Aquitaine

Aquitaine (UK: /ˌækwɪˈteɪn/, US: /ˈækwəˌteɪn/; French: [akitɛn]; Occitan: Aquitània; Basque: Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: Aguiéne), archaic Guyenne/Guienne (Occitan: Guiana), is a traditional region of France, and was an administrative region of France until 1 January 2016. It is now part of the region Nouvelle-Aquitaine.[2] It is situated in the south-western part of Metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain. It is composed of the five departments of Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes and Gironde. In the Middle Ages, Aquitaine was a kingdom and a duchy, whose boundaries fluctuated considerably.

Aquitaine
Flag of Aquitaine
Flag
Coat of arms of Aquitaine
Coat of arms
Aquitaine in France
Country France
PrefectureBordeaux
Departments
Government
 • PresidentAlain Rousset (PS)
Area
 • Total41,308 km2 (15,949 sq mi)
Population
(2012)INSEE
 • Total3,285,970
 • Density80/km2 (210/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeFR-B
GDP (2012)[1]Ranked 6th
Total€90.8 billion (US$116.8 bn)
Per capita€27,583 (US$35,478)
NUTS RegionFR61
WebsiteRegion of Aquitaine

History

Ancient history

There are traces of human settlement by prehistoric peoples, especially in the Périgord, but the earliest attested inhabitants in the south-west were the Aquitani, who were not proper Celtic people, but more akin to the Iberians (see Gallia Aquitania). Although a number of different languages and dialects were in use in the area during ancient times, it is most likely that the prevailing language of Aquitaine during the late pre-historic to Roman period was an early form of the Basque language. This has been demonstrated by various Aquitanian names and words that were recorded by the Romans, and which are currently easily readable as Basque. Whether this Aquitanian language (Proto-Basque) was a remnant of a Vasconic language group that once extended much farther, or it was generally limited to the Aquitaine/Basque region is not known. One reason the language of Aquitaine is important is because Basque is the last surviving non-Indo-European language in western Europe and it has had some effect on the languages around it, including Spanish and, to a lesser extent, French.

The original Aquitania (named after the inhabitants) at the time of Caesar's conquest of Gaul included the area bounded by the Garonne River, the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean. The name may stem from Latin 'aqua', maybe derived from the town "Aquae Augustae", "Aquae Tarbellicae" or just "Aquis" (Dax, Akize in modern Basque) or as a more general geographical feature.

Sainte-Eulalie-d'Ans causse Cubjac (3)
Landscape in Dordogne, Aquitaine

Under Augustus' Roman rule, since 27 BC the province of Aquitania was further stretched to the north to the River Loire, thus including proper Gaul tribes along with old Aquitani south of the Garonne (cf. Novempopulania and Gascony) within the same region.

In 392, the Roman imperial provinces were restructured as Aquitania Prima (north-east), Aquitania Secunda (centre) and Aquitania Tertia, better known as Novempopulania in the south-west.

Early Middle Ages

Accounts of Aquitania during the Early Middle Ages are a blur, lacking precision, but there was much unrest. The Visigoths were called into Gaul as foederati, legalizing their status within the Empire. Eventually they established themselves as the de facto rulers in south-west Gaul as central Roman rule collapsed. Visigoths established their capital in Toulouse, but their tenure on Aquitaine was feeble. In 507, they were expelled south to Hispania after their defeat in the Battle of Vouillé by the Franks, who became the new rulers in the area to the south of the Loire.

The Roman Aquitania Tertia remained in place as Novempopulania, where a duke was appointed to hold a grip over the Basques (Vascones/Wascones, rendered Gascons in English). These dukes were quite detached from central Frankish overlordship, sometimes governing as independent rulers with strong ties to their kinsmen south of the Pyrenees. As of 660, the foundations for an independent Aquitaine/Vasconia polity were established by the duke Felix of Aquitaine, a magnate (potente(m)) from Toulouse, probably of Gallo-Roman stock. Despite its nominal submission to the Merovingians, the ethnic make-up of new realm Aquitaine wasn't Frankish, but Gallo-Roman north of the Garonne and main towns and Basque, especially south of the Garonne.

