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Gascony (; french: Gascogne ; oc, Gasconha ; eu, Gaskoinia) was a
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...

province
of southwestern France that succeeded the
Duchy of Gascony The Duchy of Gascony or Duchy of Vasconia ( eu, Baskoniako dukerria; oc, ducat de Gasconha; french: duché de Gascogne, duché de Vasconie) was a duchy located in present-day southwestern France and northeastern Spain, an area encompassing the mo ...
. From the 17th century until the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, it was part of the combined Province of
Guyenne Guyenne or Guienne (; oc, Guiana ) was an old French province which corresponded roughly to the Roman province of '' Aquitania Secunda'' and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bordeaux, archdiocese of Bordeaux. The name "Guyenne" comes from ''Ag ...

Guyenne
and Gascony. The region is vaguely defined, and the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear; by some they are seen to overlap, while others consider Gascony a part of Guyenne. Most definitions put Gascony east and south of
Bordeaux Bordeaux ( , ; Gascon oc, Bordèu ) is a port city on the river Garonne The Garonne (, also , ; Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no , ), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance l ...

Bordeaux
. It is currently divided between the
region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wo ...
of
Nouvelle-Aquitaine Nouvelle-Aquitaine (; oc, Nòva Aquitània or ; eu, Akitania Berria; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''Novéle-Aguiéne''; ) is the largest Regions of France, administrative region in France, spanning the west and southwest of the Metropolitan France ...
(departments of Landes,
Pyrénées-Atlantiques Pyrénées-Atlantiques (; Gascon and Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no , ), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, ...
, southwestern
Gironde Gironde ( US usually, , ; oc, Gironda, ) is a largest department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a larger organization into parts with specific responsibility Government and military *Department (country subdivis ...

Gironde
, and southern
Lot-et-Garonne Lot-et-Garonne (, oc, Òlt e Garona) is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human geography), ...

Lot-et-Garonne
) and the region of
Occitanie Occitanie (; oc, Occitània ; ca, Occitània ), Occitany or Occitania (), is the southernmost of excluding , created on 1 January 2016 from the former regions of and . The approved Occitanie as the new name of the region on 28 September 20 ...

Occitanie
(departments of
Gers Gers (; oc, Gers or , ) is a department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a larger organization into parts with specific responsibility Government and military *Department (country subdivision), a geographical and adm ...
,
Hautes-Pyrénées Hautes-Pyrénées (; Gascon/Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no , ), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-La ...
, southwestern
Tarn-et-Garonne Tarn-et-Garonne (; oc, Tarn e Garona ) is a departments of France, department Southwestern France. It is traversed by the rivers Tarn (river), Tarn and Garonne, from which it takes its name. This area was originally part of the former provinces ...
, and western
Haute-Garonne Haute-Garonne (; oc, Nauta Garona, ; en, Upper Garonne) is a department in the Occitanie region of Southwestern France. Named after the Garonne River, its prefecture and main city is Toulouse, the country's fourth-largest. In 2016, it had ...

Haute-Garonne
). Gascony was historically inhabited by
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ...
-related people who appear to have spoken a language similar to
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ...
. The name Gascony comes from the same root as the word Basque (see Wasconia below). From the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of w ...
until today, the
Gascon language Gascon (; , ) is the name of the vernacular Romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a ...
has been spoken, although it is classified as a regional variant of the
Occitan language Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolve ...
. Gascony is the land of
d'Artagnan Charles de Batz de Castelmore (), also known as d'Artagnan and later Count d'Artagnan ( 1611 – 25 June 1673), was a French Musketeer who served Louis XIV of France, Louis XIV as captain of the Musketeers of the Guard. He died at the Siege of Ma ...
, who inspired
Alexandre Dumas Alexandre Dumas (, ; ; born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie ; 24 July 1802 – 5 December 1870), also known as Alexandre Dumas père (where '' '' is French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or relate ...
's character d'Artagnan in ''
The Three Musketeers ''The Three Musketeers'' (french: link=no, Les Trois Mousquetaires ) is a French historical adventure novel written in 1844 by French author Alexandre Dumas. It is in the swashbuckler genre, which has heroic, chivalrous swordsmen who fight fo ...
,'' as well as the land of
Cyrano de Bergerac Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac ( , ; 6 March 1619 – 28 July 1655) was a French novelist A novelist is an author An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, and is also considered a writer or poet ...

