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BONIFACE IX. (PIETRO TOMACELLI):

Two hundred and eighth pope; born at Naples; elected pope Nov. 2, 1389; died at Rome in 1404. His pontificate was very favorable for the Jews in general and for the Roman Jews in particular. At the request of the latter, Boniface issued a bull in which he ordered the senators, the conservators, and all other functionaries of the city of Rome to protect the Jews from every kind of drudgery, overreaching, and violence, under the penalty of excommunication and a fine of 1,000 gold florins. The wearing of the badge by Jews was repealed. No Jew could be molested on a simple writ of an inquisitor, unless by a sealed order of a collateral of the curia; for, according to the bull, "all Jews and Jewesses residing in the city, and sojourning there with their families, must be treated as Roman citizens."

Boniface showed especial favor to the Jewish physicians Angelo di Manuele and Solomone de Sabalduchio of Perugia. The Senate had in 1376 exempted from all taxes the physicians Manuele and his son Angelo, and their families, residents of Rione Trastevere, for services they had rendered as physicians to the Roman citizens, and chiefly to the poor. This favor was enforced on Aug. 8, 1385, by the Senate, which accorded the Jewish community of Rome a yearly reduction of 30 florins for the taxes of Manuele and Angelo. July 1, 1392, Boniface appointed Angelo his "familiaris" and physician, and confirmed, by a bull issued April, 1399, the special diplomas of Roman citizenship delivered by the Senate to Angelo and his father. On Oct. 23, 1392, he appointed the physician Solomone de Sabalduchio his "familiaris," and bestowed upon him many favors.

Bibliography:
  • The bulls are published in Stern, Urkundl. Beiträge zur Stellung der Päpste, pp. 17, 18;
  • Revue Orientale, ii. 461;
  • Berliner, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, i, 62;
  • Vogelstein and Rieger, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, i. 317 et seq.
G. I. Br.
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