AQUILA, town in Abruzzi province, central Italy. The first record of Jews living in Aquila dates from 1294. In 1400, Ladislas, king of Naples, authorized two Jewish families to engage in pawnbroking and trade in Aquila and other towns in the Abruzzi. Queen Joanna II granted a similar license to other Jews in 1420 and in 1423. In 1427 the Franciscan John of *Capistrano obtained its revocation, but the right was restored after the Jews complained to Pope Martin v. However, their situation was precarious when Aquila became the scene of recurrent anti-Jewish preaching by the Franciscan *Bernardino da Siena in 1438, Giacomo della Marca in 1466, and *Bernardino da Feltre in 1488. That year, as a result of the panic caused by renewed preaching by Bernardino da Feltre, only two Jewish families remained in Aquila. The Jews were expelled from the kingdom of Naples, in which Aquila was included, in 1510–11. A few individuals may have returned, but attempts to reside there were finally terminated with the second expulsion of the Jews from the kingdom in 1540–41. A few Jewish families settled there in the 20th century but there was no organized Jewish life.
Milano, Bibliotheca, index; N. Ferorelli, Gli ebrei nell' Italia meridionale (1915); J. Starr, in: JQR, 31 (1940/41), 67–78. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. Cavalieri, L'Aquila: dall'armistizio alla Repubblica, 1943–1946: la seconda guerra mondiale all'Aquila e provincia, (1994); M.R. Berardi, "Per la storia della presenza ebraica in Abruzzo e nel Molise tra Medioevo e prima Età Moderna: dalla storiografia alle fonti," in: C.D. Fonseca, M. Luzzati, G. Tamani, and C. Colafemmina (eds.), L'ebraismo dell'Italia meridionale Peninsulare dalle origini al 1541 [= Atti del IX Congresso Internazionale dell'Associazione Italiana per lo Studio del Giudaismo., Potenza 1992] (1996), 267–94; C. Colafemmina, "Documenti per la storia degli ebrei in Abruzzo (iii)," in: Sefer Yuhasin, 1 (1997), 29–45; W. Cavalieri, L'Aquila in guerra: il secondo conflitto mondiale sul territorio del capoluogo e delle provincia (1997).
[Attilio Milano / Manuela Consonni (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.