Cyrano de Bergerac
, who inspired the play of the same name by
Edmond Rostand Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand (, , ; 1 April 1868 – 2 December 1918) was a French poet and dramatist. He is associated with neo-romanticism and is known best for his 1897 play ''Cyrano de Bergerac (play), Cyrano de Bergerac''. Rostand's romant ...

Edmond Rostand
. It is also home to Henry III of Navarre, who later became king of France as
Henry IVHenry IV may refer to: People * Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1050–1106), King of The Romans and Holy Roman Emperor * Henry IV, Duke of Limburg (1195–1247) * Henry IV, Duke of Brabant (1251/1252–1272) * Henryk IV Probus (c. 1258–1290), Duke ...

Henry IV
.


History


Aquitania

In pre-Roman times, the inhabitants of Gascony were the
Aquitani The Aquitanians (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, i ...

Aquitani
ans ( la, Aquitani), who spoke a non-Indo-European language related to modern Basque. The Aquitanians inhabited a territory limited to the north and east by the river
Garonne The Garonne (, also , ; Occitan language , Occitan, Catalan language , Catalan, Basque language, Basque, and es, Garona, ; la, Garumna or ) is a river of southwest France and northern Spain. It flows from the central Spanish Pyrenees to the G ...

Garonne
, to the south by the Pyrenees mountain range, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The Romans called this territory Aquitania, either from the Latin word (meaning "water"), in reference to the many rivers flowing from the Pyrenees through the area, or from the name of the Aquitanian
Ausci The Ausci were an Aquitani The Aquitanians (Latin: ''Aquitani'') were a people living in what is now southern Nouvelle-Aquitaine and southwestern Midi-Pyrénées, France, called Gallia Aquitania by the Roman Empire, Romans in the region between the ...
tribe, in which case Aquitania would mean "land of the Ausci". In the 50s BC, Aquitania was conquered by lieutenants of
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of anc ...

Julius Caesar
and became part of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post- period of . As a it included large territorial holdings around the in , , and ruled by . From the t ...

Roman Empire
. Later, in 27 BC, during the reign of Emperor
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles througho ...

Augustus
, the province of
Gallia Aquitania Gallia Aquitania ( , ), also known as Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''Aguiéne''), archaic Guyenne or Guienne ( oc, Guiana), is a historical region of southwestern France France ...
was created. Gallia Aquitania was far larger than the original Aquitania, as it extended north of the Garonne, in fact all the way north to the river
Loire The Loire (, also ; ; oc, Léger, ; la, Liger) is the longest river in France and the 171st longest in the world. With a length of , it drains , more than a fifth of France's land while its average discharge is only half that of the Rhône ...

Loire
, thus including the
Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: ...

Celtic
Gauls The Gauls ( la, Galli; grc, Γαλάται, ''Galátai'') were a group of peoples of in the and the (roughly from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD). The area they originally inhabited was known as . Their forms the main branch of th ...
that inhabited the regions between the rivers Garonne and Loire.


Novempopulana

In 297, as Emperor
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
reformed the administrative structures of the Roman Empire, Aquitania was split into three provinces. The territory south of the Garonne River, corresponding to the original Aquitania, was made a province called
Novempopulania Image:Map Gallia Tribes Towns.png, 300px, Novempopulania was first known as Aquitania. Novempopulania (Latin for "country of the nine peoples") was one of the provinces created by Diocletian (Roman emperor from 284 to 305) out of Gallia Aquitania, ...

