views updated May 08 2018


A city on the Rhône, department of Bouches-du-Rhône, France, 55 miles northwest of Marseilles, formerly the seat of an archbishopric.

Secular History. There is no knowledge of a settlement on the site by the native Ligurians, but by the sixth century b.c. a trading post by the name of Theline had been established by the Ionians from Marseilles, and by the fourth century b.c. the port was being designated as Arelate. In 46 b.c. Julius Caesar gave his name to the community of veterans located there and they came to be known as the colonia Julia Paterna Arelate Sextanorum. The Romans, under Caius Marius (c. 104 b.c.) had linked Arles to the Mediterranean by canal, and the city came to exercise a monopoly over the river traffic of lower Provence. Impressive ruinsan amphitheater, forum and theater (all of the Augustan Age), baths (Constantinian) and the city walls (late Empire)were witness to Arles's splendor in this period. After a.d. 353 the city was named Constantia in honor of Constantius II (350361) who resided there. The prefecture of the Gauls was transferred from Trier to Arles c. 395, and in 418 the city was made the seat of the assembly of the seven Gallic provinces.

Arles was controlled by the Visigoths from c. 480 to 508510, then by the Ostrogoths to 536, and thereafter by the Franks. When the Carolingian empire broke up in 879, the city was incorporated into the kingdom of Provence-Vienne. In 947 the kingdom of Burgundy-Provence was constituted, and this in turn passed under the titular control of the Holy Roman Empire in 1032. Arles was held by the counts of Barcelona from 1113 to 1245 and, through marriage, by the house of Anjou-Naples from 1246 to 1481. On the death of Charles III of Anjou, Dec. 11, 1481, Arles and Provence were ceded to Louis XI of France.

Church History. The presence of Christianity at Arles before the middle of the third century cannot be documented. gregory of tours (Franc. 1.30) attributes its evangelization to Bishop Trophimus in 250. By the year 254, Bishop Marcianus of Arles had embraced the teachings of novatian (Cyprian, Epist. 68) and a see was soon established. In connection with the Donatist question (see donatism) a council of Western bishops was held at Arles in 314 under the presidency of its bishop, Marinus. In the long list of Arles's prelates (probably 94 in all) eminent names appear: Saints honoratus (d. 429?), hilary (d. 449), caesarius (d. 542) and aurelian (d. 551); Archbishops Rotlandus (d. 869) and Rostagnus (d. after 904); Blessed louis d'aleman (d. 1450) and its last archbishop, Jean Marie Dulau, a victim of the Paris massacre of Sept. 2, 1792.

The council of Turin c. 398 (can. 2) was prepared to recognize Arles' metropolitan authority over neighboring dioceses within the civil provincia Viennensis. On March 22, 417, Pope zosimus extended Arles' prerogative to all the sees of the civil provinces of Vienne and Narbonne I and II (Regesta pontificum, 328), but in 422 Boniface I withdrew Narbonne I from the metropolitan authority of Arles (Regesta pontificum, 362). leo i abolished this metropolitanate altogether on July 8, 445, only to reestablish it in 450, over all but four of the dioceses in the Vienne province, as well as over the dioceses of Narbonne II and, probably, of Alpes-Maritime (Regesta pontificum, 407, 450). The erection of Aix and Embrun as archdioceses in 794 limited Arles' jurisdiction to eight sees stretching from Marseilles to Trois-Châteaux, though by the 10th or 11th century the dioceses of Antibes and Vence were also subject to Arles. The erection of Avignon as an archbishopric in 1475 withdrew four suffragans from Arles, which itself was abolished as an episcopal see by the Concordat of 1801.

Arles has been the scene of numerous diocesan synods (the series between 1410 and 1570 is unique in its documentation) and of many broader councils: in 314, 353, 443452, 451, 455, 475480, 524, 554, 813, 1211, 1234, 1263 and 1275. The archbishop of Arles has served as papal vicar for France several times, a dignity that can be documented for 417, 514, 545, 546, 557, 595 and 878 (Jaffé K, 328, 769, 913, 918, 944, 1374 and 3148).

Architecture. The paleochristian archeology of the city is not without difficulties. That the cathedral (probably the site of the council of 314) was known as St. Stephen's by 449 appears from the Vita s. Hilarii (28). Originally it seems to have stood at the inner angle of the southeast corner of the city walls, where the Asile de Saint-Césaire now stands on the Rue Vauban. During the pontificate of St. Caesarius (502542) the female monastery of St. John was transferred to this place from its first site at Aliscamps and by 524 had been provided with the basilica S. Mariae. It is F. Benoît's contention (Villes, 18) that this monastic church was but a reworking of the ancient cathedral, and that this (the ancient cathedral) had already (before 449) been relocated at the center of the city, at the site of today's Saint-Trophime's on the Place de la Republique. The present writer has argued against this view, contending that the cathedral continued at the original location all through the episcopate of St. Caesarius and that the nuns' church was thus a flanking edifice (Beck, 363368); and that the ancient pavement underlying Saint-Trophime's (the oldest portions of the present church date from the eighth century) probably belonged to the basilica Constantia, mentioned in the Vita s. Hilarii (13).