North and south of the Pyrenees (Year 760)
Situation in the duchies of Vasconia and Aquitaine (760)

A united Basque-Aquitanian realm reached its heyday under Odo the Great's rule. In 721, the Aquitanian duke fended Umayyad troops (Sarracens) off at Toulouse, but in 732 (or 733, according to Roger Collins), an Umayyad expedition commanded by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi defeated Odo next to Bordeaux, and went on to loot its way up to Poitiers. Odo was required to pledge allegiance to the Frankish Charles Martel in exchange for help against the advancing Arabic forces. Basque-Aquitanian self-rule temporarily came to a halt, definitely in 768 after the assassination of Waifer.

In 781, Charlemagne decided to proclaim his son Louis King of Aquitaine within the Carolingian Empire, ruling over a realm comprising the Duchy of Aquitaine and the Duchy of Vasconia[3] He suppressed various Basque (Gascon) uprisings, even venturing into the lands of Pamplona past the Pyrenees after ravaging Gascony, with a view to imposing his authority also in the Vasconia to south of Pyrenees. According to his biography, he achieved everything he wanted and after staying overnight in Pamplona, on his way back his army was attacked in Roncevaux in 812, but narrowly escaped an engagement at the Pyrenean passes.

Seguin (Sihiminus), count of Bordeaux and Duke of Vasconia, seemed to have attempted a detachment from the Frankish central authority on Charlemagne's death. The new emperor Louis the Pious reacted by removing him from his capacity, which stirred the Basques into rebellion. The king in turn sent his troops to the territory, obtaining their submission in two campaigns and killing the duke, while his family crossed the Pyrenees and continued to foment risings against Frankish power. In 824, the 2nd Battle of Roncevaux took place, in which counts Aeblus and Aznar, Frankish vassals from the Duchy of Vasconia sent by the new King of Aquitaine, Pepin, were captured by the joint forces of Iñigo Arista and the Banu Qasi.

Before Pepin's death, emperor Louis had appointed a new king in 832, his son Charles the Bald, while the Aquitanian lords elected Pepin II as king. This struggle for control of the kingdom led to a constant period of war between Charles, loyal to his father and the Carolingian power, and Pepin II, who relied more on the support of Basque and Aquitanian lords.

Ethnic make-up in the Early Middle Ages

Despite the early conquest of southern Gaul by the Franks after the Battle of Vouillé in 507, the Frankish element was feeble south of the Loire, where Gothic and Gallo-Roman Law prevailed and a small Frankish settlement took place. However scarce, some Frankish population and nobles settled down in regions like Albigeois, Carcassone (on the fringes of Septimania), Toulouse, and Provence and Lower Rhone (the last two not in Aquitaine). After the death of the king Dagobert I, the Merovingian tenure south of the Loire became largely nominal, with the actual power being in the hands of autonomous regional leaders and counts. The Franks may have become largely assimilated to the preponderant Gallo-Roman culture by the 8th century, but their names were well in use by the ruling class, like Odo. Still, in the Battle of Toulouse (721), the Aquitanian duke Odo is said to be leading an army of Aquitanians and Franks.[4]

On the other hand, the Franks didn't mix with the Basques, keeping separate paths. In the periods before and after the Muslim thrust, the Basques are often cited in several accounts stirring against Frankish attempts to subdue Aquitaine (stretching up to Toulouse) and Vasconia, pointing to a not preponderant but clearly significant Basque presence in the former too. Recorded evidence points to their deployment across Aquitaine in a military capacity as a mainstay of the Duke's forces. 'Romans' are cited as living in the cities of Aquitaine, as opposed to the Franks (mid 8th century).

Béost depuis Laruns
Landscape in Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Aquitaine

Aquitaine after the Treaty of Verdun

After the 843 Treaty of Verdun, the defeat of Pepin II and the death of Charles the Bald, the Kingdom of Aquitaine (subsumed in West Francia) ceased to have any relevance and the title of King of Aquitaine took on a nominal value. In 1058, the Duchy of Vasconia (Gascony) and Aquitaine merged under the rule of William VIII, Duke of Aquitaine.

The title "Duke of Aquitaine" was held by the counts of Poitiers from the 10th to the 12th century.

Louis vii and alienor
14th-century representation of the wedding of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Louis of France

English Aquitaine

Aquitaine passed to France in 1137 when the duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII of France, but their marriage was annulled in 1152. When Eleanor's new husband became King Henry II of England in 1154, the area became an English possession, and the cornerstone of the so-called Angevin Empire. Aquitaine remained English until the end of the Hundred Years' War in 1453, when it was annexed by France.

