Un portrait de Montvalent

Un portrait de Montvalent

The ancestors of the Quercynois

A void exists between the time of the great painters and hunters of Lascaux and Quercy of written history. Around the 5th century BC things become clearer...


The Vascones

(Par Zorion via Wikipedia Commons, personal work based on
Les Racines de la Langue Gasconne (identité culturelle, limites linguistiques), Halip Lartiga (2001) Page 55, Luis Núñez Astrain,
El euskera arcaico : extensión y parentescos
, Tafalla, Txalaparta,‎ Novembre 2003.)


Today, it is believed that the Vascones were the descendants of a group of prehistoric people who lived some 20,000 years ago, at the time of the last glaciation, in the Basque country. They would have taken refuge in the western Pyrenees with its very mild climate, then would have returned to the plains of Europe to reconquer the continent. On their journey they would have reached Spain, Russia and even Norway. They were supplanted by the Neolithic peoples, often called Indo-European, who brought with them agriculture, metallurgy and new languages.

Nevertheless, the Vascones left their mark in Europe in the names of villages, places, mountains and rivers. The new arrivals retained these names, the meaning of which they did not know. They gave new names only to the cities founded later during antiquity and the Middle Ages.

The map shows the retreat of the Basque language southwards to the north of the Pyrenees in favour of Vulgar Latin, of primitive Romance languages, then of Gascon. Proto-Basque is the reconstruction of the direct predecessor of the Basque language and constitutes the substrate of Gascon, as it could hypothetically have been spoken approximately between the 5th century BC and the 1st century, in the sector around the Pyrenees. The supposition is that it corresponds to a state of the language prior to the influence of Latin and written texts.


The Gauls

The undisputed ancestors of the Quercinois are the Celts, or Gauls. Late in comparison with the Pictons, Lemovices, Santons and Petrocores, these arrivals who happily mingled with the meagre local populations showed great self-assurance. The Biturges Vivisques modestly called themselves "the kings of the world" (bitu: world, riges: kings). It is well-known that they first founded Bourges, but the reason they decided to abandon everything to come and settle around the Gironde and on the banks of the Garonne and the Dordogne is unknown. Here they were known as the Biturges Viniques.

La Gaule Romaine
(By Feitscherg via Wikimedia Commons)


From the end of the 2nd century BC the Bituriges Viniques perfected their installations around Burdigala, their capital (Bordeaux). They also carefully cultivated carefully their reputation as fine metallurgists and wise traders. They became the first wheat growers of Aquitaine. And they were not at all interested in the innumerable battles waged by other Gaulish peoples.

In 52 BC, when all Gaul rose behind Vercingetorix, the Biturgues Visiques were the only tribe who did not go to Alesia to tackle the Roman legions. Already, for two centuries they had been in contact with Mediterranean traders - who they would find it difficult to regard as enemies - and Burdigala was the only place in Gaul where Greek and Latin were commonly spoken. For the Burdigalais, these Romans were not crazy but, on the contrary, excellent customers.

Burdigala became a little Rome which often supplanted Lyon by the magnificence of its festivals and the wisdom of its teachers.


Aquitaine in the 4th century

The imperial and praetorian province of Aquitania began to signify a larger and more diverse territory, after being enlarged into three provinces by Augustus:

Aquitania prima (or Aquitanica prima) centred on Bourges (Avaricum), capital of the city of Bituriges Cubes (Bituriges cubii)

Aquitania secunda (or Aquitanica secunda) centred on Bordeaux (Burdigala), capital of the city of Bituriges Vivisques

Novempopulanie or Aquitania tertia (or Aquitanica tertia) centred on Eauze, capital of the city of Elusates

Novempopulania (Latin for "country of the nine peoples") was one of the provinces created by Diocletian from Gallia Aquitania. This area was historically the first one to receive the name of Aquitania, as it was here that the original Aquitani dwelt primarily. The territory extended within the triangular area outlined by the River Garonna, the Pyrenees and the ocean, as described by Caesar in De bello gallico as Gallia Aquitania. In his work, Caesar describes the Aquitani as being different in physique and in language from their northerly neighbours, and more similar to the Iberians.

(Wikipedia Commons)


In the 4th century, Bordeaux was peaceful and at the height of its cultural influence. However, the coming of Christianity as a state institution began to sow the seeds of discord.

From the beginning the new religion, far from being a burning militancy as elsewhere, took on the appearance of an attempted reconciliation of opposing principles and practices. Numerous temples, statues and votive festivals attested to this.




The invasion of the Germains, Alamans and Franks

But it was in 276 that the first hard blow came from the Franks - a brutally unpredictable shock for the peaceful and busy Gallo-Romans who had enjoyed centuries of sumptuous security.

With one single effort, Germans, Alamans, and Franks broke through the frontiers of the Roman Empire, and after rapidly crossing Northern Gaul come to make good use of the unimaginable paradise where even the smallest property provided plunder for an entire troop. According to the chroniclers, during one year a hundred thousand barbarians ravaged, burned, devoured, dismantled, murdered, razed, and plundered all the cities, great or small. Burdigala and its Roman buildings do not escape. Only the Gallien palace, a Roman amphitheatre, and the Pillars of Tutelle, constructed between the end of the 2nd century and beginning of the 3rd century, remained standing.



The invaders were able to easily conquer the area, because there was not a single fortress in fertile Aquitaine, which had not known a war for more than 500 years, and all the cities were open. In 277 the legions intervened at last, but they were composed of 75% of barbarians. They naturally knew more than the Gallo-Roman citizens about settling old scores with their slightly less barbarous cousins.

The Roman peace returned timidly to the devastated country and the rich quickly reconstituted their heritage and even expanded their estates. But the poor ended up revolting and began to campaign against the possessors. The ravages of the bands, known as 'bagaudes', were almost worse than those of the barbarians and the conflict took on the aspect of a civil war with a series of horrors. In 286 Maximiem, Diocletian's companion in arms, mastered the bagaudes and this time it seemed that true peace had returned.

But the Aquitans and the inhabitants oif Burdigala had had enough of open cities and doors without locks!

The invasion of the Sueves, Vandals, Alains and Goths in the 5th century

In 406 began decades of great invasions of the Roman Empire by "barbarians". In successive waves, but not all in the same direction, came the Sueves, followed by the Vandals and the Alans. Then, after a short breathing space, came the Goths.

They were all savages and assassins, but were proud of removing the guarantors of civilization since, thanks to Bishop Urfila, they became Christian Arians. Around 425, rather than fighting, Bordeaux opened its doors to Athaulf, the Visigothic 'king' of Aquitaine, who married the very pretty Galla Placidia, sister of the Roman emperor Honorius.

Gaul at Clovis' accession (481)
(Via Wikipedia Commons. From Paul Vidal de La Blache, Atlas général d'histoire et de géographie (1894))

The battle of Vouillé


The peace was short-lived. Next came a Visigothic invasion via the area of Narbonne and another Visigothic king, Theodoric I, chose Toulouse as his capital.

But in 451 Theodoric joined forces with the Roman Empire against the Huns and their king Attila and was killed at the battle of the Catalaunian Plains, near Chalons.