Novempopulania
(that is, "land of the nine tribes"), while the part of Gallia Aquitania north of the Garonne became the province of Aquitanica I and the province of Aquitanica II. The territory of Novempopulania corresponded quite well to what we call now Gascony. The Aquitania Novempopulana or
Novempopulania Image:Map Gallia Tribes Towns.png, 300px, Novempopulania was first known as Aquitania. Novempopulania (Latin for "country of the nine peoples") was one of the provinces created by Diocletian (Roman emperor from 284 to 305) out of Gallia Aquitania, ...

Novempopulania
suffered like the rest of the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire at any time during which they were administered by a separate independent Imperial court; in particular, this term is used in historiography to describe the period from ...

Western Roman Empire
from the invasions of
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
tribes, most notably the
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors. They are also ...
in 407–409. In 416–418, Novempopulania was delivered to the
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European t ...
as their federate settlement lands and became part of the Visigoth kingdom of
Toulouse Toulouse ( , ; oc, Tolosa ) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...

Toulouse
, while other than the region of the Garonne river their actual grip on the area may have been rather loose. The Visigoths were defeated by the
Frank Frank may refer to: People As a name * Frank (given name) * Frank (surname) Groups of people * A member of the medieval Germanic people, the Franks * Crusaders in medieval Middle Eastern history * Levantines (Latin Christians) known as Franco ...

Frank
s in 507, and fled into Spain and
Septimania 300px, Septimania in 537 Septimania (french: Septimanie ; oc, Septimània ; ca, Septimània ) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything ...
. Novempopulania then became part of the
Frankish Kingdom Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks ( la, Regnum Francorum), Frankland, or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent ...
like the rest of southern France. However, Novempopulania was far away from the home base of the Franks in northern France, and was only very loosely controlled by the Franks. During all the troubled and historically obscure period, starting from early 5th-century accounts, the
bagaudaeBagaudae (also spelled bacaudae) were groups of peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial farmhand, agricultural laborer or a farmer with limited land-ownership, especially one living in the Middle Ages under feudalism and tenant farmer, paying rent ...
are often cited, social uprisings against tax exaction and feudalization, largely associated to Vasconic unrest.


Duchy of Gascony

Old historical literature sometimes claims the Basques took control of the whole of Novempopulania in the
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
, founding its claims on the testimony of
Gregory of Tours Gregory of Tours (30 November 538 – 17 November 594 AD) was a Gallo-Roman The term "Gallo-Roman" describes the Romanization (cultural), Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire. This was characterized by the Gaulish ...
, on the etymological link between the words "Basque" and "Gascon" – both derived from "Vascones" or "Wasconia", the latter being used to name the whole of Novempopulania. Modern historians reject this hypothesis, which is sustained by no archeological evidence. For Juan José Larrea, and Pierre Bonnassie, "a Vascon expansionism in Aquitany is not proved and is not necessary to understand the historical evolution of this region". This Basque-related culture and race is, whatever the origin, attested in (mainly Carolingian) Medieval documents, while their exact boundaries remain unclear ("Wascones, qui trans Garonnam et circa Pirineum montem habitant" -- "Wascones, who live across the Garonne and around the Pyrenees mountains", as stated in the
Royal Frankish Annals The ''Royal Frankish Annals'' (Latin: ''Annales regni Francorum''), also called the ''Annales Laurissenses maiores'' ('Greater Lorsch Annals'), are a series of annals composed in Latin in the Carolingian dynasty, Carolingian Francia, recording y ...
, for one). The word ''Vasconia'' (''w'' often evolved into ''g'' under the influence of
Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of informal sociolects of Latin Latin (, or , ) ...
s; cf. ''warranty'' and ''guarantee'', ''warden'' and ''guardian'', ''wile'' and ''guile'', ''William'' and ''Guillaume''). The gradual abandonment of the Basque-related Aquitanian language in favor of a local
Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is non-literary Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, ...
was not reversed. The replacing local Vulgar Latin evolved into Gascon. (for example, Latin ''f'' became ''h''; cf. Latin , French , Spanish , Occitan , but Gascon ). Meanwhile, Viking raiders conquered several Gascon towns, among them Bayonne in 842–844. Their attacks in Gascony may have helped the political disintegration of the Duchy until their defeat against William II Sánchez of Gascony in 982. In turn, the weakened ethnic polity known as Duchy of Wasconia/Wascones, unable to get round the general spread of feudalization, gave way to a myriad of counties founded by Gascon lords.


