Aran is an administrative entity in Catalonia, consisting of the Aran Valley, 620.47 square kilometres in area, in the Pyrenees mountains, in the northwestern part of the province of Lleida. This valley constitutes one of only two areas of contiguous Spain that are located on the northern side of the Pyrenees. Hence, this valley holds the only Catalan rivers to flow into the Atlantic Ocean; the Garonne river flows through Aran from its source on the Pla de Beret near the Port de la Bonaigua. It is joined by the Joèu river, it reappears in the Val dera Artiga de Lin before reaching the Aran valley through France and to the Atlantic Ocean. The Noguera Pallaresa river, whose source is only a hundred meters from that of the Garonne, flows the opposite way towards the Mediterranean. Aran borders France on the north, the Spanish Autonomous Community of Aragon to the west and the Catalan comarques of Alta Ribagorça to the south and Pallars Sobirà to the east; the capital of the comarca is Vielha, with 5,474 inhabitants.
The entire population of the valley is about 9,991. As of 2001, a plurality of people in Aran spoke Spanish as their native language, followed by Aranese Catalan with 7.56% having a different native language. Speakers of languages other than the local Aranese are people born outside the valley, or their children. In 1313, James II of Aragon granted administrative and political autonomy to the Aran Valley, the legal details of which are described in a Latin manuscript called the Querimonia; the devolution of power was a reward for the Aranese pledging allegiance to James II in a dispute with the kingdoms of France and Mallorca over control of the valley. This situation was suppressed in 1834, when the Valley was integrated into the new Province of Lérida, in the context of creation of the liberal state. On 19 October 1944, Spanish Communist Party guerrillas invaded the valley in an attempt to bring about the fall of the Spanish dictatorship, they took control of several villages until October 27, 1944, but were forced to retreat back into France after Franco sent reinforcements to defend Vielha.
Before the construction of the Vielha tunnel, opened in 1948, the Aran valley had no direct communication with the south side of the mountains during winter. In 1990 the autonomy of Aran was restored by the Parliament of Catalonia, as well the establishment of the Occitan as official language. In 2015 the powers of Aranese institutions were increased. Aranese is the standardized form of the local Gascon variety of the Occitan language. Aranese has been taught at school since 1984. Like several other minority languages in Europe that faced decline, Aranese is experiencing a renaissance; the name Aran comes from Basque haran. Maps and road signs in Spain use the name "era Val d'Aran" to refer to the valley, where era is the Aranese singular feminine article; the same practice goes for all towns and other locations in Aran, for example, the Aranese spelling Vielha is used instead of Catalan and Spanish Viella to refer to the capital of Aran. Basque toponyms reveal; the growing influence of Latin began to drive Basque out after the turn of the first millennium.
Administratively, Aran is a "unique territorial entity" equivalent to a comarca with additional powers, informally referred to as a comarca. This status was most formalised in February 2015; the area is divided into six administrative divisions called terçons. The current arrangement of the divisions dates from the 15th century. Since 1991, Aran has an autonomous government called the Conselh Generau; the major political parties are the Unity of Aran - Aranese Nationalist Party, the Aranese Democratic Convergence (the local chapter of the. The Occitan Republican Left party was founded in 2008; the main economic activity in the valley is tourism. Other primary sectors of the economy include forest products, cattle ranching and agriculture, all of which have become progressively less important since the opening of ski resorts. Many native animals of Aran are in danger of extinction. There are programs to reintroduce and/or protect: Brown bear Rock ptarmigan Aran rock lizard Bearded vulture Page of the Conselh Generau d'Aran Information from the Generalitat de Catalunya Touristic information about the Val d'Aran Smith, Dominic.
"Language planning in the Val d’Aran: The recent work of the Conselh Generau d’Aran’s ‘Oficina de Foment e Ensenhament der Aranés’ and its effects on the Aranés-speaking population.". 2003
Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his nomen and cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician, military general, historian who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He wrote Latin prose. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed the First Triumvirate, a political alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years, their attempts to amass power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar rose to become one of the most powerful politicians in the Roman Republic through a number of his accomplishments, notably his victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC. During this time, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the English Channel and the Rhine River, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. Caesar's wars extended Rome's territory to past Gaul; these achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC.
