In July, 1306, King Philip the Fair asserted his royal authority over the entire realm of France by expelling all Jews from the territories of his vassals.1 In the resulting appropriation of Jewish property, the French crown is estimated to have accrued the extraordinary sum of over one million livres-more than twice its entire annual income-with additional money flowing to local baronial authorities.2 At the royal court, the circumstances of Philip’s expulsion relate to the expanding political and economic powers of royal France. In the Languedocian Jewish community, however, Abba Mari attributes the expulsion to divine retribution for excessive allegorical interpretation.3 King Philip’s expulsion forced Jews to leave any territory subservient to the French crown. At the time of this decree, the city of Montpellier was a dominium of the Crown of Majorca. The Jews of Montpellier, therefore, presumably were expelled only after the assent of James II of Majorca, who would have received the lion’s share of the booty. Indeed, not more than ten weeks after King Philip’s promulgation in Paris, the Jews of Montpellier left their homes for territories outside of royal France.4 Most Languedocian Jews-including, of course, scholars living in the cities of Narbonne, Béziers, Montpellier, and Lunel-sought refuge immediately beyond the realm of the French king. East of the Rhône, Jews were permitted to resettle in Comtat Venaissin, held by the Papacy, and in Provence, held by the Kingdom of Sicily. In fact, Jews were never expelled from the Comtat, but lived there into the modern period; and in Provence, Jews were able to remain until the first years of the sixteenth century. To the west of Languedoc, lay Roussillon, of the Kingdom of Majorca. In Roussillon, Perpignan was the capital of James II of Majorca, who received his Kingdom in 1276 out of the will of his father James I of Aragon. Given their sense of shared cultural patrimony, Languedocian Jews’ resettlement of in Roussillon and Provence must have seemed quite natural. In Roussillon, Meiri observed the arrival of Languedocian refuges to Perpignan,5 and in Provence, Kalonymus ben Kalonymus witnessed their arrival to Arles.6 Both record the expulsion of Jews from the territories of the French crown as a personal and communal tragedy. Obviously, Meiri’s receptivity to Christian critique of Jewish spirituality and tolerance of Christians as “constrained by religious laws” was not

developed in an environment in which Christians had ceased to be oppressors of Jews: Quite to the contrary, the generally deteriorating standard for Jews in Western Europe was a fact of life since the second half of the thirteenth century. Indeed, Meiri’s vocation as a moneylender, while a profitable occupation essential to the local economy, nevertheless, may bespeak exclusion from other forms of economic activity.7 Shortly after King Philip’s expulsion, Perpignan Jewry seems to have approached James II formally and received a promise from him to the effect that he would never expel the Jews from Majorca.8Abba Mari himself is exiled from Montpellier to Arles (Provence). Four months later, he attempted to resettle in Perpignan, but the agents of King James II, at the behest of local Jews, refused his entry.9 As there is no evidence that Abba Mari ever revoked his excommunication, perhaps his adversaries in Perpignan also retained their enmity against him. Perhaps he returned to Arles; but the place of Abba Mari’s eventual resettlement is unclear. We do know, however, that Abba Mari sent his eulogy to Barcelona upon the death of Rashba (d. 1310) and his eulogy to Perpignan upon the death of Meiri (d. 1315) from some third city, but he does not say which one.10