During the three hundred years that the region was ruled by the Kings of England, links between Aquitaine and England strengthened, with large quantities of wine produced in southwestern France being exported to London, Southampton, and other English ports. In fact, so much wine and other produce was being exported to London and sold that by the start of the Hundred Years' War the profits from Aquitaine were the principal source of the English King's income per annum.[5]

After the Hundred Years' War

The region served as a stronghold for the Protestant Huguenots during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, who suffered persecution at the hands of the French Catholics. The Huguenots called upon the English crown for assistance against Cardinal Richelieu.

From the 13th century until the French Revolution, Aquitaine was usually known as Guyenne.

Demographics

Aquitaine consists of 3,150,890 inhabitants, equivalent to 6% of the total French population.

The region of Aquitaine forms the 6th most populated region in France.

Culture

ButteParcChateauPau
The footpath west from the Château de Pau

Language

French is the official language of the region. Many residents also have some knowledge of Basque, of a variety of Occitan (Gascon, Limousin, or Languedocien), or of the Poitevin-Saintongeais dialect of French.

In 2005, 78,000 children were learning Occitan as a second language in state schools and 2,000 were enrolled in Occitan-medium private schools.

Basque speakers number about 73,000, concentrated in the far south of the region:

  • Labourd: 37% of the population (38,600 bilingual, 24,000 able to read and understand)
  • Lower Navarre and Soule: 76% of the population (28,000 bilingual, 7,000 able to read and understand)

Important cities

Bordeaux Pont de Pierre
Bordeaux, Pont-de-Pierre

Bordeaux is the largest city in Aquitaine. It is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department. It is the capital of Aquitaine, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Bordeaux is famous for its wine industry. Apart from Bordeaux, there are also other important cities in Aquitaine.

Sport

The region is home to many successful sports teams. In particular worth mentioning are:

Football

Rugby union is particularly popular in the region. Clubs include:

Basketball

Bull-fighting is also popular in the region.

Major Surfing championships regularly take place on Aquitaine's coast.

See also

References

  1. ^ INSEE. "Produits intérieurs bruts régionaux et valeurs ajoutées régionales de 1990 à 2012". Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  2. ^ Loi n° 2015-29 du 16 janvier 2015 relative à la délimitation des régions, aux élections régionales et départementales et modifiant le calendrier électoral (in French)
  3. ^ "Et 3 Calend Augusti habuit concilium magnum in Aquis, et constituit duos filius sans reges Pippinum et Clotarium, Pippinum super Aquitaniam et Wasconiam)".
  4. ^ Lewis, Archibald R. (1965). The Development of Southern French and Catalan Society, 718–1050. Austin: University of Texas Press. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  5. ^ The Plantagenets (Robert Bartlett) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03yrdwc

External links

Coordinates: 44°35′N 0°00′E / 44.583°N 0.000°E

Agen

The commune of Agen (French: [aʒɛ̃], Occitan: [aˈdʒen]) is the prefecture of the Lot-et-Garonne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. It lies on the river Garonne 135 kilometres (84 miles) southeast of Bordeaux.

Charente

Charente (French pronunciation: ​[ʃa.ʁɑ̃t], Saintongeais: Chérente, Occitan: Charanta) is a department in southwestern France, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, named after the Charente River, the most important river in the department, and also the river beside which the department's two largest towns, Angoulême and Cognac, are sited.

Charlemagne

Charlemagne () or Charles the Great (German: Karl der Große, Italian: Carlo Magno/Carlomagno; 2 April 742 – 28 January 814), numbered Charles I, was King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774, and Holy Roman Emperor from 800. He united much of western and central Europe during the Early Middle Ages. He was the first recognised emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire. He was later canonized by Antipope Paschal III.

Charlemagne was the eldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, born before their canonical marriage. He became king in 768 following his father's death, initially as co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman's sudden death in December 771 under unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the sole ruler of the Frankish Kingdom. He continued his father's policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He campaigned against the Saxons to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death and leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden. He reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Rome's Old St. Peter's Basilica.

