This chapter examines how Anna del Monte lived closed within ghetto walls; and like all other Jews in that city, she was constantly pressed to renounce Judaism and accept Christianity. Conversionary activities in Anna's day were intense and sometimes violent. She left a record of her experiences, which her brother Tranquillo del Monte heavily edited and began to circulate in a handwritten copy in 1793, years after Anna's death. This record, properly titled Anna's Ratto—her kidnapping, but often called her diary—furnishes unique testimony to Roman Jewry's late eighteenth-century plight. Through his correspondence with other Jewish communities, Tranquillo had learned of the enormous gap separating the increasingly desperate straits of Roman Jewry from the vast improvements in rights and civic standing recently won by the Jews of Western Europe and the new United States.
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