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SALERNO, city in Campania, S. Italy. A Latin tombstone of the daughter of a rabbi called Abundantius shows that a Jewish settlement existed in Salerno as early as the 3rd or 4th century. In the Middle Ages the town was the seat of a famous medical school founded in about 800. According to tradition, its founders included not only an Arab, a Greek, and a Latin, but also a Jewish teacher. Jews are mentioned in the town from 872, and the Jewish quarter (Judaica) of Salerno in a document of 1005. *Benjamin of Tudela, who visited Salerno around 1159, found there about 600 Jews, including several scholars. As a result of the persecutions in south Italy around 1290–94, 150 Jewish families were converted, but many continued secret allegiance to Judaism. In 1485 R. Obadiah of *Bertinoro was for some months in Salerno and apparently frequented the medical school. With the expulsion of the Jews from the Kingdom of *Naples in 1510, the much-reduced Jewish community of Salerno also ceased to exist.


Milano, Bibliotheca, index; Milano, Italia, index; Roth, Italy, index; Roth, Dark Ages, index; N. Ferorelli, Ebrei nell' Italia meridionale… (1915), passim; Carucci, in: Archivio storico della provincia di Salerno, 1 (1921), 74–79; Cerone, in: Studi… Michelangelo Schipa (1926), 59–73; Marongia, in: Archivio storico per le provincie napoletane, 62 (1937), 238–63; Frey, Corpus, no. 568. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Gambardella, "Gli ebrei a Salerno," in: Architettura Giudaica in Italia. Ebraismo, sito, memoria dei luogh (1994), 269–83; N. Pavoncello, "Epigrafia ebraica nel Museo Duomo di Salerno," in: Istituto Universitario Orientale: Annali, 18 (1968) 198–203; M. Galante, "Tre nuovi documenti sui cristiani novelli a Salerno nei secoli XIII–XIV," in: Sefer Yuhasin, 9:1–3 (1993), 3–14; D. Abulafia, "Il mezzogiorno peninsulare dai bizantini all'espulsione," in: Storia d'Italia. Annali 11, Gli ebrei in Italia. Dall'alto Medioevo all'età dei ghetti (ed. Corrao Vivanti) (1996), 5–44.

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