Charlemagne has been called the "Father of Europe" (Pater Europae), as he united most of Western Europe for the first time since the classical era of the Roman Empire and united parts of Europe that had never been under Frankish or Roman rule. His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of energetic cultural and intellectual activity within the Western Church. All Holy Roman Emperors considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagne's empire, as did the French and German monarchies. However, the Eastern Orthodox Church views Charlemagne more controversially, labelling as heterodox his support of the filioque and the Pope's recognition of him as legitimate Roman Emperor rather than Irene of Athens of the Byzantine Empire. These and other machinations led to the eventual split of Rome and Constantinople in the Great Schism of 1054.Charlemagne died in 814, having ruled as emperor for almost 14 years and as king for almost 46 years. He was laid to rest in his imperial capital city of Aachen. He married at least four times and had three legitimate sons, but only his son Louis the Pious survived to succeed him.

Dordogne

Dordogne (UK: dor-DOYN, US: dor-DOHN or dor-DAWN-yə; French: [dɔʁdɔɲ]; Occitan: Dordonha) is a department in Southwestern France, with its prefecture in Périgueux. The department is located in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees and is named after the river Dordogne that runs through it. It corresponds roughly with the ancient county of Périgord. It had a population of 416,909 in 2013.

Duchy of Aquitaine

The Duchy of Aquitaine (Occitan: Ducat d'Aquitània, IPA: [dyˈkad dakiˈtaɲɔ]; French: Duché d'Aquitaine, IPA: [dyʃe dakitɛn]) was a historical fiefdom in western, central and southern areas of present-day France to the south of the Loire River, although its extent, as well as its name, fluctuated greatly over the centuries, at times comprising much of what is now southwestern France (Gascony) and central France.

It originated in the 7th century as a duchy of Francia, ultimately a recreation of the Roman provinces of Aquitania Prima and Secunda. As a duchy, it broke up after the conquest of the independent Aquitanian duchy of Waiofar, going on to become a sub-kingdom within the Carolingian Empire, eventually subsumed in West Francia after the 843 partition of Verdun. It reappeared as a duchy, and in the High Middle Ages, an enlarged Aquitaine pledged loyalty to the Angevin kings of England. Their claims in France triggered the Hundred Years' War, in which the kingdom of France emerged victorious in the 1450s, with many incorporated areas coming to be ruled directly by the French kings.

Duke of Aquitaine

The Duke of Aquitaine (Occitan: Duc d'Aquitània, French: Duc d'Aquitaine, IPA: [dyk dakitɛn]) was the ruler of the ancient region of Aquitaine (not to be confused with modern-day Aquitaine) under the supremacy of Frankish, English, and later French kings.

As successor states of the Visigothic Kingdom (418–721), Aquitania (Aquitaine) and Languedoc (Toulouse) inherited both Visigothic laws and Roman Law, which together allowed women more rights than their contemporaries would enjoy until the 20th century. Particularly under the Liber Judiciorum as codified 642/643 and expanded by the Code of Recceswinth in 653, women could inherit land and title and manage it independently from their husbands or male relations, dispose of their property in legal wills if they had no heirs, represent themselves and bear witness in court from the age of 14, and arrange for their own marriages after the age of 20. As a consequence, male-preference primogeniture was the practiced succession law for the nobility.

Edward the Black Prince

Edward of Woodstock, known to history as the Black Prince (15 June 1330 – 8 June 1376), was the eldest son of King Edward III of England, and thus the heir to the English throne. He died before his father and so never became king. His son, Richard II, succeeded to the throne instead. Edward nevertheless still earned distinction as one of the most successful English commanders during the Hundred Years' War, being regarded by his contemporaries as a model of chivalry and one of the greatest knights of his age.Edward was created Duke of Cornwall in 1337. He was guardian of the kingdom in his father's absence in 1338, 1340, and 1342. He was created Prince of Wales in 1343 and knighted by his father at La Hogne in 1346.

In 1346 Prince Edward commanded the vanguard at the Battle of Crécy, his father intentionally leaving him to win the battle. He took part in Edward III's 1349 Calais expedition. In 1355 he was appointed the king's lieutenant in Gascony, and ordered to lead an army into Aquitaine on a chevauchée, during which he pillaged Avignonet and Castelnaudary, sacked Carcassonne, and plundered Narbonne. The next year (1356) on another chevauchée he ravaged Auvergne, Limousin, and Berry but failed to take Bourges. He offered terms of peace to King John II of France, who had outflanked him near Poitiers, but refused to surrender himself as the price of their acceptance. This led to the Battle of Poitiers where his army routed the French and took King John prisoner.

