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PAMIERS:

One of the principal towns of the department of Ariège, France. A Jewish community existed here in the twelfth century. In 1256 Maurin II., Abbot of St. Antoine, granted protection to the Jew Bonio, son of Beslinenga, in consideration of a yearly tax of a gold marabotin. In 1279 the Jews of Pamiers agreed among themselves to refrain from making certain extravagant presents, especially those which it was customary to give to new-born infants; from inviting more than twelve persons to family festivals; from giving more than 12 deniers as a New-Year's gift to each child; from appearing in the public square on the Sabbath; and from participating in games of dice or chess. The cost of lawsuits and other general expenses were to be paid from the proceeds of certain taxes. The Abbot of St. Antoine approved these regulations, and, as a token of his good-will, permitted the Jews to wear on their garments a small embroidered wheel, instead of the large one of cloth. The king confirmed this decision in 1280. A few years previously (in 1274) the Parliament of Paris had forbidden the king's Jews to compel those belonging to the abbey of Pamiers to contribute to a certain tax.

In 1300 a curé of the diocese was excommunicated because he denied his indebtedness to a Jew. In 1391 Gaston III., Duke of Foix, imprisoned the seventy Jews then living at Pamiers and threatened them with death unless they paid him the sum of 3,000 scudis. In 1394 there were only 56 Jews at Pamiers, whom the duke would not allow to depart until he was forced to do so by the officers of the seneschal of Toulouse, acting under orders from the King of France.

Bibliography:
  • Saige, Les Juifs du Languedoc, pp. 14, 29, 40, 41, 118, 239;
  • Dom Vaissète, Histoire Générale du Languedoc, iv., Documentary Proofs 9;
  • Depping, Les Juifs dans le Moyen Age, pp. 131, 132, 196;
  • R. E. J. iii. 215, xviii. 139;
  • Solomon b. Reuben Bonfed, Diwan (in MS.; see Neubauer, Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS. No. 1984);
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 438.
S. S. K.
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