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NEVERS (, or ):

Chief city of the department of the Nièvre, France, with a population of 27,108 (1904). In the twelfth century Jews were permitted to reside at Nevers on condition of paying to the seigniors of the city a tax of five sous per family and twenty sous for each person, besides their tithes. In a letter written by Innocent III. to the Count of Nevers (Jan., 1208) the pope reproved the latter for having treated the Jews on his estates with kindness and for having allowed them, to the great injury of the Church, to hold mortgages on Christian castles, fortresses, and villagesHe threatened him with the utmost displeasure of the Church if he continued to afford his protection to the Jews, saying that it was scandalous to see Christians pressing the grapes and slaying the cattle of the Jews, who were permitted to take what they desired and to leave the remainder to the Christians. "It is above all a disgrace," continued the pope, "that it is the very wine prepared by the Jews that is afterward used for the sacrament of the eucharist." When Louis X., in 1316, authorized the return of the Jews to Nevers, it was with the stipulation that they should be apportioned to the same seigniors as before their exile, and that their confiscated goods should not be restored.

On their expulsion from France in 1394 some Jews of Nevers took refuge in Provence. A descendant of one of these, Moses of Nevers, settled at Arles in 1464 with his brother, whom he calls "the good judge of Nevers"; another, Solomon of Nevers, a dealer in silks and gold, lived in 1494 at Tarascon. In the first half of the eighteenth century several Jewish merchants visited the markets and fairs at Nevers, but the council of state, on the complaint of the Christian traders, forbade their engaging in commerce at Nevers under penalty of a fine of 1,000 livres and the confiscation of their merchandise (April 19, 1740). But one scholar of Nevers is known: he is quoted in Tos. Pes. 34a under the name of "Moses of ."

Bibliography:
  • Bédarride, Les Juifs en France, p. 136;
  • Carmoly, in Revue Orientale, i. 468;
  • Dom Bouquet, Recueil des Hist. de France, ii. 217;
  • Depping, Les Juifs dans le Moyen Age, pp. 157, 198, 201;
  • Grätz, Gesch. vii. 127;
  • Innocent III., Epistolæ, ii. 190, Paris, 1682;
  • Ordonnances des Rois de France (letter of Louis X. in 1316);
  • R. E. J. xix. 295.
S. S. K.
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