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On the Moselle River between the Eifel and Hunsrück regions of Germany, a bishopric (Trevirensis ) in the second century and a metropolitanate from the sixth century at the latest (with suffragans Metz, Toul, and Verdun until 1802); it has been a suffragan of cologne since 1821.

Early History. Trier (Trèves), after augsburg the oldest city on German soil, was a Roman base founded by augustus among the Celtic-Germanic Treveri (Augusta Treverorum ) c. 15 b.c., which because of its favorable location at the intersection of important military and commercial roads became the most important city in Gaul. diocletian (c. 285) made it the capital of Gaul (the seat of the Praetor Galliarum ) and an imperial residence, which Constantine Chlorus and his son constantine the great developed.

Trier's monuments can be traced back, in part, to Roman buildings: the amphitheater of 30,000 seats, the Barbara baths, the Porta Nigra (north gate of the city with a 12th to 19thcentury double church), the Roman bridge, the "Basilica" (originally part of the imperial palace, today a Protestant church), the imperial baths, and the Roman basis of the present cathedral. Extensive early Christian tombs in series and tomb inscriptions, along with other items discovered, point to an early Christianization of the city and area.

This Christian community, founded in the second century primarily from south France, became in the third century a Christian center of influence in the Rhineland. The first known bishop, Eucharius, lived c. 250. His third successor, Agroecius, built a large double basilica (326348) on the grounds of the imperial palace, out of which have grown the present cathedral (the oldest north of the Alps) and the adjoining church of Our Lady (123060, after the French Gothic). St. athanasius was in Trier during exile (335337); St. ambrose was born there, and SS. jerome, augustine, and martin of tours, as well as Ausonius, visited it when it was a cultural center of valentinian i. By the year 400, Christianity had won out over paganism, but it took 300 years more to Christianize the countryside.

Trier declined in the fifth century when the praetorian prefect moved to arles, and the city was taken by the Franks c. 460. In the sixth century, the ecclesiastical province developed, and in the seventh and eighth, many monasteries were established, especially under Archbishop Ludwin (d. 711). The Benedictine Abbey of St. Maximin, suppressed in 1802, was favored by Merovingians and Carolingians and known for its ninethcentury scriptorium; it helped found the abbeys of echternach, tegernsee, maria laach, and brauweiler. In 843 Trier became part of lothair i's kingdom, and secular power passed into the hands of the archbishops until 1803 (except 12121308). A Norman pillage in 882 destroyed many buildings, but the archdiocese, divided into five archdeaneries in 910, spread east across the Moselle and the Rhine to Giessen and west across Luxembourg to Stenay. In the tenth (from c. 930) and 11th centuries, a secular territory formed around the city, but, being relatively weak, had no more than local importance, except for several powerful archbishops.

Medieval bishops of note are St. auctor (c. 430), St. abrunculus (d. 527), the famous St. nicetius (527566), St. magnericus (c. 570596), and amalarius (809813). Archbishop Albero of Montreuil (113152) took part in imperial affairs and, as a friend of St. bernard of clairvaux, encouraged the new orders of Cistercians (himmerod), Premonstratensians, and Augustinians. Archbishop Baldwin of Luxembourg (130754), greatest of the Electors of Trier and brother of Emperor henry vii, expanded the territory by new acquisitions, reorganized his administration, and revived the religious life through the wise reforms that he introduced.

Modern History. In the Age of humanism the University of Trier, modeled after that of Cologne, was founded (1454) at the request of Abp. James von Sierck (143956) and nicholas of cusa; but the fall of Constantinople postponed its opening until 1473. Its influence was limited to the Electorate and to those parts of the archdiocese that remained Catholic until, in the year 1798, the leaders of the French Revolution closed it.