With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Leaving his command in Gaul meant losing his immunity from being charged as a criminal for waging unsanctioned wars; as a result, Caesar found himself with no other options but to cross the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman Italy under arms. This began Caesar's civil war, his victory in the war put him in an unrivaled position of power and influence. After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar, he gave citizenship to many residents of far regions of the Roman Empire. He initiated land support for veterans, he centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic and was proclaimed "dictator for life", giving him additional authority. His populist and authoritarian reforms angered the elites. On the Ides of March, 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus and Decimus Junius Brutus, who stabbed him to death.
A new series of civil wars broke out and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian known as Augustus, rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, the era of the Roman Empire began. Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns and from other contemporary sources the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust; the biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources. Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history, his cognomen was subsequently adopted as a synonym for "Emperor". He has appeared in literary and artistic works, his political philosophy, known as Caesarism, inspired politicians into the modern era. Gaius Julius Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, which claimed descent from Iulus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas the son of the goddess Venus.
The Julii were of Alban origin, mentioned as one of the leading Alban houses, which settled in Rome around the mid-7th century BC, after the destruction of Alba Longa. They were granted patrician status, along with other noble Alban families; the Julii existed at an early period at Bovillae, evidenced by a ancient inscription on an altar in the theatre of that town, which speaks of their offering sacrifices according to the lege Albana, or Alban rites. The cognomen "Caesar" originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor, born by Caesarean section; the Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations: that the first Caesar had a thick head of hair. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name. Despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesar's father called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia, his sister Julia, Caesar's aunt, married Gaius Marius, one of the most prominent figures in the Republic.
His mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesar's childhood. In 85 BC, Caesar's father died so Caesar was the head of the family at 16, his coming of age coincided with a civil war between his uncle Gaius Marius and his rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Both sides carried out bloody purges of their political opponents whenever they were in the ascendancy. Marius and his ally Lucius Cornelius Cinna were in control of the city when Caesar was nominated as the new Flamen Dialis, he was married to Cinna's daughter Cornelia. Following Sulla's final victory, Caesar's connections to the old regime made him a target for the new one, he was stripped of his inheritance, his wife's dowry, his priesthood, but he refused to divorce Cornelia and was forced to go into hiding. The threat against hi
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
Aragon is an autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces: Huesca and Teruel, its capital is Zaragoza. The current Statute of Autonomy declares Aragon a historic nationality of Spain. Covering an area of 47720 km2, the region's terrain ranges diversely from permanent glaciers to verdant valleys, rich pasture lands and orchards, through to the arid steppe plains of the central lowlands. Aragon is home to many rivers—most notably, the river Ebro, Spain's largest river in volume, which runs west-east across the entire region through the province of Zaragoza, it is home to the highest mountains of the Pyrenees. As of January 2016, the population of Aragon was 1308563, with over half of it living in its capital city, Zaragoza. During the same year, the economy of Aragon generates a GDP of €34687 million, which represents 3.1% of Spain's national GDP, is 6th in per capita production behind Madrid, Basque Country, Catalonia and La Rioja.
In addition to its three provinces, Aragon is subdivided into counties. All comarcas of Aragon have a rich geopolitical and cultural history from its pre-Roman and Roman days, four centuries of Islamic period as Marca Superior of Al-Andalus or kingdom of Saraqusta, as lands that once belonged to the Frankish Marca Hispanica, counties that formed the Kingdom of Aragon and the Crown of Aragon; the current coat of arms of Aragon is composed of the four barracks and is attested for the first time in 1499, consolidating since the Early Modern Ages to take root decisively in the 19th century and be approved, according to precept, by the Real Academia de la Historia in 1921. The first quartering appears at the end of the 15th century and commemorates, according to traditional interpretation, the legendary kingdom of Sobrarbe; this emblem of gules and gold was used in seals, banners and standards indistinctly, not being but a familiar emblem that denoted the authority as King of Aragon until, with the birth of Modern State, began to be a territorial symbol.
The current flag was approved in 1984, with the provisions of Article 3 of the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon, the flag is the traditional of the four horizontal red bars on a yellow background with the coat of arms of Aragon shifted towards the flagpole. The bars of Aragon, common historic element of the current four autonomous communities that once were integrated into the Crown of Aragon, present in the third quartering of the coat of arms of Spain; the anthem of Aragon was regulated in 1989 with music by the Aragonese composer Antón García Abril that combines the old Aragonese musical tradition with popular musical elements within a modern conception. The lyrics were elaborated by the Aragonese poets Ildefonso Manuel Gil, Ángel Guinda, Rosendo Tello and Manuel Vilas and highlights within its poetic framework, values such as freedom, reason, open land... that represent the expression of Aragon as a people. The Day of Aragon is celebrated on April 23 and commemorates Saint George, patron of the Kingdom of Aragon since the 15th century.
