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MODON (now Methone ), port city in S.W. Peloponnesus, Greece. Benjamin of Tudela found a Jewish community in Modon, and it became of importance during the Venetian rule. Four travelers in the late 15th century recorded details about this Jewish community ruled by the Venetians (1206–1500). In 1481 Meshullam of Volterra found 300 Jewish families in Modon in a ghetto "on the outskirts of the city" engaged in trade and handicrafts. Jews were engaged in the silk and tanning industries, as well as the maritime trade. Jews were excluded from citizenship and obliged to provide an executioner, as in other Venetian colonies. Jewish men and women had to perform forced labor. Modon fell to the Turks in 1501, whereupon many exiles from Spain settled there. Venice demanded an exorbitant sum from its Jewish population. In the assault on the town in 1531 by the Knights of Malta, Jewish captives were presumed to have been among those non-Christians carried off by the invaders. The Jewish community ceased to exist after the Venetian-Turkish war of 1646.


J. Starr, Romania (1949), 63–72.

[Simon Marcus]

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