The Protestant Reformation did not enter the electorate, but in the east and south those parts of the archdiocese not part of the electorate became Protestant. Claims of Trier to be a free imperial city were successfully thwarted from the 13th to the 16th century, and an attempt at reformation in 1559 by Caspar Olevian, a Trier patrician, was suppressed. Archbishop John VI von der Leyen (155667) called in the Jesuits, who took charge of all education, including the theological faculty. Archbishop James III von Eltz (156781) guided the diocese decisively along the path of the counter reformation, which was completed under Archbishop John of Schönenberg (158199).

Just as the Electors of the 16th and 17th centuries came from the local nobility, so the right of reservation for the cathedral chapter in the 18th century served to staff the administration from princely German families.F. G. von schÖnborn (172956) who, like his brothers, was renowned for artistic taste, had the fourthcentury church of St. Paulinus (destroyed in 1674) rebuilt (173254) in magnificent rococo by B. Neumann. Under the last Elector, clemens wenzeslaus (17681802), a church reform emphasizing the claims of episcopalism and conciliarism [see conciliarism (history of)] was prepared and thought out by Auxiliary Bp. J. N. von hontheim (174990), and gained considerable support in Germany (see febronianism).

The Enactment of the Imperial Delegates of 1803 sealed the fate of the spiritual principality. Trier became politically a part of Prussia in 1815, and the diocese was made suffragan to Cologne in 1821. Bishop Joseph von Hommer (182436) carefully rebuilt the diocese in a tolerant and liturgically progressive manner. Bishops W. Arnoldi (184264) and the well-known preacher M. Eberhard (186776) had a conflict with the state during the Cologne mixed-marriage dispute and the kultur-kampf. The Alsatian M. F. Korum (18811921) emphasized purposeful and precise ecclesiastical care; he worked politically for the assignment of the Saar to Germany, as did his successors after World War II. Bishop F. R. Bornewasser (192151) showed the courage of Christian conviction during the reign of terror under National Socialism.

Since 1952 Matthias Wehr has been bishop. In 1950 the major seminary, established in 1773, became a pontifical institute (236 students and a good theological library). The liturgical institute that serves the German dioceses is located in Trier.

The cathedral has been redone frequently Romanesque by Archbishop Poppo (101647), baroque in 1719, renovated 1891 to 1910. The Benedictine Abbey of Maria ad Martyres (seventh century) was suppressed by Napoleon I (1809); that of St. Martin, also on the Moselle, founded c. 587, was restored in 888 after the Norman sack. The Benedictine Abbey of St. Matthias, known in the 15th century for its school, scholarship, and historical work, has a Romanesque church consecrated in 1148 with the tomb of St. Eucharius and relics of St. Matthew (since 1127). The Abbey of prÜm had ties with Trier.

The Holy Garment. Trier's claim to have the seamless robe of Christ (Jn 19.23), supposedly woven by the Blessed Virgin and discovered by St. helena, is favored over about 20 other such claims because of the city's late Roman and early Christian importance. The first sure notice dates from after 1000. The authors of the Gesta Treverorum after 1101 inserted a notice about its discovery in the older forged diploma attributed to Sylvester. Trier's Holy Garment was exhibited for the first time in 1512. After 1654 it was shown privately in the fortress Ehrenbreitstein. Since the 19th century it has been exhibited publicly in the cathedral of Trier. Public expositions (1,000,000 pilgrims between Aug. 18 and Oct. 6, 1844; 2,000,000 in 1933; 1,700,000 in 1959) have helped Catholic self-confidence and devotion to Christ; but an inadequate theological and critical foundation has given rise to denominational polemics and ecclesiastical rifts (see ronge, johann). Even though recent excavations (194354) point to the existence of an early Christian relic of the Savior in Trier, the authenticity of the Holy Garment cannot be scientifically proved. It has been associated with an early cloth relic that came into contact with Christ or some other relic of the Crusades that came to be regarded as the tunic of Christ. The propriety of the veneration, however, is independent of the question of authenticity. The cult is justifiable because veneration is shown to Christ through the symbol (St. Thomas, Summa theologiae 3a, 25.3, 4), which in this case represents undivided Christianity.

