AGRIGENTO (Girgenti ), town in Sicily. The Jewish community of Agrigento dates to classical antiquity, as attested by a tombstone found there, perhaps of the fifth century. In 598, during the pontificate of *Gregory the Great, a number of Jews were converted to Christianity. The community continued to exist throughout the period of Muslim domination and Girgenti is mentioned in a letter from the Cairo *Genizah c. 1060. The Jewish community is recorded in 1254 when the revenues from the Jews were taxed in favor of the church. *Faraj da Agrigento was one of the most active translators employed by Charles of Anjou in Naples. In 1397 the Jews of Agrigento had to equip a force of 200 foot soldiers for one of King Martin i of Aragon's military expeditions. In 1426 the citizens of Agrigento petitioned unsuccessfully for royal permission to enforce anti-Jewish measures. In 1476 King John ii ordered that the money bequeathed by Solomon Anello to promote Hebrew learning in Agrigento be given instead to Guglielmo Raimondo Moncada (alias Flavius Mithridates), a Sicilian Jewish convert to Christianity. Among the reasons cited was the accusation that Jewish schools in the city taught calumnies against the Christian faith, alluding to the spread of a certain Hebrew book among Sicilian Jews. This book is thought to have been Toledot Yeshu ("The Life of Jesus"), a medieval pseudo-history of the life of Jesus. Anello's heirs contested the decision but in the end the school was closed down and the revenues were assigned to Moncada. In 1477 a compromise was reached and the Jews of Agrigento were ordered to provide Moncada a house in Palermo instead of the school building in their city. That same year the heirs of Solomon Anello finally succeeded in repossessing some of the books and estate. At the time of the expulsion of the Jews from territory under Spanish rule in 1492 the municipal treasurer was imprisoned for speculation at Jewish expense.
G. Di Giovanni, L'ebraismo della Sicilia (1748), 289–98; B. and G. Lagumina, Codice diplomatico dei giudei di Sicilia, 1 (1884), 6, 21, 182, 388; 2 (1895), 184; 3 (1909), 116; Roth, Italy, index; Milano, Italía, index; C. Roth, in: jqr, 47 (1956/57), 329–30 (= idem, Gleanings (1967), 74–75). add. bibliography: S. Simonsohn, "Some Well-Known Jewish Converts during the Renaissance," rej, 148 (1989), 17–52; idem, The Jews in Sicily, 6 vols. (1997–2004); H. Bresc, Arabes de langue, juifs de religion. L'évolution du judaïsme sicilien dans l'environment latin, xiie–xve siècles (2001).
[Cecil Roth /
Nadia Zeldes (2nd ed.)]
"Agrigento." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/agrigento
"Agrigento." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/agrigento
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.