29.05.2011 25.Ijar, 5771 Tag 40 des Omer
Being a true Renaissance woman, Copia Sulam decided to open her home to talented members of the Venetian community, both Jewish and non-Jewish.
In the ghetto of Venice toward the end of the 16th century, Sarra Copia was born to Simon and Ricca, a wealthy Jewish merchant and his wife. Sarra received a superb education, having learned (at least) Italian, Latin, Greek, Spanish and Hebrew. By the age of 15, she was writing poems in Spanish and Italian; she also performed on the harpsichord. In or around 1614, this talented young woman married Jacob Sulam, an important member of the Venetian Jewish business community.
Being a true Renaissance woman, Copia Sulam decided to open her home to talented members of the Venetian community, both Jewish and non-Jewish. (She predated the German-Jewish salon women by over a century.) This hostess had the reputation of being charismatic as well as an impressive conversationalist. She often read her own poetry at these gatherings and hired some of the participants as private tutors. While she maintained contact with Jewish contemporary literati such as Leon de Modena and Salamone Rossi (who composed a wedding ode for her sister), she also had a number of memorable encounters with non-Jewish supposed “Renaissance men.”…