Angevin Empire

The 1152 marriage of
Henry II Henry II may refer to: Kings *Henry II of England (1133–89), reigned from 1154 *Henry II of Jerusalem and Cyprus (1271–1324), reigned from 1285; king of Jerusalem in name only from 1291 *Henry II of Castile (1334–79), reigned 1366–67 and ...

Henry II
and
Eleanor of Aquitaine Eleanor of Aquitaine ( – 1 April 1204) (french: Aliénor d'Aquitaine, ) was Queen of France Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant A queen regnant (plural: queens regnant) is a female monarch, equivalent in rank and title to a ki ...

Eleanor of Aquitaine
allowed the former to gain control of his new wife's possessions of
Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''Aguiéne''), archaic Guyenne or Guienne ( oc, Guiana), is a historical region of southwestern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=n ...

Aquitaine
and Gascony. This addition to his already plentiful holdings made Henry the most powerful vassal in France.Harvey, ''The Plantagenets'', p.47 In 1248,
Simon de Montfort Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester ( – 4 August 1265), later sometimes referred to as Simon V de Montfort to distinguish him from his namesake relatives, was a nobleman Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately b ...
was appointed Governor in the unsettled Duchy of Gascony. Bitter complaints were excited by de Montfort's rigour in suppressing the excesses of both the seigneurs of the nobility and the contending factions in the
great communes
great communes
.
Henry IIIHenry III may refer to: * Henry III, Duke of Bavaria (940–989) * Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor (1017–1056) * Henry III, Count of Louvain (died 1095) * Henry III, Count of Luxembourg (died 1096) * Henry III, Duke of Carinthia (1050–1122) * Henr ...

Henry III
yielded to the outcry and instituted a formal inquiry into Simon's administration. Simon was formally acquitted of the charges, but in August 1252 he was nevertheless dismissed. Henry then himself went to Gascony, pursuing a policy of conciliation; he arranged the marriage between
Edward Edward is an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World ...

Edward
, his 14-year-old son, and
Eleanor of Castile Eleanor of Castile (1241 – 28 November 1290) was Queen of England as the first wife of Edward I Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots ( la, Malleus Scotorum), was Ki ...

Eleanor of Castile
, daughter of
Alfonso X Alfonso X (also known as the Wise, es, el Sabio; 23 November 1221 4 April 1284) was the king of Castile, Kingdom of León, León and Kingdom of Galicia, Galicia from 30 May 1252 until his death in 1284. During the April 1257 Imperial election, ...

Alfonso X
. Alfonso renounced all claims to Gascony and assisted the
Plantagenets The House of Plantagenet () was a Dynasty, royal house which originated from the lands of County of Anjou, Anjou in France. The family held the English throne from 1154 (with the accession of Henry II of England, Henry II, at the end of The An ...
against rebels such as Gaston de Bearn, who had taken control of the
Pyrenees The Pyrenees (; es, Pirineos ; french: Pyrénées ; ca, Pirineus ; eu, Pirinioak ; oc, Pirenèus ; an, Pirineus) is a mountain range straddling the border of and . It extends nearly from its union with the to on the coast. It reaches a ma ...

Pyrenees
. In December 1259,
Louis IX of France Louis IX (25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270), commonly known as Saint Louis or Louis the Saint, was King of France from 1226 to 1270, and the most illustrious of the House of Capet, Direct Capetians. He was Coronation of the French monarch, c ...

Louis IX of France
ceded to Henry land north and east of Gascony. In return, Henry renounced his claim to many of the territories that had been lost by
King John of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg, Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen re ...
. In May 1286,
King Edward I Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots ( la, Malleus Scotorum), was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England ...

King Edward I
paid homage before the new king,
Philip IV of France Philip IV (April–June 1268 – 29 November 1314), called Philip the Fair (french: Philippe le Bel), was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french ...