Around 485, the Visigothic king, Alaric II, seemed unlike the other barbarian kings; he was handsome, learned and rather generous for the time. He had a legal code drawn up in Latin by a commission of Gallo-Roman jurists, bishops and counsellors. The result was a curious mixture of Roman law and Visigothic laws and customs. This breviary of Alaric greatly influenced the establishment of customary rights in all towns in the south-west.

But enough of wisdom! Finally the Franks of Clovis arrived on the river Loire.

Alaric dug in at Poitiers and Clovis at Tours. Their confrontation took place in 507 at the battle of Vouillé and Alaric was killed. Clovis rushed to Toulouse to collect Alaric's treasure, then spent the winter in Bordeaux.

In the spring of 508 he attacked Angouleme from the south. Disgusted, the Visigoths left Aquitaine for the south, creating the kingdom of Toledo.

The Visigoths were replaced by the Franks of Clovis, who for a time became masters of the country.

Finally, the Vascones came up from the south, driven out by the Visigoths who were still busy creating their kingdom.



Les territories of the Franks in 511
on Clovis' death
(Wikipedia Commons : Paul Vidal de La Blache - Vidal-Lablache, Atlas général d'histoire et de géographie (1894))







The rise and full extent of the Frankish Empire (481 - 814)
(Sémhur via Wikipedia Commons. From the Historical Atlas by Shepherd, William : Henry Holt and Company, 1911.)


The Vascones in Novempopulania in 600

Aquitains de langue proto-basque en 600 dans la Novempopulania en 600
(Par Zorion via Wikipedia Commons)


The Vascones attained a high degree of integration in the Roman world, particularly in the plains, along the banks of the Ebro River and in the areas around the Roman cities of Pompaelo and Oiasso. They populated Vasconum Saltus, the northernmost and most mountainous region, during the economic and social crisis that accompanied the decomposition of the empire and the pressure caused by the barbaric invasions of the Germanic and Asian peoples at the beginning of the 5th century. They subsequently entered into conflict on various occasions with the kingdoms of the Visigoths and the Franks who settled on the two slopes of the Pyrenees.

The Vascons were remarkable soldiers who in a few months seized Novempopulania, burning, looting and killing everything they found. They created Vasconia, soon to be Gascony.

Dagobert established Aquitaine as a kingdom for his son Caribert who died after three years. Bordeaux and its region were then established as a duchy and the first of its dukes, Aegina, was a Saxon. He died in 638. Duke Loup, the new ruler of Aquitaine, appears to have been a great collector of land. After Loup, Eudes took the crown and was known as the Prince of the Aquitains.


The arabs

France at the death of Pepin of Heristal, 714
(Wikipedia Commons, from Paul Vidal de la Blache's ''Atlas général d'histoire et de géographie'' (1912))


It was then that the arabs began to cross the Pyrenees towards the Narbonne area. They took Narbonne around 713 and besieged Toulouse in 721. The Aquitaine army, reinforced by a few of Charles Martel's troops, dislodged them and inflicted a resounding defeat on 9 June of the same year.

But ten years later, the Saracens passed over the Roncevaux pass under the command of a prodigious tactician, Abd el Rahman. He took Bayonne, Oleron, Aires, Auch, Eauze, Cahors, and other towns, and killed without mercy all the 'infidels' who refused to worship Mohammed.

In the spring of 732 it was the turn of Bordeaux, Blaye, Bourg, Mortagne and Royan.

The Saracens, overloaded with booty, went up to Tours. Duke Eudes appealed to Charles Martel who was in waiting. The Saracens retreated to Moussais, between Poitiers and Chatellerault, where they were caught and massacred in the north by the Franks and in the south by the Aquitains. The victors recovered the booty and concluded an inconceivable alliance that ensured a record three years of peace.


Aquitaine and Vasconie

Union of Vasconie and Aquitaine during the reign of Eudes the Great (710-740)
(Zorion via Wikipedia Commons)


At the end of this time, Charles Martel (Charlemagne's grandfather) boldly set out to conquer Aquitaine on the back of his ally. It seems that Eudes, sickened by such gratitude, abdicated in favor of Waiffre, a magnificent warrior who must have been his son, who kept the duchy against Pepin the Brief, who faithfully followed the instructions of his father.

Then began the first medieval war.

All the combattants were cousins, uncles, nephews, brothers-in-law. It was the king of the Franks and the duke of Aquitaine, the duke of Bavaria, the count of Poitiers, the count of Auvergne, the barons Vivrais and Waiffre, who traversed the country in all directions, knocked down walls, and burned already damaged towns and villages.

In spite of his constant victories, Waiffre came off worst by being slaughtered in his bed by a valet in Pepin's pay. As a result, Aquitaine ceased to be independent.


Aquitaine regains prosperity

On the death of Pepin it fell to Charles (Charlemagne 712-814) who was not easily taken in. He began a great war of conquest which all stopped in 777 when Aquitaine finally became part of the kingdom of France. New times were coming for Aquitaine. On 15 June 781 Pope Adrien I crowned the Carolingian child, Louis I (the Pious or the Debonnaire), first 'king' of Aquitaine.

Once he became adult, Louis wished to restore prosperity to his kingdom, and he succeeded. His son Pepin continued after him and Aquitaine resurfaced from its ruins, richer, more organized and more learned than ever. Pepin founded new abbeys and repaired old ones. Pepin II, his successor, had to compete with his uncle Charles the Bald, who ended by concluding in 845 a treaty granting Aquitaine to his nephew, "outside Poitiers, Saintes and Angouleme".

A few months later the Vikings made their entry into the Gironde area. Seguin II, Count of Bordeaux, a tenacious Gascon, repulsed them but they continued their way and sacked Toulouse. Then, four years later, they entered 'Bourdeu' after having seized Seguin.

Finally, Louis le Bègue was crowned king of France in 877 and one of his first decisions was to suppress the fiction of a kingdom of Aquitaine. Henceforth it became a duchy of the kingdom of France.


In 886 William the Pious became the first true duke of Aquitaine and with him began the remarkable 251-year lineage of the ten Williams, Counts of Poitiers, dukes of Aquitaine. William IX had a grand-daughter, Eleanor, for which he had a real passion. He died when the little girl was six. She remembered him until her death, eighty years later.

Before dying in 1137, William X, the last duke of Aquitaine and Eleanor's father, had the good idea of launching his daughter into the world by marrying her to Louis, the son of the King of France, Louis VI. The king died immediately afterwards.

For Eleanor and for Europe the year 1137 was exceptional: the marriage of the heiress of Aquitaine, the death of its last duke, the death of the king of France, and three months later, the accession to the throne of the beautiful princess, queen of France, wife of Louis VII.


The Angevin or Plantagenet Empire

Angevin Empire
(Sting via Wikipedia Commons)


After the annulment of the marriage between Eleanor and Louis VII and her marriage to Henry II of England, the Angevin empire was considerably enlarged.

