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VAISON

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Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 839 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VAISON, a town of south-eastern France, in the department of Vaucluse, 26 m. N.N.E. of Avignon by road. Pop. (1906) 2148. The Ouveze, a tributary of the Rhone, divides Vaison into two quarters—the Roman and early medieval town on the right hank, and the town of the later middle ages on the left bank,—the two communicating by an ancient Roman bridge consisting of a single arch. On the right bank is the church (once the cathedral) of Ste Marie, the choir of which is thought to date in parts from the 9th century, while the nave belongs to the 12th century. A Romanesque cloister containing a collection of old sculpture flanks the church on the north. Remains of a Roman amphitheatre and the chapel of St Quenin (dedicated to a bishop of the 6th century), with a curious apse of the end of the 11th century, are also to be seen in the old town. On the left bank are the parish church (15th and 16th centuries), remains of the medieval fortifications, and the keep of a castle of the counts of Toulouse. The industries of the town include the manufacture of wooden shoes, bellow's and agricultural implements. Vaison, under the name of Vasio, was one of the principal towns of the Vocontii, and was a place of great importance under These European labour colonies are described in detail in the appendices to the Report and Evidence of the Vagrancy Committee and in the books mentioned at the end of this article, but a resume of the more important colonies may here be given. Holland.—There are two classes of colonies, both originally established by the Maatschaapij van Weldadigheid (Society of Beneficence), a society founded by General van den Bosch (178o–1844) in 1818. The Free Colonies were designed for the reception of indigent persons, for the purpose of teaching them agriculture, and so enabling them eventually to earn their own living independently. There are three of these free colonies, viz. Frederiksoord, Willemsoord and Wilhelminasoord, forming practically one colony, with a population of about 1500. The expenses of the colonies are met by voluntary subscriptions, but it has been found that the persons who enter the free colonies remain there and few fresh cases are received. The number of inmates has been steadily decreasing. The society also maintained Beggar Colonies for the compulsory detention of persons committing the offence of begging. They were more penal than reformatory institutions, and the inmates were taught certain occupations by which they might support themselves on leaving. They did not prove self-supporting and were eventually taken over by the state. The chief institution is that at Veenhuizen, which occupies some 3000 acres of land, and where some 4000 men of the vagrant class are detained for periods varying from not less than six months to not more than three years. There is a similar institution for women at Leiden. Belgium.—In Belgium the institutions for the repression of vagrancy are maintained by the state under a law of November 27th, 1891. They are of three kinds: (1) Depots de mendiciti (beggars' depots); (2) ,naisons de refuge (houses of refuge); and (3) ecoles de bienfaisance (reformatory schools). The beggars' depots are " exclusively devoted to the confinement of persons whom the judicial authority shall place at the disposal of the government" for that purpose, and these are classified as (a) able-bodied persons who, instead of working for their living, depend upon charity as the Romans, as is shown by an abundance of objects unearthed by excavation, amongst which may be mentioned a fine statue of an athlete (the Diadumenos) in the British Museum. The bishopric established in the 3rd century was suppressed in 1791. Its holders, towards the end of the 12th century, were despoiled of the temporal power in the town by the counts of Toulouse. Subsequently Vaison came, together with the rest of Comtat-Venaissin, under the power of the popes.
End of Article: VAISON
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