Philip IV of France
, for the lands in Gascony. However, in May 1294, Philip confiscated the lands. Between 1294 and 1298, Edward sent three expeditionary forces to recover Gascony, but Philip was able to retain most of the territory until the Treaty of Paris in 1303. In 1324 when
Edward II of England Edward II (25 April 1284 – 21 September 1327), also called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classic ...

Edward II of England
, in his capacity as
Duke of Aquitaine The Duke of Aquitaine ( oc, Duc d'Aquitània, french: Duc d'Aquitaine, ) was the ruler of the ancient region of Aquitaine (not to be confused with modern-day Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ...
, failed to pay homage to the French king after a dispute,
Charles IVCharles IV may refer to: * Charles IV of France (1294–1328), "the Fair" * Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1316–1378) * Charles IV of Navarre (1421–1461) * Charles IV, Duke of Anjou (1446–1481) * Charles IV, Duke of Alençon (1489–1525) * C ...

Charles IV
declared the duchy forfeit at the end of June 1324, and military action by the French followed. Edward sent his wife
Isabella
Isabella
, who was sister to the French king, to negotiate a settlement. The Queen departed for France on 9 March 1325, and in September was joined by her son, the heir to the throne, Prince
Edward Edward is an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World ...

Edward
(later Edward III of England). Isabella's negotiations were successful, and it was agreed that the young Prince Edward would perform homage in the king's place, which he did on 24 September and so the duchy was returned to the English crown. When France's Charles IV died in 1328 leaving only daughters, his nearest male relative was Edward III of England, the son of Isabella, the sister of the dead king; but the question arose whether she could legally transmit the inheritance of the throne of France to her son even though she herself, as a woman, could not inherit the throne. The assemblies of the French barons and prelates and the University of Paris decided that males who derive their right to inheritance through their mother should be excluded. Thus the nearest heir through male ancestry was Charles IV's first cousin, Philip, Count of Valois, and it was decided that he should be crowned
Philip VI of France Philip VI (french: Philippe; 17 November 1293 – 22 August 1350), called the Fortunate (french: le Fortuné, link=no) and of Valois, was the first King of France from the House of Valois, reigning from 1328 until his death. Philip's reign was ...

Philip VI of France
. Philip believed that Edward III was in breach of his obligations as vassal, so in May 1337 he met with his Great Council in Paris. It was agreed that Gascony should be taken back into Philip's hands, thus precipitating the
Hundred Years War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...

Hundred Years War
between England and France. At the end of the Hundred Years' War, after Gascony had changed hands several times, the English were finally defeated at the
Battle of Castillon The Battle of Castillon was a battle fought on 17 July 1453 in Gascony near the town of Castillon-sur-Dordogne (later Castillon-la-Bataille), between England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the Uni ...

Battle of Castillon
on 17 July 1453; Gascony remained French from then on.


Province of Guyenne and Gascony

From the 17th century onwards, the government of Gascony was united with
Guyenne Guyenne or Guienne (; oc, Guiana ) was an old French province which corresponded roughly to the Roman province of '' Aquitania Secunda'' and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bordeaux, archdiocese of Bordeaux. The name "Guyenne" comes from ''Ag ...

Guyenne
. The government of Guyenne and Gascony ('), with its capital at Bordeaux, lasted until the end of the ''
Ancien Régime The '' Storming of the Bastille'' on 14 July 1789, later taken to mark the end of the ''Ancien Régime''; watercolour by Jean-Pierre Houël The Ancien Régime (; ; literally "old rule"), also known as the Old Regime, was the political and soc ...
'' in 1792.


Flags

The Saltire, ''lo Sautèr'' The Gascony does not have any institutional unity since the 11th century, hence several flag versions are currently used on the territory. The
Saltire A saltire, also called Saint Andrew's Cross or the crux decussata, is a Heraldry, heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross, like the shape of the letter X in Roman type. The word comes from the Middle French ''sautoir'', Medieval Latin ' ...

Saltire
, sometimes called "Union Gascona" (Gascon Union) is a white on a red background. Some say that it was originally given by
Pope Clement III Pope Clement III ( la, Clemens III; 1130 – 20 March 1191), born Paulino (or Paolo) Scolari, was the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Cathol ...

