By: Moïse Schwab
A town in the department of Hérault, France, two miles from the Mediterranean Sea and thirty miles from Montpellier. Probably there was a Jewish community here some time before the sixth century; for the Council of Agde, which assembled in the city in 506, prohibited both Christian ecclesiastics and laymen from eating with the Jews or inviting them to their houses. This prohibition, which was only a repetition of that promulgated by the Council of Vannes in 465, proves that the Jews had been on good terms with their Christian neighbors. Agde was the center of great maritime commerce, and the Jews took an important part in the commercial activity of southern France. When William III., seigneur of Montpellier, concluded a treaty of commerce with the bishop and the viscount of Agde in 1195, he stipulated that all merchants of the city, whether Christians, Saracens, or Jews, should be upon a footing of equality. Except those who had been under the protection of the bishop for some time, the Jews of Agde, in the year 1278, were compelled to pay their taxes directly to the royal treasury. Those under the bishop's care continued to pay their taxes to the Church. The number of Jews in Agde can not have been large, as they possessed no cemetery there and had to bury their dead in Béziers, three miles away.
- Aaron ha-Kohen, Orḥot-Ḥayyim, i. 86b;
- Saige, Juifs de Languedoc, pp. 39, 309;
- Gross, Gallia Judaica, pp. 21, 22.