At its maximum extent, the Angevin (or Plantagenet) empire consisted of the Kingdom of England, the Seignory of Ireland, the Duchy of Normandy and the Duchy of Aquitaine (the Duchy of Aquitaine, Poitiers, the duchy of Gascony, the county of Perigord, the county of La Marche, the county of Auvergne and the viscountcy of Limoges), and the county of Anjou (enlarged to include the county of Maine and the county of Tours). The Plantagenets also exercised an influence in the duchy of Brittany, in the independent Welsh principalities, in the Kingdom of Scotland and in the county of Toulouse, although these territories were not part of the empire.

Some of the borders of the empire were well defined, such as that separating Normandy from the royal domain. Others, on the other hand, were more blurred, especially on the eastern border of Aquitaine, with a divergence between the boundaries claimed by Henry II Plantagenet and the real influence of his power.



200-100 BC

The Gaulois tribe of the Biturges viniques establish their capital, Burdigala.

52 BC

Battle of Alésia.


Invasion of Aquitaine by the Franks.


The Visigoths migrate westwards into the western Roman Empire.


The Alains, Sueves and Vandals invade Gaul.


The Visigoths under king Athaulf, half brother of Alaric I, enter Gaul. Athaulf (marries Galla Placida, sister of Roman Emperor Honorius).



The Visigoths under king Wallia enter the Iberian peninsula to combat the other barbarians on behalf of the Roman Empire.

415-418 Wallia is king of the Visigoths.


Peace is concluded between Rome and the Visigoths. The Roman Emperor Honorius gives lands in Aquitaine around Bordeaux to the Visigoths who become federated to the Roman Empire.


Theodoric I is king of the Visigoths.



Attila the Hun invades Gaul but is defeated at the Champs Catalaunique (near Troyes) by the Romans, Franks and Visigoths of Theodoric I who dies in the battle.

Death of Theodoric I


The Visigoths now control the south-west of Gaul and most of the Iberian peninsula, except the kingdom of the Sueves in Galicia. The emperor Julius Nepos accords to Euric the legal concession of the lands he has acquired.

466-484 Euric is king of the Visigoths.


The fall of the Roman Empire. The last Emperor, Romulus Augustule, is deposed by Odoacre, the chief of the barbarians.


Death of King Chileric I at Tournai. He is succeeded by his 15 year-old son Clovis I who becomes leader of the Salien France in Gallia Belgica.


The Visigoth king Euric dies and is succeeded by his son Alaric II. Ramparts are built to protect the city of Carcassonne.


Breviaire d'Alaric II, a mixture of roman law and Visigothic laws and customs, a major influence on the establishment of customary rights in all the towns of the south-west.


Battle of Soissons : Frankish forces under king Clovis I defeat the Gallo-Roman kingdom of Soissons. The Roman rule of Syagrius comes to an end. Clovis establishes a new residence at Soissons.

Ostrogoths capture Pavia and Milan.


Theodoric the Great allies with the Franks. Marries Audofleda, sister of Clovis I. Clovis meanwhile marries catholic Burgundian princess Clothilde, daughter of king Chilperic II.


Battle of Tolbiac. Clovis I defeats the last king of the Alamans and gains territory within the Frankish kingdom. Clovis is baptised into the catholic faith ?????


Battle of Dijon. Clovis I crushes the forces of Gondobad, king of the Burgundians, and the Frankish kingdom is formed.

The Visigothic kingdom now controls Aquitaine, the area of Narbonne and most of the Iberian peninsula.


Alaric II issues 'Lex Romana Visigothorum' - the standard for justice in the Visigoth realm.


Clovis I attacks Toulouse to take the treasure of Alaric II and spends the winter in Bordeaux. Alaric II is killed at the battle of Vouillé. The Frankish army under Clovis I invades the Visigothic kingdom and defeats Alaric II near Poitiers. The Visigoths retreat to Septimania. Clovis annexes Aquitania and captures Toulouse. Clovis I dictates the Sallic law to the Franks.


Clovis I fails to take Carcassonne. He establishes Lutecia as his capital. He attacks Angoulême from the south. He is baptised as a Catholic - now the official religion of the kingdom of the Franks. The Ostrogoth Theodoric the Great drives the Franks out of Provence and recovers Septimania from the Visigoths.


Clovis I is crowned first catholic king of the Franks - a major blow for the Arian heresy.


Nov 22 - Death of Clovis I in Lutecia aged 45. Buried in abbey Saint-Geneviève. The Merovingian dynasty is continued by division of the kingdom between his four sons : Theuderic, Chlodomer, Childebert I and Chlothar I.


Ostrogoths conquer the Frankish province of Rouergue.


Childebert I defeats the Wisogoths and conquers their capital, Narbonne.


Childebert I and brother Clothar I capture Pamplona from the Visigoths but Saragossa withstands the siege and they return to Gaul.


Dec 13 Childebert I dies . King Clothar I reunites the whole Frankish kingdom.


Nov 29 king Clothar I dies at Compiegne aged 64. Merovingian dynasty continued by his four sons.


Charibert I (son of Clothar) dies without heir. His realm (Neustria and Aquitaine) divided between his 3 brothers.


Visigoths under king Liuvigild establish the capital of their kingdom in Toledo.


Heavy taxes levied by Childperic I produce a revolt at Limoges as he sells the bishopric to the highest bidder.


Gondoald illegitimate son of Clothar I tries to expand his territory from Brive la Gaillarde and proclaims himself king. King Chilperic is murdered by his wife.


King Childebert II, age 15, takes up his sole rule of Austrasia. A Frankish army under King Guntram marches to Comminges (Pyrenees), and besieges the citadel of Saint-Bertrand.

July - Gundoald, Merovingian usurper king, and his followers are defeated during the siege of Saint-Bertrand. He is executed and Guntram stages a triumphal entry at Orleans.


The Sueves disappear from history.


King Guntram sends an expedition into Septimania (Southern Gaul), in support of a rebellion by the Arian bishop Athaloc.

Claudius, duke of Lusitania, defeats the Franks and Burgundians at Carcassonne (Languedoc).


The Franks and Burgundians under King Guntram invade Italy. They capture the cities Milan and Verona, but are forced to leave by a plague outbreak in the Po Valley.

The Franks again invade Italy; they capture Modena and Mantua. Several Lombard dukes defect: Gisulf I, duke of Friuli, is defeated and replaced by his son Gisulf II.


Queen Fredegund defeats her old rival Brunhilda of Austrasia, who supports the claims of her grandsons Theudebert II and Theuderic II to the Frankish throne, against those of Fredegund's son Chlothar II. She dies a few months later in Paris and is buried in the Basilica of Saint Denis.

Chlothar II, age 13, becomes sole ruler of Neustria, and continues his mother's feud with Brunhilda. He is advised to prepare for war against Austrasia, the eastern part of the Frankish Kingdom.

600 approx

King Chlothar II of Neustria is defeated by his nephews, Theudebert II and Theuderic II, at Dormelles.


Chlothar II reunites the Frankish Kingdom by ordering the murder of Sigebert II. He accuses Brunhilda, age 70, of killing ten kings of the Franks (according to the Liber Historiae Francorum). She is dragged to death behind a wild horse at Abbeville.


October 18 - King Chlothar II promulgates the Edict of Paris (Edictum Chlotacharii), a sort of Frankish Magna Carta that defends the rights of the Frankish nobles and the church, and regulates the appointment of counts (secular officials in charge of law courts, collecting taxes, and assembling contingents for the army), while it excludes Jews from all civil employment in the Frankish Kingdom.