Bibliography: j. marx, Trevirensia: Literaturkunde zur Geschichte der Trierer Lande (Trier 1909), bibliog. n. irsch, Der Dom zu Trier (Düsseldorf 1931). h. bunjes et al., Die kirchlichen Kunstdenkmäler der Stadt Trier (Düsseldorf 1938). e. ewig, Trier im Merowingerreich (Trier 1954). v. conzemius, Jakob III von Eltz (Wiesbaden 1956). n. kyll, "Siedlung, Christianisierung und kirchliche Organisation der Westeifel," Rheinische Vierteljahrblätter 26 (1961) 159241. Trierisches Jahrbuch (Trier 1950), annual. e. gose et al., Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Tübingen 195765) 6:101821. e. iserloh, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiberg 195765) 8:134850. "Trier," ibid. v.10. Annuario Pontificio (Rome 1964) 457.

[v. conzemius]

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TRIER (Treves) , city in Germany and formerly also a bishopric. Archaeological evidence seems to point to the presence of Jews in Trier as early as the end of the third century c.e., although the existence of a Jewish community there at the time is uncertain. Traces of Jewish commercial activity in the sixth century suggest the possibility of Jewish settlement. The first definitive evidence for the presence of a Jewish community dates from 1066, when the Jews were saved from an attempted expulsion on the part of Archbishop Eberhard through his sudden death at the altar. The Jewish community was accused of the use of black magic in order to bring about his death. On April 10, 1096, the first day of Passover, Peter the Hermit appeared before the gates of Trier armed with a letter from the Jewish communities of France to their coreligionists in Germany, requesting that they provide provisions for Peter and his crusaders for their expedition to the Holy Land. The Jewish community responded to the letter, and Peter and his followers went on their way. Sometime later the burghers of the city rose against the Jews; they discovered the community's Torah scrolls, which had been placed in a building for safekeeping, and desecrated them. In panic the Jews fled to the palace of Archbishop Egelbert; somehow they rescued their desecrated scrolls and took them along. The archbishop did his best to protect them, and the Jews hoped to remain under his protection until the imminent return of Emperor *Henry iv to Germany. A number of Jews were murdered and others committed suicide; the archbishop and his retinue were themselves attacked for shielding the Jews. Under increasing pressure from a mob outside the palace, the archbishop prevailed upon the remaining Jews to convert, including their leader, Rabbi Micah, who was converted by the archbishop himself. One year later, however, with the return of Emperor Henry iv to Germany, all of them were permitted to return to Judaism.

Other Jewish communities in the bishopric were also severely affected by the First Crusade; soon, however, the Jews of Trier returned to their homes and rebuilt their community life. The Gesta Trevarorum tells of a Jew named Joshua who served as a physician in the retinue of Archbishop Bruno of Trier (d. 1124). Joshua, who later converted to Christianity, was also a mathematician and astronomer. During the Second Crusade (1146), R. Simon of Trier fell as a martyr in the vicinity of Cologne; the community as a whole, however, remained undisturbed. During the course of the 12th-century, its economic position was strengthened considerably. The communal organization, known as universitas Judeorum Treverensium, had as its leader a so-called "Jewish bishop" (*Episcopus Judaeorum) with considerable authority. The community possessed a cemetery, and in 1235 a synagogue and community building (domus communitatis). A Judenstrasse is mentioned at the beginning of the 13th century. The Jews occupied themselves mostly in trading and moneylending, although other occupations were known. They reached, in fact, such a level of economic well-being as to arouse the cupidity of Archbishop Henry (1260–86), who extorted a considerable amount of money from the Jews in 1285. There was some measure of cultural contact between Jews and gentiles. Lambert of Luettich, a monk at the monastery of St. Matthew in Trier, was taught Hebrew by a Jew and with the aid of his teacher succeeded in deciphering a rare Hebrew manuscript. Sources dating from the 14th century indicate that Jews continued to own houses and vineyards outside the Jewish quarter and that Christians were living on the Judenstrasse. The community profited from the liberal and energetic administration of Archbishop Baldwin (1307–54), who entrusted a considerable portion of his financial administration to Jewish hands. Although Jews suffered during the *Armleder uprising of 1336, its effects were limited by the prompt action of the archbishop. In 1338 he was forced to guarantee to the burghers that the number of Jewish families in the city would not rise above 56. During the *Black Death persecutions of 1349, the burghers attacked the Jews, murdering some, stealing their property, and desecrating their cemetery. The community fled in panic, although Baldwin and his successor Boehmund sought to compensate them for the expropriation of their property. It was only in 1356 that King *Charles iv gave permission for the Jews to return, although in 1354 Bishop Boehmund made Simeon b. Jacob of Trier his court physician.