The year after Poitiers, the Black Prince returned to England. In 1360 he negotiated the treaty of Bretigny. He was created Prince of Aquitaine and Gascony in 1362, but his suzerainty was not recognised by the lord of Albret or other Gascon nobles. He was directed by his father to forbid the marauding raids of the English and Gascon free companies in 1364. He entered into an agreement with don Pedro of Castile and Charles II of Navarre, by which Pedro covenanted to mortgage Castro de Urdiales and the province of Biscay to him as security for a loan; in 1366 a passage was thus secured through Navarre. In 1367 he received a letter of defiance from Henry of Trastámara, Don Pedro's half-brother and rival. The same year, after an obstinate conflict, he defeated Henry at the Battle of Nájera. However, after a wait of several months, during which he failed to obtain either the province of Biscay or liquidation of the debt from Don Pedro, he returned to Aquitaine. Prince Edward persuaded the estates of Aquitaine to allow him a hearth tax of ten sous for five years in 1368, thereby alienating the lord of Albret and other nobles. Drawn into open war with Charles V of France in 1369, he took Limoges, where in 1370 he gave orders for an indiscriminate massacre in revenge for the voluntary surrender of that town to the French by its bishop, who had been his private friend.

The Black Prince returned to England in 1371 and the next year resigned the principality of Aquitaine and Gascony. He led the commons in their attack upon the Lancastrian administration in 1376. He died in 1376 of dysentery and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral, where his surcoat, helmet, shield, and gauntlets are still preserved.

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine (French: Aliénor d'Aquitaine, Éléonore, Latin: Alienora; 1122 or 1124 – 1 April 1204) was queen consort of France (1137–1152) and England (1154–1189) and duchess of Aquitaine in her own right (1137–1204). As a member of the Ramnulfids (House of Poitiers) rulers in southwestern France, she was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe during the High Middle Ages. She was patron of literary figures such as Wace, Benoît de Sainte-Maure, and Bernart de Ventadorn. She led armies several times in her life and was a leader of the Second Crusade.

As duchess of Aquitaine, Eleanor was the most eligible bride in Europe. Three months after becoming duchess upon the death of her father, William X, she married King Louis VII of France, son of her guardian, King Louis VI. As queen of France, she participated in the unsuccessful Second Crusade. Soon afterwards, Eleanor sought an annulment of her marriage, but her request was rejected by Pope Eugene III. However, after the birth of her second daughter Alix, Louis agreed to an annulment, as 15 years of marriage had not produced a son. The marriage was annulled on 21 March 1152 on the grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree. Their daughters were declared legitimate, custody was awarded to Louis, and Eleanor's lands were restored to her.

As soon as the annulment was granted, Eleanor became engaged to the duke of Normandy, who became King Henry II of England in 1154. Henry was her third cousin and 11 years younger. The couple married on Whitsun, 18 May 1152, eight weeks after the annulment of Eleanor's first marriage, in Poitiers Cathedral. Over the next 13 years, she bore eight children: five sons, three of whom became kings; and three daughters. However, Henry and Eleanor eventually became estranged. Henry imprisoned her in 1173 for supporting their son Henry's revolt against him. She was not released until 6 July 1189, when Henry died and their second son, Richard the Lionheart, ascended the throne.

As queen dowager, Eleanor acted as regent while Richard went on the Third Crusade; on his return, Richard was captured and held prisoner. Eleanor lived well into the reign of her youngest son, John.

Elf Aquitaine

Elf Aquitaine was a French oil company which merged with TotalFina to form TotalFinaElf. The new company changed its name to Total in 2003. Elf has been maintained as a major brand of Total.

Gallia Aquitania

Gallia Aquitania (; Latin pronunciation: [ˈɡalːia akᶣiːˈtaːnia]), also known as Aquitaine or Aquitaine Gaul, was a province of the Roman Empire. It lies in present-day southwest France, where it gives its name to the modern region of Aquitaine. It was bordered by the provinces of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia Narbonensis, and Hispania Tarraconensis.

Gironde

Gironde (French pronunciation: ​[ʒiʁɔ̃d]; in Occitan Gironda) is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwest France. It is named after the Gironde estuary, a major waterway. The Bordeaux wine region is in the Gironde.

Henry II of England

Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Curtmantle (French: Court-manteau), Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou, Maine, and Nantes, and Lord of Ireland; at various times, he also partially controlled Scotland, Wales and the Duchy of Brittany. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire.

