This study focuses on the management of the ghetto space during the 18th century using Ancona (Italy), one of the cities of the former Papal States, as a case study. The conflict began when the local authorities announced their intention to compile a new cadastre, that is a public register of all the properties owned by the Jews. More specifically, the nature of chazakah and the rental income from subletting were at the heart of the conflict. On the one hand, the conservative rhetoric, which fed the anti-Semitic propaganda, was inspired by Enlightenment ideals (such as the notion of «distributive justice», which was found in the register); on the other, in order to defend this exemption, the Jews invoked the founding principles of segregation, the same principles they had long criticised. Therefore, thanks to an in-depth analysis of the events occurred in Ancona, this paper tries to uncover this network of overlapping meanings.
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