and is therefore extinct.
Instead of performing this act of homage, however, the Jews were bound, at their own expense, to decorate with costly tapestry a part of the street which the Papal procession had to pass through. At the accession of Gregory XV. (1621—1623) they were forced to decorate not only a part of the road, but also the Arch of Titus; and thus was added insult to degradation, as they had to adorn an arch erected especially in memory of the misfortunes that had befallen them. Of late it has become a custom to present to the new Popes little volumes containing passages of Scripture, in splendid and costly decoration and bindings. Such was the case at the accession of the Popes of the present century. That presented to Pio Nono was so costly, that it is said to have cost about five hundred scudi.
But, besides this duty at the accession of the Popes, there was another, to be repeated every year. It has been stated already that Clemens IX, abolished the insult of Jews being made to run at the Corso, in consideration of a certain sum to be paid by them annually : he also relieved them from attending at the procession of the Senators; instead of which they had to present themselves at the throne-chamber, before the Roman Conservatores, there to ask for a renewal of their privileges. For this purpose, their representatives had to appear, on the first Sabbath of the Carnival, before the Presidents of the Senate, meeting at the Capitol. . On their knees they presented a large bouquet of flowers, together with the sum of twenty scudi, humbly praying that this money be spent in decorating the balcony on which the Roman Senator would take his place to view the games of the Carnival. After this they proceeded to the Senate; and there again,' on their knees, supplicated the renewal of their permission to stay at Rome. The Senator placed his foot on their brow, (some say neck, as a mark of slavery,) and then told them, as customary, that the Jews, legally, were not permitted to live at Rome,