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Septimania
Septimania
(French: Septimanie, IPA: [sɛptimani]; Occitan: Septimània, IPA: [septiˈmanjɔ]; Catalan: Septimània, IPA: [səptiˈmaniə]) was the western region of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis
Gallia Narbonensis
that passed under the control of the Visigoths
Visigoths
in 462, when Septimania
Septimania
was ceded to their king, Theodoric II. Under the Visigoths
Visigoths
it was known as simply Gallia or Narbonensis. It corresponded roughly with the former administrative region of Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc-Roussillon
of modern France. It passed briefly to the Emirate of Córdoba
Emirate of Córdoba
in the eighth century before its conquest by the Franks, who by the end of the ninth century termed it Gothia or the Gothic March (Marca Gothica). Septimania
Septimania
was a march of the Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
and then West Francia down to the thirteenth century, though it was culturally and politically separate from northern France and the central royal government. The region was under the influence of the people from Toulouse, Provence, and ancient County of Barcelona. It was part of the cultural and linguistic region named Occitania
Occitania
that was finally brought within the control of the French kings in the early 13th century as a result of the Albigensian Crusade
Albigensian Crusade
after which it came under French governors. From the end of the thirteenth century it was known as Languedoc
Languedoc
and its history is tied up with that of France. The name "Septimania" may derive from part of the Roman name of the city of Béziers, Colonia Julia Septimanorum Beaterrae, which in turn alludes to the settlement of veterans of the Roman VII Legion in the city. Another possible derivation of the name is in reference to the seven cities (civitates) of the territory: Béziers, Elne, Agde, Narbonne, Lodève, Maguelonne, and Nîmes. Septimania
Septimania
extended to a line halfway between the Mediterranean and the Garonne River
Garonne River
in the northwest; in the east the Rhône
Rhône
separated it from Provence; and to the south its boundary was formed by the Pyrenees.

