CASTELSARRASIN, small town in the Tarn-et-Garonne department, Southwest France. It is known that there was a small Jewish community in Castelsarrasin before the expulsion of 1306, although it is not clear if this was reestablished after the return of the Jews to France in 1315. However, at the time of the *Pastoureaux persecutions of 1320, many Jews sought refuge in Castelsarrasin. In Shevet Yehudah (ed. by A. Shochat (1947), 24) Solomon ibn Verga relates that 200 Jews there took their own lives when they realized that they could not escape their persecutors. However, according to a Latin source (based on a Jewish account) which was contemporaneous with the event, it was the Pastoureaux who massacred 152 Jews, not just at Castelsarrasin but also in neighboring localities.
Gross, Gal Jud, 545–6; J. Duvernoy (ed.), Registre d'Inquisition de Jacques Fournier, 1 (1965), 179; M. Meras, in: Bulletin de la Société Archéologique de Tarn-et-Garonne (1964), 81.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.