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POITIERS:

French city; capital of the department of Vienne. In 1236 the Jews of Poitiers and the adjacent country were harried by the Crusaders, although Pope Gregory IX., in a letter to the bishop, strongly condemned their excesses. Four years later (1240) Nathan ben Joseph engaged in a debate with the Bishop of Poitiers. Alphonse de Poitiers, yielding to the demands of the Christian inhabitants, ordered the expulsion of the Jews from the city (1249) and the cancelation of all debts due them from the Christians. He was not disdainful of their knowledge of medicine, however; for when he was attacked, in 1252, with a serious affection of the eyes he called in a celebrated Jewish physician of Aragon, named Ibrahim. In 1269 he compelled all Jews remaining in his dominions to wear the badge of the wheel on their garments. In 1273 the council of Poitiers forbade landed proprietors to make any contracts with the Jewish usurers, and ordered Christians generally not to lend money to the Jews or to borrow from them, except in cases of extreme necessity. In 1296 all Jews were expelled from the city by Philip the Fair.

Bibliography:
  • Boutaric, St.-Louis et Alphonse de Poitiers, p. 87;
  • Depping, Les Juifs dans le Moyen Age, pp. 128-130;
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 63;
  • Saige, Les Juifs du Languedoc, pp. 22, 26;
  • Ibn Verga, Shebet Yehudah, p. 114;
  • R. E. J. i. 230, iii. 216, vi. 83.
G. S. K.
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