Elena Lolli


Rothschild Postdoctoral Fellow

Faculty / College Address:

Clarendon Institute / Corpus Christi College



Research Interests:

I have conducted postgraduate research on Italian Judaism in the medieval and modern era, focusing on the cultural production of Jews in Italy in the 16th-18th centuries, socio-economic life and political-organizational thinking in the Jewish tradition. In particular my research interests concern:

- Manuscript sources for the study of the socio-economic life of Jews in Italy during the 15th-18th centuries.

- Manuscript sources for the study of Jewish Communities in Italy: study and publication of the handwritten and printed books produced by Jewish Communities in Italy during the 17th-18th centuries.

- The role of Jewish women in Italian Jewish communities and the female universe within the ghettos;

- Jewish attitudes toward death, mourning rituals and practices among Italian Jewry;

- Census and cataloguing of fragments from medieval Hebrew manuscripts reused in the 16th and 17th centuries as bookbinding of registers and records kept in archives and libraries.

Current Projects:

The Account Book of a Jewish Pawnbroker in Northern Italy for the Years 1408-1410. An Unpublished Manuscript for the Economic History of the Jews During the Renaissance. The purpose of this project is to study and edit an unpublished account book of the Renaissance period in Hebrew and Judeo-Italian and use it for reconstructing social and economic history of the Jews in Emilia Romagna. This original manuscript, which is the oldest known register of Jewish lenders in Italy, can shed new light on the economic history of the Jews and in particular on important specific questions concerning credit in North Italy, Jewish-Christian economic relations, reconstruction on the material culture through the mentions of the pawned objects, the study of their prices, as well as the history of accounting practices through the assessment of the structure of the register. Moreover, the study of this register is of extreme interest to document the reuse of paper manuscripts.


Some publications are available at https://oxford.academia.edu/ElenaLolli


Il Libro dei morti della Comunità Ebraica di Lugo di Romagna per gli anni 1658-1825, Giuntina, Firenze, 2020, pp. 432.


-    La casa del rabbino. Momenti di vita ebraica nella Lugo di fine Settecento, «Romagna Arte e Storia», numero monografico Case, dolci case. Abitare nei borghi e nelle città della Romagna, secc XV-XX, 117 (2020), pp. 55-68.

-    ‘A good Wife is a great blessing’. Female portraits through the Lugo di Romagna Jewish Community’s Register of the dead (1658-1825), «Materia Giudaica» XXIV (2019), pp. 99-106.

-    «I miei occhi piangono lacrime». Nuovi studi sulle fonti interne della Comunità ebraica di Lugo dei secoli XVII-XVIII, «Romagna Arte e Storia», 112 (2019), pp. 39-52.

-    The Ḥevrat Gemilut Ḥasadim of Lugo and the death recordings of two distinguished fellows: Rabbis Avraham Dawid and Šelomoh Yaḥyah, «Materia Giudaica» XXIII (2018), pp. 131-140.

-    L’atto di morte del rabbino di Lugo Yiṣḥaq Berekyah da Fano III (1676-1750). Note per una ricostruzione biografica, «Materia Giudaica» XXII (2017), pp. 151-158.

-    Il tragico decesso di due rabbini lughesi nel 1666 Šelomoh Fano e Yosef Yaḥyah, «Materia Giudaica» XX-XXI (2015-2016), pp. 165-177.

-    «Per trarli dalle tenebre dell’ignoranza». Nuovi documenti sulle prediche coatte agli ebrei di Lugo nel Settecento, «Materia Giudaica» XIX 1-2 (2014), pp. 103-116.

-    Vita ebraica a Lugo nei verbali delle sedute consiliari degli anni 1670-1759, «Materia Giudaica» XIX 1-2 (2014), pp. 455-468.

Further Information:

-    Member of the international project ‘Books within Books: Hebrew Fragments in European Libraries’ headed by Prof. Judith Olszowy-Schlanger. The project deals with the finding, cataloging and dissemination of knowledge on the phenomenon of re-employment of medieval Hebrew manuscripts recovered from book bindings and notarial files (for further information see: http://hebrewmanuscript.com/).

-    Member of the joint French-Israeli Project ‘Tikkoun Sofrim’ developed by the École Pratique des Hautes Études, PSL University of Paris, the eLijah-Lab at the University of Haifa and the National Library, Israel. The aim of the project is to make Medieval Hebrew manuscripts openly and freely available as texts (for further information see: https://tikkoun-sofrim.firebaseapp.com/en/).

-    Member of the Project 'Sofer Mahir. Automatic Transcription of Manuscripts for an Open Source Library of Ancient Rabbinic Compositions' by Prof. Stökl Ben Ezra (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris). This project deals with the application of cutting edge document analysis, Handwritten Text-Recognition (HTR) and other machine learning on manuscript images of several European and American libraries and the National Library of Israel for the creation of an open source repository for precise transcriptions of tannaitic rabbinic literature (for further information see: https://sofermahir.hypotheses.org/6).

-    Member of the Italian Association for the Jewish Studies (AISG) and Peer reviewer of the journal ‘Materia Giudaica’

-    Member of the scientific committee and Content curator of the official website of Italian-Israeli Association of Romagna

Elena Lolli