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Jews and Magic in Medici Florence

Jews and Magic in Medici Florence

The Secret World of Benedetto Blanis

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 7:00 pm

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In the 17th century, Jews in Florence’s tiny ghetto struggled to earn a living by any means possible, including loan-sharking, rag-picking, and second-hand dealing. They were often viewed as an uncanny people with rare supernatural powers. Historian Edward Goldberg shared how businessman and aspiring scholar Benedetto Blanis used this mystical misperception to his advantage, seeking a grand position at the Medici Court
and winning the admiration of Don Giovanni de’ Medici.

Dr. Edward Goldberg is the founder of the Medici Archive Project (MAP). Goldberg received his PhD from Oxford and taught
art history at Harvard. He has been widely published and is responsible for important archival discoveries including
L’Ebreo (The Jew), a 1613 comedy by Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger. In 2012, Goldberg won the International Flaiano Prize for his book, Jews and Magic in Medici Florence: The Secret World of Benedetto Blanis.


This program was part of the Solomon Goldman Lecture Series, generously endowed by Rose and the late Sidney Shure.