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DAGOBERT:

King of France (602-638). In order to emulate the religious zeal of Heraclius and Sisebut, the rulers of the Byzantine and West-Gothic empires, who were persecuting the Jews,Dagobert decreed, about 629, that the Jews who were not converted to Christianity by a certain date should either leave his dominions or be put to death. "Many changed their faith at that time, while large numbers were slain by the sword," says the Jewish historian ("'Emeḳ ha-Bakah," p. 8). This measure could hardly have been instigated by Heraclius, since it was unlikely that Dagobert was in communication with him; it was rather, as Cassel rightly asserts, a local persecution, directed against certain individuals; and it was not even carried out rigorously, for at the Council of Rheims, held a year later, the canonical decrees issued previously, referring to the traffic in Christian slaves, attendance at Jewish feasts, and the filling of public offices, were renewed.

Bibliography:
  • Gesta Dagoberti, i. 586;
  • Ersch and Gruber, Encyc., section ii., part 47, p. 63;
  • Grätz, Gesch. v. 65 et seq.
G. M. K.
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