MEAUX, a town of northern France, capital of an arrondisse ment in the department of Seine-et-Marne, and chief town of the agricultural region of Brie, 28 m. E.N.E. of Paris by rail.
Pop. (1931) 12,965. In the Roman period Meaux was the capital of the Meldi, a small Gallic tribe, and in the middle ages of the Brie. It formed part of the kingdom of Austrasia, and afterwards belonged to the counts of Vermandois and Champagne, the latter of whom established important markets on the left bank of the Marne. Its communal charter, received from them, is dated 1179. The town suffered much during the Jacquerie, the peasants receiving a severe check there in 1358; during the Hundred Years' War; and also during the Religious Wars, in which it was an important Protestant centre. In September 1567 Meaux was the scene of an attempt made by the Protestants to seize the French king Charles IX., and his mother Catherine de' Medici. This doubtless had some share in influencing Charles to assent to the massacre of St. Bartholomew. It was the first town which opened its gates to Henry IV. in 1594. On the high road for invaders marching on Paris from the east of France, Meaux saw its environs ravaged by the army of Lorraine in 1652, and was laid under heavy requisitions in 1814, 1815 and 1870.
Not far from Meaux the two battles of the Marne took place in Sept. 1914 and in July 1918. The town proper stands on the right bank of the Marne ; on the left bank lies the old suburb of Le Marche, with which it was united by a i6th century bridge. The cathedral of St. Stephen dates from the 12th to the i6th cen turies, and was restored in the 19th century. The pulpit where Bossuet used to preach has been reconstructed. The episcopal palace (17th century) is built over a 13th century building, and is now used as a museum. North of the Cathedral is the Vieux Chapitre, a 13th century building.
Meaux has a considerable trade in agricultural products. The Canal de l'Ourcq, which surrounds the town, and the Marne furnish the means of transport. Meaux is the seat of a bishopric dating from the 4th century, and has a sub-prefecture, and tribu nals of first instance and of commerce.