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MONTÉLIMAR (Hebrew, or ):

Capital of the department of the Drome, France. A large number of Jews lived here from the beginning of the fourteenth century. They possessed a synagogue in the Rue du Puits-Neuf, formerly the Rue de la Juiverie, as well as a school situated near the Porte Saint-Martin, a cemetery, and a slaughter-house, the privilege of maintaining the latter being ratified by the Dauphin Louis in 1455.

The condition of the Jews of Montélimar was comparatively prosperous. The following were the principal men among them during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries: Solomon, Isaac Maignan, Lionel de Livron, Josse Nercas, Isaac de Lattes, Solomon Massip, Isaac Saul de Mornas, and Bonsenhor Bonafossa. In 1339 and 1340 Samuel ben Judah of Marseilles revised at Montélimar his Hebrew version (made in 1324) of the "Treatise on the Soul" by Alexander Aphrodisius, a work which had been translated from Greek into Arabic by Isaac ibn Ḥunain.

In 1439 the lords of Montélimar required the Jews of the city to wear the badge, from which the toleration of the consuls had hitherto exempted them; and this decree was renewed two years later by Jean de Poitiers, Bishop of Valence. In 1453 the Jews were commanded to attend Christian worship, and a preacher was appointed to convert them to Christianity. After this the Jewish community gradually lost its importance; and in 1468 it contained but seven families, which, on account of accusations—admitted to be false by the parliament of Grenoble—were maltreated by the inhabitants and expelled from the city in that year.

Bibliography:
  • De Costou, Histoire de Montélimar, 1878, i. 516, ii. 579;
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, pp. 319, 381;
  • R. E. J. ix. 237.
G. S. K.
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