Contents

1 Visigothic Narbonensis

1.1 Gothic acquisition 1.2 Kingdom of Narbonne 1.3 Gothic province of Gallia 1.4 Culture of Gothic Septimania

2 Muslim Septimania 3 Gothia in Carolingian times 4 See also 5 Notes

5.1 Sources

Visigothic Narbonensis[edit] Gothic acquisition[edit] Under Theodoric II, the Visigoths
Visigoths
settled in Aquitaine
Aquitaine
as foederati of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
(450s). Sidonius Apollinaris
Sidonius Apollinaris
refers to Septimania
Septimania
as "theirs" during the reign of Avitus
Avitus
(455–456), but Sidonius is probably considering Visigothic settlement of and around Toulouse.[1] The Visigoths
Visigoths
were then holding the Toulousain against the legal claims of the Empire, though they had more than once offered to exchange it for the Auvergne.[1] In 462 the Empire, controlled by Ricimer
Ricimer
in the name of Libius Severus, granted the Visigoths
Visigoths
the western half of the province of Gallia Narbonensis
Gallia Narbonensis
to settle. The Visigoths
Visigoths
occupied Provence
Provence
(eastern Narbonensis) as well and only in 475 did the Visigothic king, Euric, cede it to the Empire by a treaty whereby the emperor Julius Nepos recognised the Visigoths' full independence. Kingdom of Narbonne[edit] The Visigoths, perhaps because they were Arians, met with the opposition of the Catholic Franks
Franks
in Gaul.[2] The Franks
Franks
allied with the Armorici, whose land was under constant threat from the Goths south of the Loire, and in 507 Clovis I, the Frankish king, invaded the Visigothic kingdom, whose capital lay in Toulouse, with the consent of the leading men of the tribe.[3] Clovis defeated the Goths in the Battle of Vouillé
Battle of Vouillé
and the child-king Amalaric
Amalaric
was carried for safety into Iberia while Gesalec
Gesalec
was elected to replace him and rule from Narbonne. Clovis, his son Theuderic I, and his Burgundian allies proceeded to conquer most of Visigothic Gaul, including the Rouergue
Rouergue
(507) and Toulouse
Toulouse
(508). The attempt to take Carcassonne, a fortified site guarding the Septimanian coast, was defeated by the Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
(508) and Septimania
Septimania
thereafter remained in Visigothic hands, though the Burgundians
Burgundians
managed to hold Narbonne
Narbonne
for a time and drive Gesalec
Gesalec
into exile. Border warfare between Gallo-Roman magnates, including bishops, had existed with the Visigoths
Visigoths
during the last phase of the Empire and it continued under the Franks.[4] The Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great
reconquered Narbonne
Narbonne
from the Burgundians
Burgundians
and retained it as the provincial capital. Theudis was appointed regent at Narbonne
Narbonne
by Theodoric while Amalaric
Amalaric
was still a minor in Iberia. When Theodoric died in 526, Amalaric
Amalaric
was elected king in his own right and he immediately made his capital in Narbonne. He ceded Provence, which had at some point passed back into Visigothic control, to the Ostrogothic king Athalaric. The Frankish king of Paris, Childebert I, invaded Septimania
Septimania
in 531 and chased Amalaric
Amalaric
to Barcelona
Barcelona
in response to pleas from his sister, Chrotilda, that her husband, Amalaric, had been mistreating her. The Franks
Franks
however, did not try to hold the province and under Amalaric's successor, the centre of gravity of the kingdom crossed the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
and Theudis made his capital in Barcelona. Gothic province of Gallia[edit] In the Visigothic kingdom, which became centred on Toledo by the end of the reign of Leovigild, the province of Gallia Narbonensis, usually shortened to just Gallia or Narbonensis and never called Septimania,[1] was both an administrative province of the central royal government and an ecclesiastical province whose metropolitan was the Archbishop of Narbonne. Originally, the Goths
Goths
may have maintained their hold on the Albigeois, but if so it was conquered by the time of Chilperic I.[5] There is archaeological evidence that some enclaves of Visigothic population remained in Frankish Gaul, near the Septimanian border, after 507.[5] The province of Gallia held a unique place in the Visigothic kingdom, as it was the only province outside of Iberia, north of the Pyrenees, and bordering a strong foreign nation, in this case the Franks. The kings after Alaric II favoured Narbonne
Narbonne
as a capital, but twice (611 and 531) were defeated and forced back to Barcelona
Barcelona
by the Franks before Theudis moved the capital there permanently. Under Theodoric Septimania
Septimania
had been safe from Frankish assault, but was raided by Childebert I
Childebert I
twice (531 and 541). When Liuva I succeeded the throne in 568, Septimania
Septimania
was a dangerous frontier province and Iberia was wracked by revolts.[6] Liuva granted Iberia to his son Leovigild
Leovigild
and took Septimania
Septimania
to himself.[6] During the revolt of Hermenegild
Hermenegild
(583–585) against his father Leovigild, Septimania
Septimania
was invaded by Guntram, King of Burgundy, possible in support of Hermenegild's revolt, since the latter was married to his niece Ingundis. The Frankish attack of 585 was repulsed by Hermenegild's brother Reccared, who was ruling Narbonensis as a sub-king. Hermenegild
Hermenegild
died at Tarragona
Tarragona