It appears in Article 3 of the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon since 1984. Institutional acts such as the delivery of the Aragon Awards by the Government of Aragon or the composition of a flag of Aragon of flowers, with the collaboration of citizens, in the Plaza de Aragón square of Zaragoza; the area of Aragon is 47720 km2 of which 15636 km2 belong to the province of Huesca, 17275 km2 to the province of Zaragoza and 14810 km2 to the province of Teruel. The total represents a 9.43% of the surface of Spain, being thus the fourth autonomous community in size behind Castile and León, Castile-La Mancha. It is located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, at a latitude between 39º and 43º'N in the temperate zone of the Earth, its boundaries and borders are in the north with France, the regions of, in the west with the autonomous communities of Castile-La Mancha, Castile and León, La Rioja and Navarre and in the east with the autonomous communities of Catalonia and Valencian Community. The orography of the community has as central axis the Ebro valley which tr
Novempopulania was one of the provinces created by Diocletian out of Gallia Aquitania, called Aquitania Tertia. The area of Novempopulania was the first one to receive the name of Aquitania, as it was here where 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 for Gallia Aquitania. In his work, Caesar describes the Aquitania as being different in language and body make-up from their northerly neighbours and more similar to the Iberians; the province of Aquitania was enlarged by Augustus, it began to signify a larger and more diverse territory. Novempopulania stands for the nine peoples making up the original territory, it seems clear that at the time of the lower empire, the nine peoples were granted by the emperor the detachment from the proper Gauls by means of the magister pagi Verus Flamen Dumvir, as a result a celebrating altar was erected dedicated to the deity of the pagus.
This fact is accounted for by the remains of the altar unearthed in the current Basque town of Hasparren. The newly acquired status may have affected not only the tax system but the conscription and military order too, since two separate bodies were created within Aquitania, i.e. the "Cohortes Aquitanorum" for old Aquitanians and "Cohortes Aquitanorum Biturigum" for those of proper Gaul origin. The number of peoples went on to be twelve the tribes being identified with a corresponding capital town or civitas, namely Civitas Ausciorum, Civ. Aquensium, Civ. Lactoratium, Civ. Convenarum, Civ. Consorannorum, Civ. Boatium, Civ. Benarnensium, Civ. Aturensium, Civ. Vasatica, Civ. Turba, Civ. Illoronensium, Civ. Elusatium; these civitas are in turn identifiable with present-day towns and cities as follows: Auch, Lectoure, Couserans and Born, Béarn or Lescar, Aire-sur-l'Adour, Tarbes, Eauze. Elusa remained the capital city of Novempopulania throughout most of its existence. Wide evidence of slab engravings have been found scattered all over the area comprising Novempopulania.
These recordings feature names of deities and places with identifiable similarities to present-day Basque, a fact that provides along with current and ancient place-names north of the Pyrenees and traces of Basque in the Gascon the basis for an Aquitanian proto-Basque theory. In 418, in the stir of the crumbling Roman rule and its territories overrun by Germanic tribes, Emperor Honorius allocated Aquitania to the Visigoths as foederati, with their tribes settling on the fringes of Novempopulania at both banks of the River Garonne as far south as Toulouse, where they established their seat. Other than this, their power tenure over Novempopulania may have been more nominal than real. Furthermore, after the 507 Battle of Vouille they were expelled from the area by the Franks. In the early Middle Ages, accounts of events taking place at this time on the territory are confusing and blurred, so are the names of the peoples and their geographical location, who are as of now dubbed Vascones, Guasconia with no clear boundaries.