There is no contemporary evidence for the claim made by an inscription in the vestibule of the church of Notre Dame de La Major that it was dedicated in 453. Its most ancient sections date from the 12th century, yet it does stand on the site of a pagan temple. The basilica Apostolorum et Martyrum connected with the men's monastery founded by St. aurelian in 546 or 548 (Regula ad monachos, Patrologia Latina 68:395) is later localized by gregory i (Reg. 9.216) as within the city walls. This cannot, therefore, be identified with the basilica Saints Petri et Pauli, founded by 530, which corresponds with the actual S. Pierre des Mouleirés, just to the east of the city's modern cemetery (Benoît, Provence historique, Jan.March 1957, 821). However, the basilica S. Crucis to which the Abbot Florentinus's remains were removed c. 588 (Corpus inscriptionum latinarum 12.944) would seem to fit the church of Sainte-Croix on the Rue de la Roquette.

There are two ancient Arlesian cemeteries: that on the west bank of the Rhône at Trinquetaille, attached to the 12th century church of Saint-Genest de la Colonne, which probably marks the site of the martyrdom of St.

genesius (d. 303?); and the famed Aliscamps (southeast of Arles) with its avenue of Merovingian stone sepulchres and the church of St. Honoratus, which, though rebuilt in the 9th and 12th centuries, still contains a monolithic threshold of the basilica Beati Genesii where St. Honoratus was interred in 429 or 430.

Bibliography: l. royer, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed., a. baudrillart et al., (Paris 1912) 4:231243. j. gilbert, Arles gréco-romaine (Aix-en-Provence 1949). h. g. j. beck, The Pastoral Care of Souls in South-East France During the Sixth Century (Analecta Gregoriana; Rome 1950). Villes episcopales de Provence, ed. f. benoÎt, et al., (Paris 1954). r. busquet, Histoire de Provence (Monaco 1955). g. baader, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2, eds., j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 1:864865. m. c. mccarthy, The Rule for Nuns of St. Caesarius of Arles (Washington 1960). Corpus inscriptionum latinarum (Berlin 1863). p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia adannum post Christum natum 1198, ed. f. kaltenbrunner,? 590, 2 v. (2d ed. Leipzig 188188; repr. Graz 1956). Patrologia Latina, ed., j. p. migne, 217 V., indexes 4 v. (Paris 187890).

[h. g. j. beck]


views updated May 18 2018


ARLES (Heb. ארלאדי, ארלך, ארלי), town in France, 27 mi. (approx. 40 km.) south of Avignon. According to a Jewish legend, one of three rudderless ships bearing Jewish exiles arrived in Arles after the destruction of the Second Temple. It is said that Jews sang psalms at the funeral of Hilary, bishop of Arles, in 449. The first documented reference to Jews in the town (508) relates that defense of part of the wall was entrusted to them during a siege.

In 591 Archbishop Virgilius of Arles was rebuked by Pope *Gregory the Great for wishing to convert the Jews there by force. In 820, "a great number" of Jewish children from *Lyons, *Chalon-sur-Saone, *Mâcon, and *Vienne had to take refuge with the Jews of Arles to escape forcible conversion. The Jews of Arles were accused by *Agobard, archbishop of Lyons (c. 826–27), of having sold kidnapped Christian children into slavery. Jurisdiction over the Jews in the city was granted by Boso, count of Provence, to the archbishop of Arles in 879; the grant was renewed and ratified in 921, 1147, and 1154. A Hebrew copy of one of these documents, placed at the disposal of Archbishop Raymond (1142–57), mentions the first Jewish cemetery at the Montjuif, in the present Griffeville quarter, for which Jews made an annual payment of 44 sols to the archbishop. Twelfth century and later documents show that the Jews of Arles owned real estate. A record of 1170 shows that the archbishop shared the proceeds of the dues and taxes with a Jew. *Benjamin of Tudela, who visited Arles about this time, noted the existence of a community of 200. In 1215 the archbishop issued the Jewish community with its first constitution and delegated its administration to three elected "rectors." Jews were living in both the town and borough; later their main place of residence was on the Rue Neuve, near the church of the Jacobins. The present chapel of the pénitents bleus is said to stand on the site of the 13th-century synagogue.

