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20-Jul-2020 05:26

Evidence of the Cagots exists back as far as AD 1000, though their origins are lost to history.

In western France and northern Spain they were regarded as an inferior caste of humans, even sub-humans.

The Cagots were not a religious group, nor apparently an ethnic group.

They spoke the same language as the people in their area and generally kept the same religion as well, generally Roman Catholicism, but in some places after the Reformation, Protestantism.

Less formalised discrimination was still present well into the 20th century.

‘Cagot ear’ is a medical term used today for ears without earlobes.

The Roman Catholic Church was foremost in the persecution of Cagots, even though the Cagots themselves were Roman Catholics.

Believing that they had replaced the Jews as God's chosen people, Christians deduced that they were free to persecute and extirpate non-Christian peoples, and even that they were under a moral obligation to do so.

When the Jews and Moors were expelled from Spain towards the end of the fifteenth century, racial legislation was passed to "purify" the blood of the upper classes.

Less formalised discrimination was still present well into the 20th century.

‘Cagot ear’ is a medical term used today for ears without earlobes.

The Roman Catholic Church was foremost in the persecution of Cagots, even though the Cagots themselves were Roman Catholics.

Believing that they had replaced the Jews as God's chosen people, Christians deduced that they were free to persecute and extirpate non-Christian peoples, and even that they were under a moral obligation to do so.

When the Jews and Moors were expelled from Spain towards the end of the fifteenth century, racial legislation was passed to "purify" the blood of the upper classes.

In theory anyone who had any Jewish or Moorish ancestor, however remote, was of "impure blood" and suffered accordingly. Moreover they were second class citizens for racial, not religious, reasons.