that year and it is possible that he had escaped confinement in Valencia
Valencia
and was seeking to join up with his Frankish allies.[7] Alternatively, the invasion may have occurred in response to Hermenegild's death.[8] Reccared
Reccared
meanwhile took Beaucaire (Ugernum) on the Rhône
Rhône
near Tarascon
Tarascon
and Cabaret
Cabaret
(a fort called Ram's Head), both of which lay in Guntram's kingdom.[7][8] Guntram
Guntram
ignored two pleas for a peace in 586 and Reccared
Reccared
undertook the only Visigothic invasion of Francia in response.[8] However, Guntram
Guntram
was not motivated solely by religious alliance with the fellow Catholic Hermenegild, for he invaded Septimania
Septimania
again in 589 and was roundly defeated near Carcassonne
Carcassonne
by Claudius, Duke
Duke
of Lusitania.[9] It is clear that the Franks, throughout the sixth century, had coveted Septimania, but were unable to take it and the invasion of 589 was the last attempt. In the seventh century, Gallia often had its own governors or duces (dukes), who were typically Visigoths. Most public offices were also held by Goths, far out of proportion to their part of the population.[10] Culture of Gothic Septimania[edit] The native population of Gallia was referred to by Visigothic and Iberian writers as the "Gauls" and there is a well-attested hatred between the Goths
Goths
and the Gaul which was atypical for the kingdom as a whole.[10] The Gauls commonly insulted the Goths
Goths
by comparing the strength of their men to that of Gaulish women, though the Spaniards regarded themselves as the defenders and protectors of the Gauls. It is only in the time of Wamba (reigned 672-680) and Julian of Toledo, however, that a large Jewish population becomes evident in Septimania: Julian referred to it as a "brothel of blaspheming Jews."[11] Thanks to the preserved canons of the Council of Narbonne
Narbonne
of 590, a good deal can be known about surviving pagan practices in Visigothic Septimania. The Council may have been responding in part to the orders of the Third Council of Toledo, which found "the sacrilege of idolatry [to be] firmly implanted throughout almost the whole of Iberia and Septimania."[12] The Roman pagan practice of not working Thursdays in honour of Jupiter was still prevalent.[13] The council set down penance to be done for not working on Thursday save for church festivals and commanded the practice of Martin of Braga, rest from rural work on Sundays, to be adopted.[13] Also punished by the council were fortunetellers, who were publicly lashed and sold into slavery. Different theories exist concerning the nature of the frontier between Septimania
Septimania
and Frankish Gaul. On the one hand, cultural exchange is generally reputed to have been minimal,[14] but the level of trading activity has been disputed. There have been few to no objects of Neustrian, Austrasian, or Burgundian provenance discovered in Septimania.[15] However, a series of sarcophagi of a unique regional style, variously laballed Visigothic, Aquitainian, or south-west Gallic, are prevalent on both sides of the Septimania
Septimania
border.[16] These sarcophagi are made of locally quarried marble from Saint-Béat and are of varied design, but with generally flat relief which distinguishes them from Roman sarcophagi.[16] Their production has been dated to either the 5th, 6th, or 7th century, with the second of these being considered the most likely today.[17] However, if they were made in the 5th century, while both Aquitaine
Aquitaine
and Septimani were in Visigothic hands, their existence provides no evidence for a cultural osmosis across the Gothic-Frankish frontier. A unique style of orange pottery was common in the 4th and 5th centuries in southern Gaul, but the later (6th century) examples culled from Septimania
Septimania
are more orange than their cousins from Aquitaine
Aquitaine
and Provence
Provence
and are not found commonly outside of Septimania, a strong indicator that there was little commerce over the frontier or at its ports.[18] In fact, Septimania
Septimania
helped to isolate both Aquitaine
Aquitaine
and Iberia from the rest of the Mediterranean world.[19] Coinage of the Visigothic kingdom of Hispania did not circulate in Gaul outside of Septimania
Septimania
and Frankish coinage did not circulate in the Visigothic kingdom, including Septimania. If there had been a significant amount of commerce over the frontier, the monies paid had to have been melted down immediately and re-minted as foreign coins have not been preserved across the frontier.[20] Muslim Septimania[edit] The Arabs, under Al-Samh ibn Malik, the governor-general of al-Andalus, sweeping up the Iberian peninsula, by 719 overran Septimania; al-Samh set up his capital from 720 at Narbonne, which the Moors called "Arbuna", offering the still largely Arianist Christian inhabitants generous terms and quickly pacifying the other cities. Following the conquest, al-Andalus was divided into five administrative areas, roughly corresponding to present Andalusia, Galicia and Lusitania, Castile and Léon, Aragon
Aragon
and Catalonia, and the ancient province of Septimania.[21] With Narbonne
Narbonne
secure, and equally important, its port, for the Arab mariners were masters now of the Western Mediterranean, al-Samh swiftly subdued the largely unresisting cities, still controlled by their Visigoth counts: taking Alet and Béziers, Agde, Lodève, Maguelonne
Maguelonne
and Nîmes.