Henry was the son of Geoffrey of Anjou and Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England. He became actively involved by the age of 14 in his mother's efforts to claim the throne of England, then occupied by Stephen of Blois, and was made Duke of Normandy at 17. He inherited Anjou in 1151 and shortly afterwards became the Duke of Aquitaine by marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII of France had recently been annulled. Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry's military expedition to England in 1153, and Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death a year later. Henry was an energetic and sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands and privileges of his grandfather Henry I. During the early years of his reign the younger Henry restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales and gained full control over his lands in Anjou, Maine and Touraine. Henry's desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. This controversy lasted for much of the 1160s and resulted in Becket's murder in 1170. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII and the two rulers fought what has been termed a "cold war" over several decades. Henry expanded his empire, often at Louis' expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France and south into Toulouse; despite numerous peace conferences and treaties, no lasting agreement was reached.

Henry and Eleanor had eight children – three daughters and five sons. Three of his sons would be king, though Henry the Young King was named his father's co-ruler rather than a stand-alone king. As the sons grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by Louis and his son King Philip II. In 1173 Henry's heir apparent, "Young Henry", rebelled in protest; he was joined by his brothers Richard (later a king) and Geoffrey and by their mother, Eleanor. France, Scotland, Brittany, Flanders, and Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels. The Great Revolt was only defeated by Henry's vigorous military action and talented local commanders, many of them "new men" appointed for their loyalty and administrative skills. Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again in 1183, resulting in Young Henry's death. The Norman invasion of Ireland provided lands for his youngest son John (later a king), but Henry struggled to find ways to satisfy all his sons' desires for land and immediate power. By 1189, Young Henry and Geoffrey were dead, and Philip successfully played on Richard's fears that Henry II would make John king, leading to a final rebellion. Decisively defeated by Philip and Richard and suffering from a bleeding ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon castle in Anjou. He died soon afterwards and was succeeded by Richard.

Henry's empire quickly collapsed during the reign of his youngest son, John. Many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule, however, had long-term consequences. Henry's legal changes are generally considered to have laid the basis for the English Common Law, while his intervention in Brittany, Wales, and Scotland shaped the development of their societies and governmental systems. Historical interpretations of Henry's reign have changed considerably over time. In the 18th century, scholars argued that Henry was a driving force in the creation of a genuinely English monarchy and, ultimately, a unified Britain. During the Victorian expansion of the British Empire, historians were keenly interested in the formation of Henry's own empire, but they also expressed concern over his private life and treatment of Becket. Late-20th-century historians have combined British and French historical accounts of Henry, challenging earlier Anglocentric interpretations of his reign.

Louis VII of France

Louis VII (1120 – 18 September 1180), called the Younger or the Young (French: le Jeune), was King of the Franks from 1137 to 1180, the sixth from the House of Capet. He was the son and successor of King Louis VI, hence his nickname, and married Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe. The marriage temporarily extended the Capetian lands to the Pyrenees, but was annulled in 1152 after no male heir was produced.

Immediately after the annulment of her marriage, Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou, to whom she conveyed Aquitaine and produced five male heirs. When Henry became King of England in 1154, as Henry II, he ruled as king, duke or count over a large empire of kingdoms, duchies and counties that spanned from Scotland to the Pyrenees. Henry's efforts to preserve and expand on this patrimony for the Crown of England would mark the beginning of the long rivalry between France and England.

Louis VII's reign saw the founding of the University of Paris and the disastrous Second Crusade. Louis and his famous counselor, Abbot Suger, pushed for a greater centralization of the state and favoured the development of French Gothic architecture, notably the construction of Notre-Dame de Paris.

He died in 1180 and was succeeded by his son Philip II.

Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Nouvelle-Aquitaine (French pronunciation: ​[nuvɛl akitɛn], "New Aquitaine"; Occitan: Nòva Aquitània; Basque: Akitania Berria; Poitevin-Saintongeais: Novéle-Aguiéne; Spanish: Nueva Aquitania) is the largest administrative region in France, located in the southwest of the country. The region was created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014 through the merger of three regions: Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes. It covers 84,061 km2 (32,456 sq mi) – or ​1⁄8 of the country – and has approximately 5,800,000 inhabitants. (municipal population on 1 January 2012). The new region was established on 1 January 2016, following the regional elections in December 2015.It is the largest region in France by area, with a territory slightly larger than that of Austria; even French Guiana is smaller. Its largest city, Bordeaux, together with its suburbs and satellite cities, forms the 7th-largest metropolitan area of France, with 850,000 inhabitants. The region has 25 major urban areas, among which the most important after Bordeaux are Bayonne (288,000 inhabitants), Limoges (283,000), Poitiers (255,000), Pau (241,000), and La Rochelle (206,000), as well as 11 major clusters. The growth of its population, particularly marked on the coast, makes this one of the most attractive areas economically in France; the new region outperforms the Île-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in demographic dynamism.

