PEZENAS, a town in southern France, in the department of Herault, on a cross-road from Aix to Perpignan, 39 miles from Montpellier, the capital of the department. Pezenas was known to the Romans by the name Piscenae; and is mentioned by Pliny (Hist. Nat., lib. viii., c. 48) as producing in the neighbourhood wool which resembled hair rather than wool. In the middle ages it was the capital of a county. The town is pleasantly situated on the Peyne, a little stream which falls into the Herault on its right bank, just below Pfizenas. It has some tolerably good houses, and a hand some theatre. The population in 1831 was 7481 for the town, or 7847 for the whole commune. The townsmen manufacture blankets and coverlets, serges and other woollen stuffs, linens, cotton-yarn, thrown silk, hats, brandy, distilled waters, syrup of sugar and grapes, and chemical products. There are some dye-houses and tan-yards. Considerable trade is carried on in wines (of which the neighbourhood produces some of excellent quality), wheat, oats, seeds, red tartar, dyeing herbs, dried fruits, capers, olives, oil, cotton, wool, and woollen cloths. There is a considerable weekly tnarket, and there are three yearly fairs. The neighbouring hills are covered with vines and almond and olive trees, and there is near the town an old castle built 'by the Constable Montmorency [montmorkncy], to whose family the county of Pezdnas at one time belonged. There area high school, a subordinate court of justice, and an Exchange.
Note - this article incorporates content from The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1840)