King Clothar II gives Austrasia to his son Dagobert I, age 20, effectively granting the kingdom semi-autonomy in repayment for the support of its nobles, most notably Pepin of Landen (Mayor of the Palace), and in recognition of calls from the Austrasians for a king of their own. Arnulf, bishop of Metz, becomes advisor to Dagobert.


King Chlothar II dies after a 16-year reign and is succeeded by his son Dagobert I. Counselled by bishop Arnulf of Metz and Pepin of Landen (Mayor of the Palace), he moves the capital to Paris.

Charibert II, half-brother of Dagobert I, becomes king of Aquitaine (Southern France), and establishes his capital at Toulouse. Charibert's realm also includes Agen, Cahors, and Périgueux.


King Chlothar II dies after a 16-year reign and is succeeded by his son Dagobert I. Counseled by bishop Arnulf of Metz and Pepin of Landen (Mayor of the Palace) he moves the capital to Paris.

Charibert II, half-brother of Dagobert I, becomes king of Aquitaine (Southern France), and establishes his capital at Toulouse. Charibert's realm also includes Agen, Cahors and Périgueux.


January 19 - Dagobert I dies after a 10-year reign as king of all the Franks, in which his realm has prospered. He is succeeded by Sigebert III (age 9), independent ruler of Austrasia, and his half-brother Clovis II (age 2), who becomes king of Neustria and Burgundy.

Under the supervision of Pepin of Landen, mayor of the palace, the royal treasury is distributed between the two brothers and widowed queen Nanthild (regent on Clovis' behalf).

640 approx

February 27 - Pepin the Elder, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, dies and is succeeded by his son Grimoald. He becomes the head of the Frankish household, and the most powerful man in the Frankish Kingdom.


Aega, mayor of the palace and regent (alongside of queen mother Nanthild) of Neustria and Burgundy, dies during the reign of King Clovis II. He is replaced by Erchinoald, a relative of Dagobert I's mother.


Grimoald the Elder, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, is deposed by Clovis II, king of Neustria, now aged 18. He captures his son Childebert the Adopted, executing them both.

Clovis II dies and is succeeded by his eldest son Chlothar III, age 5, who becomes king of Neustria and Burgundy under the regency of his mother Balthild.


Spring - King Chlothar III of Neustria and Burgundy dies after a reign of 16 years, in which he has been a puppet of the Neustrian mayor of the palace, Ebroin. He is buried in the Basilica of St. Denis, and succeeded by his brother Theuderic III.


December 23 - King Dagobert II is murdered in a hunting accident, near Stenay-sur-Meuse (Ardennes), probably on orders from Pepin of Herstal. He is succeeded by Theuderic III, who becomes sole ruler of the Frankish Kingdom.

Pepin of Herstal (645-714), mayor of the palace of Austrasia


Battle of Tertry: King Theuderic III of Neustria is defeated by Pepin of Herstal near Péronne (modern France), at the river Somme. Theuderic withdraws to Paris and is forced to sign a peace treaty. Pepin becomes "de facto" ruler of the Frankish Kingdom, and begins calling himself Duke of the Franks. He establishes a base for the future rise of the Pippinids and the Carolingians. Pepin appoints Nordebert as Duke of Burgundy, and puts him in charge of Neustria and Burgundy as a sort of regent.


King Theuderic III dies and is succeeded by his son Clovis IV, aged 9, as sole ruler of the Franks. He becomes a puppet of his uncle Pepin of Herstal.


Childebert III succeeds Clovis IV as sole king of the Franks. He is the son of Theuderic III and he also becomes a puppet of Pepin of Herstal.


Roderick becomes king of the Visigoths, but the Visigothic nobles in Septimania rebel, and proclaim the previous ruler's son, Akhila, king. The Visigothic kingdom is divided into two sub-kingdoms, suffering the first Muslim raid expedition against the southern Iberian Peninsula.

An Arab army is invited into Ceuta by its governor, Julian, who is an opponent of Roderick. He encourages them to invade the Iberian Peninsula. Tariq ibn Ziyad is appointed governor of Tangier (Morocco), and establishes a Moorish garrison of 1,700 men.

Lupus I, duke of Gascony, is assassinated in his attempt to seize Limoges (France).

Eudes becomes ruler over both Gascony and Aquitaine.


The Saracens take Narbonne.


In Septimania, local Visigothic nobles of the anti-Roderick party are offered peace terms similar to those of Prince Theudimer, and accept Muslim overlordship. Other Visigoths revolt and proclaim Ardo as king. Visigothic refugees gather in the Picos de Europa in the mountains of Asturias.

December 16 - Pepin II of Herstal dies at Jupille (modern Belgium). His infant grandson Theudoald (aged 7) becomes the nominal mayor of the palace, while his repudiated wife Plectrude holds actual power and imprisons Pepin's illegitimate son Charles Martel.

Civil War within the Pepinid clan: A revolt erupts between the Neustrian Franks and Frisians. King Radbod forces bishop Willibrord and his Benedictine monks to flee, and advances as far as Cologne (Germany). Frisia (modern-day Netherlands) becomes again independent.

Duke Eudes proclaims himself the independent prince of Aquitaine (located north-east of the Garonne River), thereby asserting legal as well as practical independence from the Frankish Kingdom.


September 26 - Battle of Compiègne: Ragenfrid, mayor of the palace of Neustria and Burgundy (appointed by King Dagobert III), defeats Theudoald in the first battle of the Frankish civil war, following the death of Pepin II of Herstal.

Dagobert III dies of an illness and is succeeded as king of Neustria by Chilperic II, son of Childeric II.

Charles Martel is freed from prison at Cologne, and is proclaimed mayor of the palace of Austrasia at the capital Metz.

Charles Martel, son of Pepin of Herstal, is proclaimed mayor of the palace of Austrasia, a title he holds until his death in 741.


Battle of Cologne: Charles Martel is defeated by the Neustrians under King Chilperic II and his mayor Ragenfrid near Cologne (now part of Germany), who have invaded Austrasia to impose their will on the competing Frankish factions of Theudoald and Plectrude, grandson (and designated heir) and widow of Pepin of Herstal.

Simultaneously, Radbod, king (or duke) of the Frisians, attacks Austrasia and allies with the Neustrians. Charles is forced to flee into the mountains of the Eifel (Ardennes).

Battle of Ambleve: Charles Martel defeats his Neustrian and Frisian rivals near Amel (modern-day Belgium). His forces attack the army of Chilperic II and his allies, as they return triumphantly from Cologne. According to the Annals of Metz, Charles uses a feigned retreat to destroy his foes while they are resting, and recovers much of the ransom paid by Plectrude to Chilperic. He will remain undefeated until his death 25 years later.


March 21 - Battle of Vincy: Charles Martel invades Neustria and defeats the forces of King Chilperic II at Vincy, near Cambrai. He pursues him and his mayor of the palace Ragenfrid to Paris, before turning back to deal with his stepmother Plectrude at Cologne, to turn over half the wealth of his late father Pepin of Herstal.

Charles allows both Plectrude and the young Theudoald to live, and obliges her to accept his sovereignty.