During the 14th century the community was augmented by exiles from the kingdom of France, as well as through the incorporation into Arles of nearby Trinquetaille, with its considerable Jewish community. For the last quarter of the century the Jews of Arles paid directly to the count annual dues of 200 florins, formerly combined with the levy on the other Provençal communities. They also paid the Arles municipality an annual impost of 60 pounds of pepper. They renewed their association with the union of Jewish communities in Provence by 1420, in that year contributing 600 florins out of a total assessment for Provençal Jewry of 1,740 florins. The community maintained a charitable organization, founded in 1401. A school, founded at the end of the previous century and reorganized in 1407, provided instruction in both Bible and Talmud. At this time the communal administration included three baylons, eight councilors, and three auditors. There was a synagogue, ritual bathhouses, and a market. The cemetery in 1376 was situated at the present intersection of the Rue du Marché-Neuf and the Rue de la Rotonde. In 1434 it was replaced by sites at the Plan du Bourg and the Crau d'Arles. The Jews of Arles were mainly occupied in commerce, especially in brokerage. Their real property included numerous vineyards. More than 5% of the Jews appearing in the records (especially notarial ones) of the first half of the 15th century were doctors (physicus, cirurgicus, medicus). In 1425 a partnership of two Jews for the manufacture of soap is recorded.

Anti-Jewish outbreaks occurred in Arles in 1427, 1436, 1457, 1473, and 1480. The most violent attack took place on April 8, 1484, when bands of farm laborers from Dauphiné, Auvergne, and the Provençal highlands, assisted by citizens of Arles, invaded the Jewish street, looting and partially destroying it. Havoc was caused to the synagogue, already damaged by fire, possibly in 1457; two women were killed in the disorders and some 50 males were compelled to adopt Christianity. Similar disorders recurred in the following year but the municipal officers intervened to protect the Jews more effectively. In 1486 the Arles Jews contributed toward maintaining a police force for such contingencies. In 1493, however, soon after the acquisition of Provence by the French king (1481), the citizenry secured his consent to expel the Jews from Arles. The synagogue was now completely destroyed. The last Jews were expelled in September 1494. Some exiles who attempted to return in 1496 to settle their affairs were immediately expelled; certain Jews chose the alternative of conversion. Christian animosity toward these converts prompted the circulation of a literary forgery in the form of a purported exchange of correspondence between them and the Jews of Constantinople in which the latter advised their brethren in Arles to feign conversion.

Jews who passed through Arles in the 17th century were required to pay a crown impost, administered in 1658 by Levy of Arles, possibly himself a Jew. In 1775 a decree of the parliament of Provence ordered certain Jews who had tried to reestablish themselves in Arles to leave within eight days. In 1773, and again in 1775, trading in Arles was forbidden to Jews by the parliament of Provence. After the French Revolution, some Jews from the Comtat Venaissin settled in Arles. A few Jews were living in Arles in the late 1960s and the Municipal Museum possessed a rich collection of Jewish ritual objects and Jewish documents.

Jewish Scholarship and Translators

Arles, a center of Jewish scholarship, was also noted for the work of Jewish translators from the Arabic. The first known Jewish scholar of Arles is R. Moses (c. 900). *Samuel ibn Tibbon, completed his translation of Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed (1204) there. Other scholars in Arles included *Gershon b. Solomon of Arles (beginning of the 13th century); Joseph *Kaspi (c. 1317); Kalonymus b. Kalonymus (early 14th century); *Kalonymus b. David b. Todros (same period); Todros b. Meshullam of Arles, translated into Hebrew Averroes' "Middle Commentaries" on Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics (Sefer ha-Meliẓah) and Sefer ha-Shir; 1337); Isaac Nathan b. Kalonymus (middle 15th century) and Meir, known as Maestro Bendig, (second half of the 15th century).


Blumenkranz, Juifs et Chrétiens dans le monde occidental… (1960), 35, 43, 105, 194; idem, Auterus Chrétiens sur les juifs… (1963), 15–16; Fassin, in: Bulletin de la société des amis du vieil Arles, 1 (1903–04), 30–33, 87–90; 6 (1909), 89–97; E. Engelmann, Zur staedtischen Volks-Bewegung in Suedfrankreich… (1959), 47–4, 60, 85–87; C. Arnaud, Essai sur la condition des Juifs en Provence au moyen âge (1879), 14, 19; Crémieux, in: rej, 44 (1902), 301ff.; Gross, in: mgwj, 27 (1878), 61ff.; 28 (1879); 29 (1880); 31 (1882); Gross, Gal Jud, 73ff.; Hildenfinger, in: rej, 41 (1900), 62ff.; 47 (1903), 221ff.; 48 (1904), 48ff., 265ff.; Darmesteter, in: rej, 1 (1880), 119ff.; Morel-Fatio, in: rej, 1 (1880), 301ff.; Chotzner, in jqr, 13 (1901), 145–6; Gershon b. Solomon of Arles, Gate of Heaven, ed. and tr. by F.S. Bodenheimer (1953); Z. Szajkowski, Franco-Judaica (1963), 2, 31; Roth, Dark Ages, index.

[Bernhard Blumenkranz]