By 1418, however, the Jews were expelled once more from the entire bishopric of Trier; among the properties of the Jewish community in the city that were disposed of in 1422 was a hospital. Jews did not reappear again in the bishopric until the beginning of the 16th century; in 1555 they were permitted the services of a rabbi to care for the needs of all who were resident in the bishopric. Elector Johann von Schoeneberg expelled them in 1589, only to readmit them in 1593. In a regulation put into force in that year, a yellow *badge was prescribed for Jews to distinguish them from Christians. In 1597 a consortium of Jewish merchants headed by Magino Gabrieli were granted special trading privileges that were to last 25 years. However, in 1657, among other restrictive provisions, legislation was approved which severely limited the interest rate of Jewish moneylenders.

In 1675 Jews were accused of giving aid to French troops quartered in the city; after the French surrendered, Jewish homes were plundered and the Jewish community sustained overwhelming losses. A fast day was declared in perpetuity for the 15th of Elul to mark the event; a *Memorbuch also dates from the period. At the head of the community at the time was David Tevele b. Isaac Wallich (d. 1691), a physician. In 1723 Elector Franz Ludwig limited the number of Jews in the bishopric to 160; in addition to some highly restrictive provisions, legislation of that year reaffirmed the authority of the rabbinate in the bishopric. A synagogue was constructed in 1762, formerly a house occupied by R. Mordecai Marx, grandfather of Karl *Marx. The French conquered the city in 1794, bringing with them civic equality for the Jews, a measure acknowledged fully by the Prussian administration only in 1850. Among the rabbis who served the community in the 19th century were Moses b. Eliezer Treves (d. 1840) and Joseph Kahn, who was rabbi at the time of the dedication of a new synagogue in September 1859. The modern community also developed a number of philanthropic organizations and an elementary school. There were 568 Jews in the city in 1871; 823 in 1893; 802 in 1925; 796 in 1933; 400 in 1938; 210 in 1939; and 450 in 1941.

The onset of Nazism brought with it accelerated emigration, aided by the efforts of Adolf Altmann, rabbi in Trier, who helped to develop a program of adult Jewish education that involved many other communities in the area as well. On Kristallnacht, Nov. 9–10, 1938, the synagogue was destroyed. Almost all the Jews remaining in the city in 1941 were deported to Poland and *Theresienstadt, never to return.

[Alexander Shapiro /

B. Mordechai Ansbacher]

Post Word-War ii

A new community of displaced persons was established after the war, and a new synagogue was erected in 1957. In 1971 there were 75 Jews living in Trier. The Jewish community numbered 61 in 1984; 54 in 1989; and 457 in 2004. The increase is explained by the immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union after 1990. The house where Karl Marx was born has housed a museum of his life and work since 1947. In 1996–97 the Arye Maimon Institute for Jewish History was founded at Trier University. The institute's work is focused on the research of Jewish history in central and Western Europe.

[Alexander Shapiro and

B. Mordechai Ansbacher /

Larissa Daemmig (2nd ed.)]