Charles Martel consolidates his power, proclaims Clotaire IV king of Austrasia in opposition to Chilperic, and deposes Rigobert, bishop of Reims, replacing him with Milo. He marches against Radbod, king (or duke) of the Frisians, and pushes him back into his territory (later part of the Netherlands).

Charles sends the Saxons back over the Weser river, and secures the Rhine border in the name of Clotaire.


Battle of Soissons: King Chilperic II of Neustria and his mayor of the palace Ragenfrid, allied with Eudes, independent duke of Aquitaine, march on Soissons in Picardy (northern France). Unfortunately, an army of Frankish veterans under Charles Martel defeat the Neustrian allies, who sue for peace. Chilperic flees to the land south of the River Loire and Ragenfrid escapes to Angers. Charles diplomatically chooses not to execute the enemy leaders, and becomes undisputed dux Francorum, ending the Frankish civil war.


Ummayad conquest of Gaul: Governor Al-Samh takes or re-takes Narbonne (Arbouna for the Arabs), before raiding the Toulouse area. Many town defenders and inhabitants are killed in the aftermath.

Frisian-Frankish War: Charles Martel defeats Redbad, King of the Frisians. He easily invades Frisia (modern Netherlands) and subjugates the territory. Charles also crosses the Rhine and annexes "farther" Frisia, to the banks of the river Vlie.

The first major Muslim attack upon Visigothic Septimania (southern France)


Umayyad conquest of Gaul: Governor Al-Samh continues his campaign. He makes Narbonne the capital city of Muslim Septimania, and uses it as a base for razzias. King Ardo is killed, and becomes the last ruler of the Visigothic kings of Hispania. Some Visigoths refuse to adopt the Muslim faith, and flee north to Aquitaine. This marks the end of the Visigothic Kingdom.

Muslim forces under Al-Samh begin the prolonged siege of Carcassonne, a fortified Visigothic town.


February 13 - King Chilperic II dies at Attigny (Ardennes), after a five-year reign. He is succeeded by Theuderic IV, the infant son of Dagobert III, as Merovingian ruler of the Franks, under the control of Charles Martel.

Summer - Charles Martel restores the authority of the Austrasian palace throughout the Frankish Kingdom, including against Frankish-claimed Aquitaine and Provence. He exiles Rigobert, bishop of Reims, to Gascony.

June 9 - Battle of Toulouse: After besieging Toulouse for three months, Muslim forces under governor Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani are defeated by Eudes, duke of Aquitaine, preventing the extension of Umayyad control over Gaul.

Anbasa ibn Suhaym Al-Kalbi is appointed governor of Al-Andalus (prersent day Spain), after the death of Al-Samh.

The Muslims under Abdul Rahman al-Ghafiqi withdraw to Narbonne.

The Visigothic duke Amrus of the Lerida area recognises Umayyad rule.


Summer - Battle of Covadonga: The Visigothic nobleman Pelagius (Don Pelayo) defeats the Umayyad forces under Munuza, provincial governor of Asturias, near Covadonga in the Picos de Europa. This marks the beginning of the Reconquista, the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula.


Ragenfrid, ex-mayor of the palace of Neustria, revolts against Charles Martel. He is easily defeated, and Ragenfrid gives up his sons as hostages, in turn for keeping his lands in Anjou.


Umayyad conquest of Gaul: Muslim forces under Anbasa ibn Suhaym al-Kalbi (governor of Al-Andalus) capture the fortified town of Carcassonne, which has been under siege, and Nîmes in Septimania, the latter without resistance.

Summer - Anbasa leads a raiding force up the Rhône and Saône Valleys into Burgundy, taking Autun. Muslim raiders reach Sens, Luxeuil and Langres and the cities are devastated. Some Muslims may also have reached the Vosges.

Duke Eudes of Aquitaine seeks an alliance with Munuza, governor of Cerdagne (eastern Pyrenees), currently in rebellion against the central Umayyad government at Córdoba in Andalusia (probably not cemented until 729).

Charles Martel invades Bavaria and kills Duke Grimoald in battle. His son Hugbert submits to Frankish suzerainty, and Charles brings back the Agilolfing princess Swanachild, who becomes his concubine and later, his wife.

726 approx

Umayyad conquest of Gaul: Muslim raiders under Abdul Rahman al-Ghafiqi, current governor of Septimania, devastate Avignon, Viviers, Valence, Vienne and Lyon (approximate date).


An alliance between Duke Eudes of Aquitaine and Munuza, the Moorish governor of Cerdanya, is cemented by marriage to Eudes' illegitimate daughter Lampégia.


Umayyad conquest of Gaul: Munuza, Moorish governor of Cerdagne, rebels against Umayyad authority. He is defeated and executed by Muslim forces under Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi at Urgell (Catalonia). Muslim garrisons in Septimania raid the cities Millau and Arles.

Ragenfrid, ex-mayor of the palace of Neustria, meets Duke Eudes of Aquitaine, to accept his rule and independence from the Frankish Kingdom. Fearing an alliance against him, Charles Martel exiles Ragenfrid's supporter Wandon of Fontenelle, and imprisons bishop Aimar of Auxerre.

Charles Martel leads two raids across the Loire River into the Berry region. The Franks seize and plunder Bourges in central France, but the city is immediately recaptured by Eudes of Aquitaine.


Battle of the River Garonne: A Muslim army of 50,000 men under Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, governor of Al-Andalus, crosses the Pyrenees to the north through the Roncevaux pass and raids widely, ravaging the cities of Oloron, Lescar, and Bayonne and burning the abbey of Saint-Sever. Muslim forces destroy the monastery of Saint-Émilion and defeat the 'Count of Libourne'. Abdul Rahman sacks and captures Bordeaux, and nearly wipes out the army of Duke Eudes of Aquitaine at the river Garonne.

Summer - Eudes of Aquitaine heads for the Frankish city of Reims, to warn Charles Martel of the Umayyad invasion in Gaul, and ask for his support against the invaders. The two leaders meet near Paris. Charles issues a 'general ban' to raise a army, which includes large numbers of Austrasians, Neustrians, and Burgundians. Meanwhile, Muslims ravage the cities of Périgueux, Saintes and Angoulême, then sack the basilica of Saint-Hilaire outside Poitiers.

September - Charles Martel leads his Frankish army of 30,000 men to Orleans and crosses the river Loire, probably accompanied by Eudes of Aquitain with his remaining troops. He makes camp near Tours, probably at Ballan-Miré south-west of the fortress city, in order to protect the abbey of Saint Martin. Charles defeats or forces back Muslim scouts or an advance guard, between the rivers Indre and Creuse. Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi pulls back to establish a position at the river Vienne.

October - The Frankish army crosses the river Vienne and establishes a camp at or around the partially abandoned Roman mansion or agricultural settlement, now known as 'Vieux-Poitiers' (near Châtellerault), perhaps using the Roman theatre with its substantial towers as a fortification. Charles Martel forms a defensive position across the Roman road, and fends off Muslim skirmishes during the 'seven days' of stand-off, probably involving scouts, and perhaps raiders from both armies.

