Mantua: Alberto Pazzoni, 1754
Est: $2,000 - $3,000
An anti-Semitic ballard entitled “Gnora Luna” became popular in Mantua in 1754. The verses of the song mock Jewish tradition and suggest such ritual stems from Black Magic. On the night of the 9th of July, 1754 a mob gathered outside the gates of the Mantua Jewish Ghetto, taunted the Jews with this inflammatory song and subsequently ran riot late into the night. Thereafter weeks of clashes ensued, which necessitated the intervention of the military. Peace was not restored until the 24th of July. That date was marked as a Remembrance Day for the rescue of the Jews of Mantua from the rioters - and was observed at least until 1771. The present Edict of Empress Maria Theresa was her response to the anti-Semitic actions of the Mantua mob. “To avoid licentiousness recently taken by certain people to oppress by actions and taunt with words and songs the Jews, inciting groups against them and rebellions which could have tragic consequences, we therefore order with this Edict from now on, nobody… should dare to molest, disturb, harm or mistreat the Jews under any flag or pretense…under penalty of imprisonment…” On the civil disturbance in Mantua in July 1754, see S. Simonsohn, History of the Jews in the Duchy of Mantua (1977) pp. 88-91 and C. Roth, The History of the Jews of Italy (1946) pp. 412-3.