Aronius, Regesten, 160, 22, 439, 773; Germania Judaica, 1 (1963), 376–83; 2 (1968), 826–33; 3 (1987), 1470–81; Salfeld, Martyrol, index; F. Haubrich, Die Juden in Trier (1907); A. Altmann, Das frueheste Vorkommen der Juden in DeutschlandJuden im roemischen Trier (1932); A.M. Habermann, Gezerot Ashkenaz ve-Ẓarefat (1946); K. Duewell, Die Rheingebiete in der Judenpolitik des Nazionalsozialismus vor 1942 (1968), index; Die Feier der Einweihung der neuen Synagoge zu Trier (1859); K. Baas, in: mgwj, 55 (1911), 745–6; 57 (1913), 458; S. Schifress, in: zgjd, 3 (1931), 243–7; ibid., 7 (1937), 156–79. add. bibliography: R. Laufner and A. Rauch, Die Familie Marx und die Trierer Judenschaft (Schriften aus dem Karl-Marx-Haus in Trier, vol. 14) (1975); J. Jacobs, Existenz und Untergang der alten Judengemeinde der Stadt Trier (1984); R. Nolden (ed.), Juden in Trier (Ausstellungskataloge Trierer Bibliotheken, vol. 15) (1988); idem (ed.), Vorlaeufiges Gedenkbuch fuer die Juden von Trier 19381943 (1994); A. Haller, Der juedische Friedhof an der Weidegasse in Trier und die mittelalterlichen juedischen Grabsteine im Rheinischen Landesmuseum Trier (2003).

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Trier (trēr), Latin Augusta Treverorum, city (1994 pop. 99,183), Rhineland-Palatinate, SW Germany, a port on the Moselle (Ger. Mosel) River, near the Luxembourg border. It is also known, in English, as Treves (trēvz) and, in French, as Trèves (trĕv). Trier is an industrial city and the main center of the Moselle wine region. Manufactures include textiles, beer, tobacco products, machinery, and leather goods.

Landmarks and Institutions

Among the city's Roman monuments are the Porta Nigra (early 4th cent.), an imposing and well-preserved fortified gate; an amphitheater (c.100), which can seat about 25,000 persons; ruins of the imperial baths (4th cent.); and the basilica (probably built in the early 4th cent.; now a church). Trier also has a Romanesque cathedral, built (11th–12th cent.) around a 4th-century nucleus and containing the Holy Coat of Treves (supposed to be the seamless coat of Jesus). Other noteworthy buildings include the Gothic Church of Our Lady (13th cent.; Ger. Liebfrauenkirche); the baroque electoral palace (17th–18th cent.); and the baroque Church of St. Paulinus (1732–54; designed by B. Neumann). The rare exhibitions (e.g., in 1844, 1891, 1933, and 1959) of the Holy Coat of Treves have been the occasions of large pilgrimages. The remains of St. Matthew are preserved in a shrine in the pilgrimage church of St. Matthew (built in the 12th cent. around an earlier Benedictine monastery). Trier also has a theological seminary, a school of viticulture, and several museums, including one in the house where Karl Marx was born (1818).


One of the oldest cities in Germany, Trier has played an important role in its history since Roman times and retains many Roman monuments. Founded by Augustus c.15 BC, the city was made (1st cent.) the capital of the Roman province of Belgica and later became (3d cent.) the capital of the prefecture of Gaul; it was named after the Treveri, a people of E Gaul. Under the Roman Empire Trier attained a population of c.50,000 and became a major commercial center, with a large wine trade. It was a frequent residence of the Western emperors from c.295 until its capture (early 5th cent.) by the Franks.

The city was made an episcopal see in the 4th cent. and an archiepiscopal see c.815. Under the rule of the archbishops, Trier flourished as a commercial and cultural center. Trier was the seat of a university from 1473 until it was occupied by the French in 1797. The archbishopric of Trier was secularized and was formally ceded to France in 1801 by the Treaty of Lunéville. At the Congress of Vienna the city and most of the archbishopric were awarded (1815) to Prussia; territory E of the Rhine was given to Nassau and, with Nassau, passed to Prussia in 1866. Trier again became an episcopal see in 1821. It was occupied by France after World War I and suffered considerable damage in World War II.

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