October 10 - Battle of Tours: The Frankish and Burgundian forces under Charles Martel defeat a large army of Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi near Poitiers, halting the Islamic advance into Western Europe. Rahman Al Ghafiqi is killed during the battle. Charles extends his authority in the south of France, which gives him the nickname Martellus (the hammer). The outcome of the victory is a turning point, and establishes a balance of power between Western Europe and the Byzantine Empire.

Muslim forces withdraw southwards to Septimania; a separate force probably pulls back southwards along the road it originally took across the Pyrenees. Eudes of Aquitaine pursues the main Muslim army via La Marche, before returning to Bordeaux. Charles Martel withdraws to Frankish territory through Orleans and Auxerre, demoting those bishops whom he thought unreliable. Abd al-Malik ibn Katan al-Fihri becomes the new governor of Al-Andalus and a separate Muslim force raids the Rhône region.

Battle of Poitiers


Duke Eudes of Aquitaine, aged almost 80, abdicates and retires to a monastery. His lands are divided between his sons Hunald and Hatton, who continue the conflict with Charles Martel.

In battles at Benest in Charente and La Rochefoucauld, near Angoulême, Charles probably defeats the Aquitainians. He also campaigns against the Burgundians.

Umayyad conquest of Hispania: Muslim forces under Abd al-Malik ibn Katan al-Fihri, governor of Al-Andalus, cross the Pyrenees and ravage both sides of the mountains. He establishes colonies along the Ebro Valley and within Basque territory. The Moorish main military efforts are in Catalonia, Aragon, Navarre and Septimania, strengthening the towns already in their hands.


Battle of the Boarn: The Franks under Charles Martel defeat the Frisians near the mouth of the River Boarn (now the Dutch province of Friesland). During the battle, the Frisian army is beaten and King Poppo is killed.

The Franks gain control of the Frisian lands west of the Lauwers (Netherlands), and begin plundering the pagan sanctuaries. The Frisians become Frankish vassals, apart from the tribes living in East Frisia in present day Germany

Umayyad conquest of Gaul: Muslim forces under Abd al-Malik ibn Katan al-Fihri enter Provence and raid the Rhône Valley. The cities of Avignon, Arles, and probably Marseille are handed over by Count Maurontus, who is in rebellion against Charles Martel.


Charles Martel invades Burgundy. Duke Hunald of Aquitaine refuses to recognise the authority of the Franks, whereupon Charles marches south of the river Loire, seizing the cities of Bordeaux and Blaye. Within four years he will have subdued all the Burgundian chieftains, while continuing to fight off Moorish advances into Gaul.


Charles Martel forms local alliances with the Burgundians and imposes Frankish domination on Provence. He defeats Muslim forces at Sernhac and Beaucaire in Septimania.

Battle of Nîmes: The Franks under Charles Martel fail to capture Narbonne but devastate most of the other settlements, including Nîmes, Agde, Béziers and Maguelonne, which he views as potential strongholds of the Umayyads.


Battle of Avignon: Frankish forces under Charles Martel retake Avignon from the Muslim forces, and destroy the Umayyad stronghold. Charles sends his brother Childebrand I, duke of Burgundy, to besiege the city. After his arrival, Charles leads the Frankish troops by using rope ladders and battering rams to attack the fortified walls, which are burned to the ground following its capture.

Battle of Narbonne: Frankish forces under Charles Martel besiege Narbonne, occupied by a Umayyad garrison, but are unable to retake the fortress city. A Lombard army under King Liutprand crosses the Alps, to aid Charles in expelling the Muslims from Septimania. Meanwhile Maurontus, duke or count of Provence, raises a revolt from his unconquered city of Marseille, and threatens the rear of the Franks.

Battle of the River Berre: Frankish forces under Charles Martel intercept a large Muslim army sent from Al-Andalus led by Uqba ibn al-Hajjaj to relieve the siege of Narbonne. The Franks destroy them at the mouth of the river Bierre, northwest of Marseille, and drive the survivors into the nearby sea-lagoons, taking many prisoners. Charles effectively prevents Umayyad expansion in Gaul.

Following the death of Theuderic IV, king of the Franks, the throne is left vacant for seven years. Charles Martel has Theuderic's son Childeric III exiled to a monastery, and becomes sole ruler of the Frankish Kingdom.

Charles Martel becomes sole ruler of the Frankish kingdom


Umayyad conquest of Gaul: Charles Martel attacks Duke Maurontus of Provence and his Muslim allies. His brother Childebrand captures Marseille, one of the largest cities still in Umayyad hands. Maurontus is forced to go into hiding in the Alps.


October 22 - Charles Martel dies in his palace at Quirzy-sur-Oise (modern-day Picardy). His territories are divided between his adult sons Carloman and Pepin the Short, although the Frankish Kingdom has had no true king since the death of Theuderic IV. Lands to the east, including Austrasia and Alemannia (with Bavaria as a vassal) go to Carloman, while Pepin receives Neustria and Burgundy (with Aquitaine as a vassal). Grifo, youngest son of Charles, succeeds him as mayor of the palace, and probably receives a strip of land between Neustria en Austrasia.


After an interregnum of seven years Childeric III re-succeeds to the throne of the Frankish Kingdom as the last Merovingian king, until his death in 754. Power remains firmly in the hands of the major domus, currently Carloman and Pepin the Short.


Hunald, duke of Aquitaine, retires to a monastery, probably on Île de Ré. He is succeeded by his son Waifar, who struggles during his rule for independence against the Frankish Kingdom.


Council of Cannstatt: Carloman, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, convenes an assembly of the Alemanni nobility at Cannstatt (modern Stuttgart), and has most of the magnates, numbering in the thousands, arrested and executed for high treason. This ends the independence of the tribal duchy of Alamannia, which is thereafter governed by counts or dukes appointed by their Frankish overlords.


August 15 - Carloman, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, renounces his position as majordomo, and withdraws from public life. He retires to a monastery near Rome, being tonsured by Pope Zachary, and leaves his brother Pepin the Short as sole ruler (de facto) of the Frankish Kingdom.


November - Pepin the Short, youngest son of Charles Martel, forces King Childeric III to retire to the monastery of Saint-Bertin. He proclaims himself as king of the Franks with the support of Pope Zachary, and is crowned at Soissons by Boniface, bishop of Mainz. Pepin becomes as Pepin III the first Carolingian monarch of the Frankish Kingdom.


King Pepin III "the Short" begins a Frankish military expedition down the Rhône Valley, and receives the submission of eastern Septimania (Nîmes, Melguelh, Agde and Béziers), after securing Count Ansemund's allegiance.

Siege of Narbonne: Pepin III lays siege to the fortress city of Narbonne, occupied by Gothic-Muslim forces. The garrison and residents are able to withstand the attacks, thanks to the supplies provided by sea by the Arab fleet.


July 28 - Pope Stephen II re-consecrates Pepin III as king of the Franks, at the Basilica of Saint-Denis outside Paris, bestowing upon him the additional title of Patricius of the Romans. This marks the first recorded crowning of a civil ruler by a pope. Pepin assumes the role of ordained protector of the Catholic Church.