Military campaigns around the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
and Septimania

By 721 he was reinforced and ready to lay siege to Toulouse, a possession that would open up bordering Aquitaine
Aquitaine
to him on the same terms as Septimania. But his plans were thwarted in the disastrous Battle of Toulouse
Toulouse
(721), with immense losses, in which al-Samh was so seriously wounded that he soon died at Narbonne. Arab forces, soundly based in Narbonne
Narbonne
and easily resupplied by sea, struck in the 720s, conquering Carcassonne
Carcassonne
on the north-western fringes of Septimania (725) and penetrating eastwards as far as Autun
Autun
(725). In 731, the Berber lord of the region of Cerdagne
Cerdagne
Uthman ibn Naissa, called "Munuza" by the Franks, was an ally of the Duke
Duke
of Aquitaine Odo the Great after he revolted against Cordova, but the rebel lord was defeated and killed by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, so opening Aquitaine
Aquitaine
to the Umayyads. After capturing Bordeaux
Bordeaux
on the wake of duke Hunald's detachment attempt, Charles Martel
Charles Martel
directed his attention to Septimania
Septimania
and Provence. While his reasons for leading a military expedition south remain unclear, it seems that he wanted to seal his newly secured grip on Burgundy, now threatened by Umayyad occupation of several cities lying in the lower Rhone, or maybe it provided the excuse he needed to intervene in this territory ruled by Gothic and Roman law, far off from the Frankish centre in the north of Gaul. In 737 the Frankish leader went on to attack Narbonne, but the city held firm, defended by its Goths
Goths
and Jews under the command of its governor Yusuf, 'Abd er-Rahman's heir. Charles had to go back north without subduing Narbonne, leaving behind a trail of destroyed cities, i.e. Avignon, Nîmes
Nîmes
and other Septimanian fortresses.

Septimania
Septimania
during Pepin´s expedition (752-759)

Around 747 the government of the Septimania
Septimania
region (and the Upper March, from Pyrénées to Ebro River) was given to Umar ibn Umar. In 752 Pippin headed south to Septimania. Gothic counts of Nîmes, Melguelh, Agde
Agde
and Béziers
Béziers
refused allegiance to the emir at Cordova and declared their loyalty to the Frankish king—the count of Nîmes, Ansemund, having some authority over the remaining counts. The Gothic counts and the Franks
Franks
then began to besiege Narbonne, where Miló was probably the count (as successor of the count Gilbert). However, the strongly Gothic Narbonne
Narbonne
under Muslim rule resisted to the Carolingian thrust. Moreover, attacks on the rearguard by a Basque army under the Aquitanian duke Waifer didn't make things easy to Pippin. In 754 an anti-Frank reaction, led by Ermeniard, killed Ansemund, but the uprising was without success and Radulf was designated new count by the Frankish court. About 755 Abd ar-Rahman ibn Uqba replaced Umar ibn Umar. Narbonne
Narbonne
capitulated in 759 only after Pippin promised the defenders of the city to uphold the Gothic law, and the county was granted to Miló, the Gothic count in Muslim times, thus earning the loyalty of Septimania's Goths
Goths
against Waifer. Islamic burials have been found in Nîmes[22][23][24][25] Gothia in Carolingian times[edit]

Gothia and Marca Hispanica

The region of Roussillon
Roussillon
was taken by the Franks
Franks
in 760. Pepin then diverted northwest to Aquitaine, so triggering the war against Waifer of Aquitaine. Albi, Rouergue, Gévaudan
Gévaudan
and the city of Toulouse
Toulouse
were conquered. In 777 the wali of Barcelona, Sulayman al-Arabi, and the wali of Huesca
Huesca
Abu Taur, offered their submission to Charlemagne
Charlemagne
and also the submission of Husayn, wali of Zaragoza. When Charlemagne invaded the Upper March
Upper March
in 778, Husayn refused allegiance and he had to retire. In the Pyrenees, the Basques defeated his forces in Roncesvalles (August 15, 778). The Frankish king found Septimania
Septimania
and the borderlands so devastated and depopulated by warfare, with the inhabitants hiding among the mountains, that he made grants of land that were some of the earliest identifiable fiefs to Visigothic and other refugees. Charlemagne
Charlemagne
also founded several monasteries in Septimania, around which the people gathered for protection. Beyond Septimania
Septimania
to the south Charlemagne established the Spanish Marches in the borderlands of his empire. The territory passed to Louis, king in Aquitaine, but it was governed by Frankish margraves and then dukes (from 817) of Septimania. The Frankish noble Bernat of Septimania was the ruler of these lands from 826 to 832. His career (he was beheaded in 844) characterized the turbulent 9th century in Septimania. His appointment as Count of Barcelona
Barcelona
in 826 occasioned a general uprising of the Catalan lords (Bellonids) at this intrusion of Frankish power over the lands of Gothia. For suppressing Berenguer of Toulouse
Toulouse
and the Catalans, Louis the Pious rewarded Bernat with a series of counties, which roughly delimit 9th century Septimania: Narbonne, Béziers, Agde, Magalona, Nîmes
Nîmes
and Uzés. Rising against Charles the Bald in 843, Bernat was apprehended at Toulouse
Toulouse
and beheaded. Bernat's son, known as Bernat of Gothia, also served as Count of Barcelona
Barcelona
and Girona, and as Margrave of Gothia and Septimania
Septimania
from 865 to 878. Septimania
Septimania
became known as Gothia after the reign of Charlemagne. It retained these two names while it was ruled by the counts of Toulouse during early part of the Middle Ages, but other names became regionally more prominent such as, Roussillon, Conflent, Razès or Foix, and the name Gothia (along with the older name Septimania) faded away during the 10th century, as the region fractured into smaller feudal entities, which sometimes retained Carolingian titles, but lost their Carolingian character, as the culture of Septimania
Septimania
evolved into the culture of Languedoc. This fragmentation in small feudal entities and the resulting fading and the gradual shifting of the name Gothia are the most probable origins of the ancient geographical area known as Gathalania or Cathalania which has reached our days as the present region of Catalonia. The name was used because the area was populated by a higher concentration of Goths
Goths
than in surrounding regions. The rulers of this area, when joined with several counties, were titled the Marquesses of Gothia (and, also, the Dukes of Septimania). See also[edit]

