Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(1,427 words)

The Francos were Jews of Italian (and other European) descent who settled in the Ottoman Empire in the seventeenth century and afterward in search of commercial opportunities. They generally did not consider themselves part of the communities where they settled or subject to their ordinances, but were instrumental in sustaining the communities financially and in fostering their transition into modernity.

From the seventeenth century on, Jewish merchants of Italian-Livornese extraction began to settle in communities across North Africa and the Levant. They were known locally as se…

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Dina Danon, “Francos”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 31 January 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_000671>
First published online: 2010

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