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PAVIA, city in N. Italy. In 750 the Jew Lullo took part in a religious *disputation in Pavia with the Christian Peter of Pisa. In the ninth century a Jewish scholar named Moses, whose name is associated with the diffusion of mystical lore in Europe, left *Oria to settle in Pavia; his relationship to the 11th century R. Moses of *Pavia is obscure. In 1225 the Jews were expelled from Lombardy, including Pavia. In 1389 Jewish loan-bankers reappeared in the city. They were so violently attacked in the sermons of Bernardino da *Feltre between 1480 and 1494 that the inhabitants demanded their expulsion. However, Duke Giangaleazzo Sforza refused to comply. Popular agitation for the exclusion of the Jews nevertheless continued. When Pavia was besieged by the French in 1527 its inhabitants solemnly vowed that if they surmounted the catastrophe they would "cleanse" the town of Jews. However, the efforts of the numerous delegations later dispatched to the authorities in Milan to obtain their agreement came to nothing.

The physician *Elijah b. Shabbetai taught medicine at the University of Pavia at the beginning of the 15th century – the only authenticated case of a Jewish university teacher in Europe at this period. A chair of Hebrew was established at the end of the 15th century and was renewed in 1521, the first incumbent being the erudite apostate Paolo *Riccio. The duchy of Milan came under Spanish rule in 1535, and the Jews in Pavia obtained short residence permits for a time. In 1558 only seven Jewish families remained in Pavia, and they left during the series of expulsions between 1565 and 1597 which drove all Jews from the duchy of Milan.


Invernizzi, in: Bollettino della Società pavese di storia patria, 5 (1905), 191–240, 281–319; Roth, Italy, index; Milano, Italia, index; Milano, Bibliotheca, index; Roth, Dark Ages, index.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.