BURGUNDY


BURGUNDY, former French duchy (to be distinguished from the county of Burgundy; see *Franche-Comté). Jews were living in Burgundy at least from the first half of the ninth century, primarily in *Chalon-sur-Saône and *Macon. From the tenth century, Jews cultivated fields and vineyards in the neighborhood of these two towns. The Jewish population of Burgundy reached its maximum in the 13th century. The presence of Jews is attested to in about 50 additional towns in the duchy, including *Auxerre, Auxonne, Avallon, *Baigneuxles-Juifs, Beaune, *Bourg, and *Dijon. The Jews of the duchy were under the jurisdiction of the duke, except in Dijon where both the municipality and the duke claimed them. In addition to the regular taille, or poll tax, the Jews were required to pay extraordinary taxes, known as the "rançon" (ransom). The amounts paid in taxes increased constantly. For the fiscal year 1277, the Jews in the duchy paid a total of almost 1,500 livres, while between 1297 and 1302 those in the bailiwick of Auxerre alone paid almost the same amount. The position of the Jews deteriorated at the beginning of the 14th century. Although ducal protection was specifically recommended by Duke Robert II who declared in his testament in 1302, "I desire that the Jews shall live on my land," in 1306 they received the same treatment as the Jews in the kingdom of France and were expelled. Most of them took refuge in the county of Burgundy. The debts and securities seized in Chalon and Buxy alone amounted to 33,295 livres. A few Jews apparently returned to Burgundy after 1311, and a general permission to return was given in 1315, when they mainly settled in the same localities as previously. The Jews in Burgundy continued to share the fate of the Jews in the kingdom of France, both expulsion in 1322 and read-mission in 1359. In 1374 Duke Philip the Bold granted privileges to the Jews in Burgundy, but limited the number of families with authorized residence to 12, increased in 1380 to 20. Despite popular requests for their expulsion, the duke made them a new grant of privileges in 1384; he also increased the number of families to 52, although in fact fewer were willing to take advantage of this. In this period, Jews were only living in Dijon, Chalon, and Beaune. In 1394, before the end of their 12-year term, they were all expelled. Numerous medieval Jewish scholars were natives of Burgundy. The liturgy used by the Burgundian communities had some special features.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

G. Duby, in: Société … maconnaise (1953), 28–30, 119–21; B. Blumenkranz, Juifs et chrétiens… (1960), 27–30; J. Richard, Ducs de Bourgogne (1954), 342, 360f., 379f.; Gauthier, in: Mémoires … de la société d'émulation du Jura (1914), 57ff.; Gross, Gal Jud, 108ff.; Schwab, in: REJ, 53 (1907), 114ff.

[Bernhard Blumenkranz]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.