July - Stephen II anoints Pepin's sons, Charles (later known as Charlemagne) and Carloman, consecrating them as patricians. At Quierzy he proclaims the Carolingian Dynasty holy, and appeals for help against the Lombards. Finally, the Frankish nobles give their consent to a campaign in Lombardy.


Siege of Narbonne: The Franks under King Pepin III retake Narbonne from the Muslims, after a seven-year siege. He pushes them back across the Pyrenees and the Muslims retreat to their Andalusian heartland after 40 years of occupation. The government of the city is assigned to the Visigothic count Miló.


Frankish King Pepin III begins his expedition to Septimania and Aquitaine. He conquers the cities of Carcassone, Toulouse, Rodez and Albi.

Duke Waifer of Aquitaine confiscates the Church lands, and plunders Burgundy.

Pepin invades Aquitanian-held Berry and Auvergne, capturing the fortresses of Bourbon and Clermont.

Waifer's Basque troops are defeated by the Franks and deported into northern France with their children and wives.


The Franks, under King Pepin III, destroy resistance in central Aquitaine. He conquers the capital of Bordeaux, and devastates the whole region.


September 24 - King Pepin III dies at Saint-Denis, Neustria. The Frankish Kingdom is divided between his two sons: Charlemagne and Carloman I. According to Salic law Charlemagne receives the outer parts of the kingdom bordering on the sea - Neustria, western Aquitaine, and the northern parts of Austrasia - while Carloman is awarded his uncle's former share, the inner parts - southern Austrasia, Septimania, eastern Aquitaine, Burgundy, Provence, Swabia, and the lands bordering Italy.

Waiofar, duke of Aquitaine, and his family are captured and executed by the Franks in the forest of Périgord. Waiofar's kinsman Hunald succeeds to his claims and continues to fight against Charlemagne.

Charlemagne (Charles the Great) inherits Neustria, western Aquitaine, and the northern parts of Austrasia from his father Pepin III


King Charlemagne begins a military campaign against Aquitaine and Gascony. He leads a Frankish army to the city of Bordeaux, where he sets up a fort at Fronsac. His younger brother Carloman I refuses to participate in the uprising, and returns to Burgundy. Hunald, duke of Aquitaine, is forced to flee to the court of Gascony. Lupus II, fearing Charlemagne, turns Hunald over in exchange for peace, and is put in a monastery. Aquitaine and Gascony are subdued into the Frankish Kingdom.


December 4 - King Carloman I dies (of a severe nosebleed, according to one source) at the Villa of Samoussy, leaving his brother Charlemagne sole ruler of the now reunified Frankish Kingdom. Gerberga, the widow of Carloman, flees with her two sons to the court of King Desiderius of the Lombards, at Pavia.

Charlemagne repudiates his Lombard wife Desiderata, daughter of Desiderius, after one year of marriage. He marries the 13-year-old Swabian girl Hildegard, who will bear him nine children. Desiderius, furious at Charlemagne, plans a punitive campaign against the Franks and Rome.


A Frankish army (supported by Burgundians, Bavarians, Bretons, Lombards, and Visigoths) under King Charlemagne invades Al-Andalus, but is halted at Zaragoza, in the frontier zone of the Emirate of Córdoba. During the retreat, Charlemagne is defeated by the Basques at Roncevaux (Pyrenees). Among those killed is Roland, governor of the Breton March, who will be immortalized in the 11th-century epic Song of Roland. This marks the beginning of medieval French literature.


King Charlemagne has his son Carloman (renamed Pepin) anointed "King of Italy", and he is crowned by Pope Adrian I with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. His younger brother Charles I is anointed king of Aquitaine, and Louis the Pious (only 3-years old) is appointed sub-king of Italy and Aquitaine.


Emperor Charlemagne divides the Frankish Empire into three parts, Divisio Regnorum, under his three sons. For To Charles the Younger he designates the imperial title, Austrasia and Neustria, Saxony, Burgundy, and Thuringia. To Pepin he gives Italy, Bavaria and Swabia. His youngest son Louis the Pious receives Aquitaine, the Spanish March and Provence.


Aznar Galíndez I succeeds Aureolus as count of Aragon. He is installed by King Louis the Pious (a son of emperor Charlemagne), and remains a Frankish vassal.

Aureolus (died 809) is traditionally thought to have been the chief of the Franks in the region of Aragon.

Between 798 and 802 the Franks established several positions in the zone: Bahlul Ibn Marzuq revolted in Zaragoza against the central government of Muslim Al-Andalus in 798, and in 800 conquered Huesca from the Banu Salama. General Amrus ibn Yusuf (born in Huesca), sent by the Amir, conquered Zaragoza and Huesca (c. 801). Bahlul fled to Pallars and was killed by his lieutenant Jalaf Ibn Rashid (802), who at the time held Barbitanya (Barbastro). With all these disturbances the Franks established control over Jaca and other castles and designated Aureolus as count of Aragon.

After Aureolus died in 809 the Frankish lobby secured succession for Aznar Galíndez I, but Amrus ibn Yusuf overran the county of Sobrarbe, which was not reconquered by Aznar until 814.


Charlemagne conquers Catalonia, as far south as the River Ebro and the Balearic Islands. The counties come under the rule of Bera, count of Barcelona. He signs a three-year peace treaty with the Caliphate of Córdoba.

Charlemagne issues the Capitulare de villis, concerning the rights of a feudal landholder and the services owed by his dependents. It contains also the names of some 89 plants, most of which are used medically.


Louis the Pious, king of Aquitaine (and only surviving legitimate son of Charlemagne), is crowned co-emperor, with his father, of the Franks.


January 28 - Charlemagne dies of pleurisy in Aachen after a 13-year reign as the first Holy Roman Emperor. He is embalmed and buried in Aachen Cathedral. Charlemagne is succeeded by his son Louis the Pious, as king of the Frankish Empire.

Louis I establishes himself at the imperial court of Aachen.

Charlemagne is succeeded as king of the Frankish Empire by his son Louis the Pious.


October 5 - Pope Stephen IV at Reims crowns King Louis the Pious emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He also crowns the emperor's wife Ermengarde as Holy Roman Empress. The ceremony in Reims re-establishes the principle of papal supremacy, by recognising the importance of the pope in imperial coronations. Louis gives the pope many gifts, including the estate tax of Vendeuvre, near Troyes (Northern France).

Winter - The Basques, supported by the Moors, cross the river Garonne and revolt against the Franks in Gascony.


Summer - Emperor Louis I issues an Ordinatio Imperii, an imperial decree that lays out plans for an orderly succession. He divides the Frankish Empire among his three sons. Lothair is proclaimed co-emperor in Aachen, and becomes the overlord of his brothers. He receives the dominion of Burgundy, including German and Gallic parts. Pepin is proclaimed king of Aquitaine, and receives Gascony, including the marche around Toulouse and parts of Septimania. Louis, the youngest son, is proclaimed king of Bavaria and receives the dominions of East Francia.


Battle of Roncevaux pass: The Basques and Banu Qasi defeat a Frankish expedition in the Pyrenees led by Counts Aznar and Ebles.

Iñigo Arista revolts against the Frankish Empire and establishes the Kingdom of Pamplona with the support of the Caliphate of Córdoba.