Septimania
Septimania
timeline

Notes[edit]

^ a b c James (1980), p. 223 ^ Bachrach (1971), p. 7 ^ Bachrach (1971), pp. 10–11 ^ Bachrach (1971), p. 16 ^ a b James (1980), p. 236 ^ a b Thompson (1969), p. 19 ^ a b Collins (2004), p. 60 ^ a b c Thompson (1969), p. 75 ^ Thompson (1969), p. 95 ^ a b Thompson (1969), p. 227 ^ Thompson (1969), p. 228 ^ Thompson (1969), p. 54 ^ a b McKenna (1938), pp. 117–118 ^ Thompson (1969), p. 23 ^ James (1980), pp. 228–229 ^ a b James (1980), p. 229 ^ James (1980), p. 230 ^ James (1980), p. 238 ^ James (1980), pp. 240–241 ^ James (1980), p. 239 ^ O'Callaghan (1983), p. 142 ^ Netburn, Deborah (24 February 2016). "Earliest Known Medieval Muslim Graves are Discovered in France". Los Angeles Times.  ^ Newitz, Annalee (24 February 2016). "Medieval Muslim Graves in France Reveal a Previously Unseen History". Ars Technica.  ^ "France's Earliest 'Muslim Burials' Found". BBC News. 25 February 2016.  ^ Gleize, Yves; Mendisco, Fanny; Pemonge, Marie-Hélène; Hubert, Christophe; Groppi, Alexis; Houix, Bertrand; Deguilloux, Marie-France; Breuil, Jean-Yves (24 February 2016). "Early Medieval Muslim Graves in France: First Archaeological, Anthropological and Palaeogenomic Evidence". PLOS ONE. 

Sources[edit]

Bachrach, Bernard S. (1971). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.  Collins, Roger (1989). The Arab Conquest of Spain, 710–97. Oxford University Press.  Collins, Roger (2004). Visigothic Spain, 409–711. Blackwell Publishing.  James, Edward (1980). " Septimania
Septimania
and its frontier: an archaeological approach". In Edward James. Visigothic Spain: New Approaches. Oxford: Clarendon Press.  Lewis, Archibald Ross (1965). The Development of Southern French and Catalan Society, 718–1050. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.  McKenna, Stephen (1938). Paganism and Pagan Survivals in Spain up to the Fall of the Visigothic Kingdom. Catholic University of America Press.  O'Callaghan, Joseph F. (1983). A History of Medieval Spain. Cornell University Press.  Thompson, E. A. (1969). The Goths
Goths
in Spain. Oxford: Clarendon Press.  Zuckerman, Arthur J. (1972) [1965]. A Jewish Princedom in Feudal France 768–900. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-03298-6. 

Coordinates: 43°36′N 3°12′E / 43.6°N 3.2

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