Keywords: Jewish Emancipation; Jewish traditions and Italian civil law; Jewish community of Livorno (19th century); Lawyers; Law.
This is the first biographical profile of Isacco Rignano (1824-1897). Born in Livorno
and a brilliant student at Pisa University, he became a successful lawyer both in his city
and in the defence of the previleges and traditions of the local Jewish community. Rignano
also produced many reputed and often quoted pages on the problems concerning the discrepancies
between the Lorenese legal system and that introduced in Italy as a consequence
of national unity. A staunch defender of the ancient previleges of his community, he was
at the same time a loyal and firm supporter of equal rights awarded by the new Italian
Kingdom, thus embodying that peculiar mix of secular outlook while holding on to the old
traditions typical of the Italian Jewry during the Risorgimento.