RIMINI (Heb. ארמיני), city on the Adriatic coast of Italy. There is evidence of the existence of a Jewish colony in Rimini from the beginning of the 12th century, which dealt in local commerce and in trade connected with the port. Under the benevolent rule of the Malatesta, Jewish moneylenders appeared there in the 14th century and carried on their business successfully, showing considerable initiative. Accounts of Jewish moneylending in and around the town mention names of bankers from Rimini: one of them, Menahem b. Nathan, left money in 1392 for the repair of the walls of Rome, his native city, and for improvements in the harbor of Rimini. Jewish bankers from Rimini were also active in moneylending in Modena in 1393 and subsequently in Padua. A century later the Franciscan Bernardino da *Siena visited the town and unsuccessfully tried to rouse anti-Jewish feeling there. Between 1521 and 1526 Gershom *Soncino worked in Rimini where he printed eight books. Jewish association with Rimini presumably ended with the expulsion from the Papal States in 1569. In 1587–89, 17 Jewish loan banks were authorized to be set up there in consequence of the tolerant policies of Pope Sixtus V, but the Jews were driven out again by the reactionary bull of 1593. In the first stages of the Italian war of independence, a platoon including about 20 Jewish volunteers fought the Austrians at Rimini (1831).
Artom, in: Miscellanea… H.P. Chajes (1930), 1–9; Roth, Italy, index; Milano, Italia, index; Loevinson, in: REJ, 93 (1932), 176–7.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.