CAGOTS, a people found in the Basque provinces, Beam, Gascony and Brittany.
In the, 6th century they had many names, Cagots, Gahets, Gafets in France; Agotes, Gafos in Spain; and Cacons, Cahets, Caqueux and Caquins in Brittany.
The origin of the Cagots is undecided.
Marca, in his Histoire de Bearn, holds that the word signifies "hunters of the Goths," and that the Cagots are descendants of the Saracens.
A far more probable explanation of their name "Chretiens" is to be found in the fact that in medieval times all lepers were known as pauperes Christi, and that, Goths or not, these Cagots were affected in the middle ages with a particular form of leprosy or a condition resembling it.
De Rochas, Les Parias de France et d'Espagne (Cagots et Bohemiens) (Paris, 1877); J.