After Île-de-France, New Aquitaine is the premier French region in research and innovation, with five universities (Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Limoges, Poitiers and Pau) and several Grandes Ecoles. The agricultural region of Europe with the greatest turnover, it is the French region with the most tourism jobs, as it has three of the four historic resorts on the French Atlantic coast: (Arcachon, Biarritz and Royan), as well as several ski resorts (e.g. Gourette), and is the fifth French region for business creation (all sectors).

Its economy is based on agriculture and viticulture (vineyards of Bordeaux and Cognac), tourism, a powerful aerospace industry, digital economy and design, parachemical and pharmaceutical industries, financial sector (Niort is the fourth-largest financial center in the nation, specializing in mutual insurance companies), and industrial ceramics (Limoges). Many companies specializing in surfing and related sports have located along the coast.

The new region includes major parts of Southern France (“Midi de la France”), marked by Basque, Occitan and Oïl (Poitevin and Saintongeais) cultures. Historically, it is the "indirect successor" to medieval Aquitaine, and extends over a large part of the former Duchy of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French pronunciation: ​[piʁene atlɑ̃tik]; Gascon: Pirenèus-Atlantics; Basque: Pirinio Atlantiarrak or Pirinio Atlantikoak) is a department in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, in southwestern France. It takes its name from the Pyrenees mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. It covers the French Basque Country and the Béarn.

Regions of France

France is divided into 18 administrative regions (French: région, [ʁeʒjɔ̃]), which are traditionally divided between 13 metropolitan regions, located on the European continent, and 5 overseas regions, located outside the European continent. The 13 metropolitan regions (including 12 mainland regions and Corsica) are each further subdivided into 2 to 13 departments, while the overseas regions consist of only one department each and hence are also referred to as "overseas departments". The current legal concept of region was adopted in 1982, and in 2016 what had been 27 regions was reduced to 18. The overseas regions should not be confused the overseas collectivities, which have a semi-autonomous status.

Richard I of England

Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England from 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine and Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Poitiers, Anjou, Maine, and Nantes, and was overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period. He was the third of five sons of King Henry II of England and Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was known as Richard Cœur de Lion or Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. He was also known in Occitan as: Oc e No (English: Yes and No), because of his reputation for terseness.By the age of 16, Richard had taken command of his own army, putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father. Richard was a central Christian commander during the Third Crusade, leading the campaign after the departure of Philip II of France and achieving considerable victories against his Muslim counterpart, Saladin, although he did not retake Jerusalem from Saladin.Richard spoke both French and Occitan. He was born in England, where he spent his childhood; before becoming king, however, he lived most of his adult life in the Duchy of Aquitaine, in the southwest of France. Following his accession, he spent very little time, perhaps as little as six months, in England. Most of his life as king was spent on Crusade, in captivity, or actively defending his lands in France. Rather than regarding his kingdom as a responsibility requiring his presence as ruler, he has been perceived as preferring to use it merely as a source of revenue to support his armies. Nevertheless, he was seen as a pious hero by his subjects. He remains one of the few kings of England remembered by his epithet, rather than regnal number, and is an enduring iconic figure both in England and in France.

Vienne

Vienne (French pronunciation: ​[vjɛn]) is a department in the French region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It takes its name from the river Vienne.

William IX, Duke of Aquitaine

William IX (Occitan: Guilhèm de Peitieus; Guilhem de Poitou French: Guillaume de Poitiers,) (22 October 1071 – 10 February 1127), called the Troubador, was the Duke of Aquitaine and Gascony and Count of Poitou (as William VII) between 1086 and his death. He was also one of the leaders of the Crusade of 1101. Though his political and military achievements have a certain historical importance, he is best known as the earliest troubadour — a vernacular lyric poet in the Occitan language — whose work survived.

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