Pope Clement III
at the time of the
Third Crusade The Third Crusade (1189–1192) was an attempt by three European monarchs of Latin Christianity, Western Christianity (Philip II of France, Richard I of England and Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor) to reconquer the Holy Land following the Siege o ...
but there has been no evidence of that assumption yet. It is often said that the text of the chronicler
Roger of Howden Roger of Howden or Hoveden (died 1202) was a 12th-century English chronicler, diplomat and head of the minster of Howden in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Roger and Howden minster Roger was born to a clerical family linked to the ancient minster ...
mentioned that
Pope Clement III Pope Clement III ( la, Clemens III; 1130 – 20 March 1191), born Paulino (or Paolo) Scolari, was the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Cathol ...

Pope Clement III
gave crosses to the kings of France and England (
Richard I of England Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of the from abo ...

Richard I of England
as well duke of Aquitania and Gascony) during the Gisors conference in 1188 and that these kings then assigned flags, with the cross on it, to their respective nations. The following text ("The French flags" on the website ''Heraldica,'' accessed 04-22-2010) is about this event: ''The kings of France and England were in a peace conference in a field between Gisors and Trie, in January 1188, when the archbishop of Tyre arrived with the news of the conquest of Jerusalem by Saladdin, and an urgent plea for a new crusade. The event is told by the contemporary chronicler Roger de Hoveden'' (R. de Houedene, ''Chronica,'' ed. William Stubbs, vol. 2, London, 1869, p. 335). ''At this conference came the archbishop of Tyre, who ..moved their hearts to taking the cross. And those who were enemies before, by his predication and God’s help, became friends that day, and received the cross from his hand ; and in that moment the sign of the cross appeared above them in the sky. On seeing that miracle, many rushed in droves to take the cross. And said kings, when taking the cross, chose a visible sign for themselves and their people to identify their nation. The king of France and his people took red crosses ; the king of England with his people took white crosses ; and Philip count of Flanders with his people took green crosses ; and thus everyone returned home to provide for the needs of his journey.'' '… ad cognoscendam gentem suam signum evidens sibi et suis providerunt, ... et sic unusquisque ...'' The original text of Howden stops here. What comes next is an addition from F. Velde: "It is often said that the system was extended to other regions or nations : Brittany’s cross was black, Lorraine green, Italy and Sweden yellow, Burgundy a red Saint Andrew’s, Gascony a white Saint Andrew’s." Thus we cannot confirm that the gascon saltire comes from the Crusades or even the Middle Ages. At least was it known at the time when F. Velde wrote this article. As
Saint Andrew Andrew the Apostle ( gr, Ἀνδρέας ''Andreas''; Aramaic: ܐܢܕܪܐܘܣ), also called Saint Andrew, was an Apostles, apostle of Jesus according to the New Testament. He is the brother of Saint Peter. He is referred to in the Eastern Orthod ...

Saint Andrew
is the patron of
Bordeaux Bordeaux ( , ; Gascon oc, Bordèu ) is a port city on the river Garonne The Garonne (, also , ; Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no , ), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance l ...

Bordeaux
that could be a hint for its origin. In the tome 14 of the Grande Encyclopédie, published in France between 1886 and 1902 by Henri Lamirault, one can read that ''(During the hard times of the Hundred Years' War and the terrible struggles between the Armagnac (party), Armagnacs, representing the national party (white cross) and the Burgundian (party), Burgundians, allied to the English (red cross and red Saint-Andrews' cross), the flag of the victorious English ends up gathering, in 1422, under Henry VI of England, Henri VI, on its field the white and red crosses of France and England, the white and red Saint-Andrew's crosses of
Guyenne Guyenne or Guienne (; oc, Guiana ) was an old French province which corresponded roughly to the Roman province of '' Aquitania Secunda'' and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bordeaux, archdiocese of Bordeaux. The name "Guyenne" comes from ''Ag ...