Emperor Louis the Pious returns from a campaign in Brittany, and is captured by his son Pepin I, king of Aquitaine. He is put under house arrest at Compiegne, and his wife Judith is incarcerated at Poitiers.


Emperor Louis the Pious is reinstated as sole ruler of the Frankish Empire. He promises his sons Pepin I and Louis the German a greater share of the inheritance. His eldest son Lothair I is pardoned, but disgraced and banished to Italy.

February - Empress Judith stands trial to "undergo the judgment of the Franks" by an assembly arranged by Louis the Pious. She is exiled and send to the convent of St. Radegund at Poitiers.


July 3 - Hugh Capet, Count of Paris, is elected and crowned King of France at Noyon in Picardy by Adalbero, the archbishop of Reims, becoming the first monarch of the Capetian dynasty which goes on to rule the country continuously until 1792.


June - Lothair I, eldest son of Emperor Louis the Pious, joins the rebellion of his brothers Pepin I and Louis the German, with the assistance of Archbishop Ebbo. Louis is forced to abdicate, on the plains of Rothfield (near Colmar).


March 1 - Emperor Louis the Pious is restored as sole ruler of the Frankish Empire. After his re-accession to the throne, his eldest son Lothair I flees to Burgundy.


King Pepin I of Aquitaine dies after a 21-year reign. Emperor Louis the Pious appoints his youngest son Charles the Bald as his successor. The Aquitainian nobility, however, elects Pepin's son Pepin II as the new Frankish ruler.


June 20 - While suppressing a revolt, emperor Louis the Pious falls ill and dies at his hunting lodge, on an island in the Rhine, near his imperial palace at Ingelheim. His eldest son Lothair I succeeds him as Holy Roman Emperor, and tries to seize all the territories of the late Charlemagne.

The 17-year-old Charles the Bald becomes king of the Franks, and joins the fight with his half-brother Louis the German in resisting Lothair.


June 25 - Battle of Fontenay: In a civil war among the three surviving sons of the former emperor Louis the Pious, Frankish forces of Emperor Lothair I and his nephew Pepin II of Aquitaine are defeated by allied forces of King Louis the German and his half-brother Charles the Bald. A total of 40,000 men are killed, including the Frankish nobles Gerard of Auvergne and Ricwin of Nantes, fighting on the side of Charles.

Summer - Vikings sail up the River Seine and devastate the city of Rouen in Normandy. They burn the Benedictine monastery of Jumièges Abbey. 68 captives are taken, and returned on payment of a ransom by the monks of St. Denis.


February 14 - Oaths of Strasbourg: King Louis the German, ruler of East Francia and his half-brother Charles the Bald, ruler of West Francia, meet with their armies at Strasbourg. They agree to swear allegiance (recorded in vernacular languages) to each other and to support each other against their brother Lothair I, nominal emperor of all the Frankish kingdoms and the Holy Roman Empire.


August - Treaty of Verdun: The Frankish Empire is divided into three kingdoms between the three surviving sons of the late emperor Louis the Pious. King Louis the German receives the eastern portion (everything east of the River Rhine), called East Francia, the precursor to modern-day Germany. Emperor Lothair I receives the central portion (Low Countries, Alsace, Lorraine, Burgundy and the northern half of Italy), called Central Francia. King Charles the Bald receives the western portion (everything west of the River Rhône), called West Francia, which later becomes modern-day France.


Summer - King Charles the Bald struggles against the repeated rebellions in Aquitaine, and against the Bretons in West Francia. He besieges Bernard I at the Battle of Toulouse, while Duke Nominoe raids Maine, and plunders other Frankish territory.


Summer - Bordeaux, capital of Aquitaine, falls into the hands of Viking raiders. King Charles the Bald sends a Frankish fleet to lift the siege. Despite destroying some Viking longships on the Dordogne River, they fail to save the city. The Abbey of Saint-Pierre in Brantôme is sacked.


Frankish forces under King Charles the Bald invade southern France and conquer the territory of Toulouse. He appoints Fredelo as count of Toulouse, who founds the Rouergue dynasty. Aquitaine is submitted to West Francia.


September - King Pepin II of Aquitaine is captured by the forces of Count Sans II Sancion of Gascony and handed over to Charles the Bald. He is detained in the monastery of St. Medard in Soissons.


Summer - King Louis the German, summoned by the diseffected Frankish nobles, invades the West Francia and secures Aquitaine for his nephew Pepin II.

King Charles the Bald flees to Burgundy; he is saved by the help of the bishops, and by the fidelity of the family of the Welfs, who are related to Judith the second wife of former emperor Louis the Pious.


Pepin II joins the Vikings in an attack on Toulouse and is captured while besieging the Frankish city. Pepin is deposed as king of Aquitaine and imprisoned in Senlis.


Louis de Bègue (the Stammerer) is crowned king of Aquitaine.

866-888 Ranulf II is Count of Poitou 866, Duke of Aquitaine 887, King of Aquitaine 888.  


Sancho III Mitarra (or Menditarra) becomes the founder and first 'king' of the independent Duchy of Gascony, with loose ties to the Frankish Kingdom.

May 18 - Louis II, after his successful campaign against the Saracens, is crowned for the second time as Roman Emperor - "Emperor of the Franks".

877-882 Louis III, eldest son of Louis II is king of Aquitaine.  
879-884 10 April - Carloman II becomes king of West Francia, until 12 December 884.  
884-888 Charles III (the Fat) is king of West Francia.  

Eudes succeeds Charles III as king of West Francia.


898 January 1 - Eudes dies at La Fère (Northern France) after a ten-year reign. His rival, the 18-year-old Charles the Simple in Laon, gains sovereignty and becomes ruler, but with no real authority. This put an end to five years of civil war between the Frankish nobles.  

890-892 and

Illegitimate son of Ranulf II, Ebalus (Ebles), becomes Duke of Aquitaine.  
935-963 Ebles' son, William III as Duke of Aquitaine (disputed by Lothair) and Count of Poitiers.  
963-995 William IV Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitiers until his retirement. Succeeded by William V, who married Sancha of Gascony.  
1038 Odo of Gascony succeeds his father William V as Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Poitou (1038-1039) and Gascony (1032-1039).  
1039-1058 William VII (third son of William V) becomes Duke of Gascony, Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou.  
1058-1086 William VIII Duke of Gascony (1052-1086) and Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou (1058-1086)  
1086-1127 William IX (the Troubador) Duke of Gascony, Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou. He founded Fontevraux abbey.  
1127-1137 William X, born in Toulouse, son of William iX and Philippa of Toulouse becomes Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony and Count of Poitou.  
1137 William X dies en route to Santiago de Compostella. His daughter Alienor becomes Duchess of Aquitaine and marries Louis VII, newly king of France after the death of his father Louis VI.  


1. http://www.pourlascience.fr/ewb_pages/a/article-le-vascon-premiere-langue-d-europe-24854.php

2. SOYEZ Jean-Marc : Quand les Anglais vendangeaient l'Aquitaine - D'Aliénor à Jeanne d'Arc, Marabout




Discovering Montvalent

Evidence of the past...

A history

The Dordogne

The causse


Our ancestors

The Hundred Years War


Villages of Haut Quercy