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Reeling In The Eels At La Trinquetaille Near Arles

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses hints of habitat change found in documents surviving in a book of charters, the cartulary of the medieval hospital at Arles of Saint-Thomas of la Trinquetaille. La Trinquetaille was part of the system of commanderies and dependencies of the great Hospitaller commandery at nearby Saint-Gilles. Like many hospitals founded for local charitable purposes, for the care of the poor, pilgrims, lepers or for other reasons, la Trinquetaille became engulfed by the movement associated with the Hospital in Jerusalem and its support for the Crusades in the Levant. The la Trinquetaille cartulary contains several lists of annual rents payable to that hospital, two of which mention payments of eels. The changes in the Mediterranean shoreline around the Rhône delta in this period, which probably explain the rise, of Montpellier as a major city where no Roman city had ever existed, provided new opportunities for agricultural and pastoral enterprises.

Keywords: Arles; eels at la Trinquetaille; Rhône river; saint-Gilles; saint-Thomas



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