Guyenne
and Burgundy.)'' On the website ''Gasconha.com'' a message from M. Fourment (12-15-2006) returns to the website ''svowebmaster.free.fr'' on which would be written that the Saltire was declared "official flag of Gascony" on 13 January in 1903, but without any other precision, nor source (perhaps was it in the context of the Félibrige that was then developing). The red and white colors are statistically dominants in the heraldry of the gascon countries. This red and white flag, or Saltire, ''lo(u) Sautèr,'' is considered as being the flag of the Gascon people. Therefore this gascon saltire could have picked up some ancient traditions. Even if it would only be dated from the end of the 19th century of the beginning of the 20th, it follows the rules of vexillology (simplicity, distant readability). It corresponds to the color and the pattern of the ''talenquères'' in many bullrings in Gascony. The Quarterly, ''l'Esquarterat'' However, another flag is used: the Quarterly. It corresponds to the arms of the ancient province of Gascony put in a banner. This province was smaller than the current Gascony (also called "cultural and linguistic Gascony), it included neither the Béarn nor the gascon part of the
Guyenne Guyenne or Guienne (; oc, Guiana ) was an old French province which corresponded roughly to the Roman province of '' Aquitania Secunda'' and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bordeaux, archdiocese of Bordeaux. The name "Guyenne" comes from ''Ag ...

Guyenne
, but it included the basque provinces of the Labourd and the Soule.


Geography

Gascony is limited by the Atlantic Ocean (western limit) and the
Pyrenees The Pyrenees (; es, Pirineos ; french: Pyrénées ; ca, Pirineus ; eu, Pirinioak ; oc, Pirenèus ; an, Pirineus) is a mountain range straddling the border of and . It extends nearly from its union with the to on the coast. It reaches a ma ...

Pyrenees
mountains (southern limit); as the area of
Gascon language Gascon (; , ) is the name of the vernacular Romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a ...
, it extends to the
Garonne The Garonne (, also , ; Occitan language , Occitan, Catalan language , Catalan, Basque language, Basque, and es, Garona, ; la, Garumna or ) is a river of southwest France and northern Spain. It flows from the central Spanish Pyrenees to the G ...

Garonne
(North), and close to the Ariège (river) (East) from the Pyrenees to the confluence of the
Garonne The Garonne (, also , ; Occitan language , Occitan, Catalan language , Catalan, Basque language, Basque, and es, Garona, ; la, Garumna or ) is a river of southwest France and northern Spain. It flows from the central Spanish Pyrenees to the G ...

Garonne
with the Ariège (river), Ariège. The other most important river is Adour, along with its tributaries Gave de Pau and Gave d'Oloron. The most important towns are: *Auch, the historical capital *Bayonne, with both Basque and Gascon identity *
Bordeaux Bordeaux ( , ; Gascon oc, Bordèu ) is a port city on the river Garonne The Garonne (, also , ; Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no , ), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance l ...

Bordeaux
, crossed by the
Garonne The Garonne (, also , ; Occitan language , Occitan, Catalan language , Catalan, Basque language, Basque, and es, Garona, ; la, Garumna or ) is a river of southwest France and northern Spain. It flows from the central Spanish Pyrenees to the G ...

Garonne
*Dax, France, Dax *Lourdes *Luchon *Mont-de-Marsan *Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Pau, with both Béarn, Bearnese and Gascon identity *Tarbes Bayonne, Dax, France, Dax and Tarbes are crossed by the Adour. Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Pau and Lourdes are crossed by the Gave de Pau. Mont-de-Marsan also belongs to the drainage basin of the Adour. The Gers (river), a tributary of the
Garonne The Garonne (, also , ; Occitan language , Occitan, Catalan language , Catalan, Basque language, Basque, and es, Garona, ; la, Garumna or ) is a river of southwest France and northern Spain. It flows from the central Spanish Pyrenees to the G ...

Garonne
, flows through Auch.


References

{{Authority control States and territories established in the 1st millennium States and territories disestablished in 1453 Former provinces of France Basque history History of Nouvelle-Aquitaine History of Occitanie Gascony