GÉVAUDAN, region in France, corresponding to the present department of Lozère. Jews were first recorded in Gévaudan in 1229, in the town of Mende, and they were also found in Marvejols and Meyrueis. The supposition that the names of localities like Salmon, Gimel, etc. indicate an earlier presence of Jews can be dismissed as fantasy. However, it is probable that the place name Montjézieu derives from an earlier name mons judaeus. Gulielmus Durandus, bishop of Mende (1285–96), enforced in his diocese the canonical laws prohibiting Christians from entering the service of Jews and forbidding Jews to appear in public during Easter or to work on Sundays and Christian holidays; they were also compelled to wear the *badge. When they were expelled in 1306, Gévaudan's Jews had an estimated capital of 15,000 livres. A few Jews were living in Marvejols in 1322.
N. Pinzuti, in: Archives Juives, 2, no. 3 (1965/66, 2ff.)
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.