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Mirrors for Margraves

Peter Damian’s Models for Male and Female Rulers

Alison Creber

In the 1060s Peter Damian wrote “mirrors for margraves” to the rulers of two different Italian marks: Godfrey, margrave of Tuscany, and Adelaide, de facto ruler of the mark of Turin. Although he wrote to them both on the subject of rule and justice, Damian offered Godfrey and Adelaide different models for rule. Godfrey was to mete out harsh punishments; Adelaide was to act with mercy and restraint. Godfrey was presented with images of paternal care, Adelaide with maternal imagery. Godfrey was encouraged to emulate historical figures; Adelaide was to emulate biblical heroines. Through comparing and contrasting the gendered way in which Damian constructs the image of the ideal margrave in each of these letters, this article demonstrates that Damian consciously used different models for Godfrey and Adelaide on the basis of their gender, rather than their status or behavior.

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Judezmo

The Jewish Language of the Ottoman Sephardim

David M. Bunis

Judezmo, the traditional language of the Sephardic Jews of the former Ottoman Empire, is presented as a member of the group of Jewish languages, fusing elements of Ibero-Romance, Greek, Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, French, Italian and other linguistic stocks. In common with speakers of other Jewish languages, Judezmo speakers perceived their language as 'Jewish' and denoted it as such (Djudezmo, Djidyó). They wrote it in the Hebrew or 'Jewish' alphabet; used an archaizing variety of it (Ladino) to translate sacred Hebrew texts literally; and made frequent use in everyday language of words and phrases from Hebrew, and allusions to Hebrew texts, Jewish rituals and other facets of Judaism as a civilization. They preserved words from the pre-languages (Jewish Greek, Jewish Arabic) used by the ancestors of the Judezmo speakers in medieval Iberia, and following the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, incorporated much material from the languages spoken by ethnic groups encountered in the Ottoman Empire. Distinct from both medieval and modern Spanish, Judezmo served as a lingua franca among the Sephardim throughout the ethnically and linguistically diverse regions of the Eastern Mediterranean. A special variety functioned as a secret code among Sephardic merchants. Today, Judezmo is treasured by its speakers as the unique, independent Jewish language of the Mediterranean Sephardim. However, the number of its speakers is constantly decreasing, making Judezmo an endangered language.