Poetry and patronage: Azariah de’ Rossi’s elegies for Margaret of Savoy
The death of Margaret of Savoy in 1574 created a momentous stir in literary and political circles. This renowned patroness of arts and protector of minorities had extended her protection to the Jews and conversos living in the realm of her husband, Emannuel Philibert. Jews, too, lamented her demise. The purpose of this paper is to interpret the elegies written by the Jewish Italian scholar, Azariah de’ Rossi, setting them in their historical and literary context. De’ Rossi’s extant poems in Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin are printed here in their entirety for the first time. An analysis of their content demonstrates how de’ Rossi, the scholar, adopts the medium of the elegy in order to “exalt and exhort” Margaret’s widower, the ruler Emannuel Philibert of Piedmont, implicitly, therefore, pleading the Jewish cause.
KeywordsVerse Jewish Identity Nicomachean Ethic Beer Sheva Latin Translation
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