Polish Lands against a European Background until the Mid-16th Century
III.2.3 Dug wells as mikvehs
Dug wells, presented in the previous part of the present chapter, with their basic division into private, neighbours’ and public wells, are obviously not the only type of such water reservoirs reaching the town’s subsurface water-bearing strata. Jewish water reservoirs should not be overlooked. A Jewish well (puteum Judeorum) in Płock dating from the 13th century was the earliest-mentioned Jewish well in the Polish lands. Situated near the Dominican Monastery, it constituted an important point in the town’s topography, considering the fact that the Bishop Piotr in a document of 1237 listed it as one of the elements marking out the northern border of the area included in the privilege. Therefore, it was treated in the same way as a well near the collegiate Church (puteum Wyslaue ecclesie) which was mentioned as another landmark.933 Owing to the laconic character of the written source it is difficult to establish whether the puteum Judeorum in Płock was a well or a mikveh, namely a water reservoir used by this community for ritual immersion. In the year 1453 in Wrocław the “baden Borne” was mentioned also as a landmark in the town’s Jewish district.934 This record revealed that it was a mikveh, a reservoir dug to the water-bearing stratum, an equivalent of a fons: a well. This was the word (fons) used to describe a 15th-century mikveh in Poznań. However, this can be established only on the basis of the content of the mention which includes a detailed...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.