VOLTERRA, Italian family especially prominent during the Renaissance. In 1408, bonaventura, son of Genatano of Bologna, was invited to open a loan-bank in Volterra and the name of the city became his own and his descendants'. He may have been the copyist of a Hebrew work on logic. His son manuel opened a loan-bank in Florence in 1459. He was very affluent but his family apparently lost its wealth. One of his sons was the traveler meshullam da *volterra. Another son, abraham, opened a loan-bank in Gaeta, southern Italy. Another, lazzaro (eliezer), continued in banking in southern Italy, in Siena and in Florence. His wife Hannah was the daughter of Jehiel b. Isaac da *Pisa. He was in touch with Johanan *Allemanno on philosophical questions. He also wrote poetry, including love poetry. Ḥayyim (vita) ben moses of Venice and later Finale, Senigallia, and Ancona, engaged enthusiastically in rabbinic disputes. About 1714 he got into trouble with the Inquisition and took refuge for a time in London (Ms. Roth 262). vito *volterra was an Italian jurist.
Roth, Italy, 483: Milano, Italia, index; C. Roth, Jews in the Renaissance (1959), index; U. Cassuto, Ebrei a Firenze nell' età del Rinascimento (1918), 264–70; Ghirondi Neppi, index; Mortara, Indice, s.v.; Enciclopedia Italiana, s.v.
[Menachem E. Artom]