At this point, Vascones had taken on an extended meaning arguably encompassing all Basque language tribes, different from the more restricted definition provided at the time of Augustus. The crisis at the end of the Ancient Age and outset of the Middle Ages brought about much unrest and turmoil in the Novempopulania, where the bagaudae and Vascon raids are mentioned in different documents; the Novempopulania was to become the core region of the Duchy of Vasconia, established by the Franks at the beginning of the 7th century with a view to holding back the Basques, while conducting a semi-autonomous governance of Basque-Aquitanian background. It split into the Duchy of Gascony and the County of Vasconia. Aquitani Duchy of Vasconia Gascony Northern Basque Country Basque language
Biscarrosse is a commune in the Landes department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. It is located 65 km southwest of Bordeaux, 10 km inland from the seaside resort of Biscarrosse-Plage on the Atlantic coast. Near Biscarrosse is the CEL from which numerous French military rockets have been launched for test purposes; the CEL has facilities for launching civilian rockets to study the upper atmosphere. Near the town centre, outside the Café de l'orme, there was what is believed to have been the oldest elm tree in Europe. Planted in 1350, this Field Elm Ulmus minor died in 2010 after succumbing to Dutch elm disease. Legend has it that girls deemed promiscuous were forced to stand naked upon a barrel beneath the tree for a day. One unfortunate, unjustly accused, died of shame, the tree annually producing a corona of blanched leaves in her memory; the commune has an airport, called Biscarrosse - Parentis Airport. The toponym Biscarrosse derivates from the Aquitanian language or directly from the Basque word bizkar, meaning'low ridge' or'prominence' followed by the Aquitanian suffix -ossum/-os, used to mark presence.
Related toponyms are Biscarrués. Nearby Hourtiquet once hosted an important seaplane base, serving the builder Latécoère and airlines Aéropostale and its successor Air France. A seaplane museum exists at the shores of the Lac de Biscarrosse et de Parentis. During World War II the base served German military seaplanes. Since 1991, the lake has seen bi-annual seaplane fly-ins. After the demise of seaplanes after WW2, the lake gained new interest at the discovery of petroleum, it has the greatest reserve in France. Petroleum exploitation is situated in the commune of Parentis. École nationale de l'aviation civile INSEE statistics Univ-perp Astronautix Tourist Office Biscaloc
Duchy of Gascony
The Duchy of Gascony or Duchy of Vasconia was a duchy in present southwestern France and northeastern Spain, part corresponding to the modern region of Gascony after 824. The Duchy of Gascony known as Wasconia, was a Frankish march formed to hold sway over the Basques. However, the Duchy went through different periods, from its early years with its distinctively Basque element to the merger in personal union with the Duchy of Aquitaine to the period as a dependency of the Plantagenet kings of England. In the Hundred Years' War, Charles V of France conquered most of Gascony by 1380, under Charles VII of France it was incorporated into the kingdom of France in its entirety in 1453; the corresponding portion within Spain became part of the Basque Kingdom of Navarre. Gascony was the core territory of Roman Gallia Aquitania; this province, by the 2nd century, was extended to include much of western Roman Gaul, as far north as the Loire. Thus, the name of the Aquitani came to be transferred to the territory of central-western France known as the Duchy of Aquitaine.
In 293, Diocletian re-created the original province of Caesar's Aquitania under the name of Novempopulania or Aquitania Tertia. The Vascones were a people of the southwestern Pyrenees in the Roman period, but by the end of the 6th century, the Vascones defined a confederacy of native tribes with similar language and traditions on both sides of the Pyrenees who had not been culturally Romanized. Around 580, both the Visigothic kingdom and the kingdom of the Franks launched major campaigns against the Basques. In 587 Basques are cited as raiding the plains of Aquitaine, maybe to the west of Toulouse. Chilperic I was defeated. After taking the throne, Leovigild launched a series of military campaigns around the Iberian Peninsula, taking control from the Basques in the upper reaches of the Ebro, founded a fortress called Victoriacum; this military push from a stronger centralized authority in Toledo placed more pressure on the Basques to get off the Ebro rich farmland than those stretching all the way to the Garonne.
In this period, the count of Bordeaux Galactorius is cited as fighting the Basques, who are portrayed as hiding out in the mountains, the Cantabrians. In 602, the Merovingians created a frontier duchy to their southwest during the tripartite wars between Franks and Basques. A certain Genial was appointed dux wasconum as a way of better handling their relations with the Basques. At the same time, the Visigoths created the Duchy of Cantabria as a buffer against the Basques inhabiting west of current Navarre; the march of Vasconia was created with the purpose of controlling the Basques in Novempopulania, but it extended at this stage on the lands south and around the axis provided by the river Garonne between Bordeaux and Toulouse. About this period duke Francio is reported to vow allegiance to the Franks in Cantabria, an area inhabited by the Basques, but c. 612, the Gothic king Sisebut seems to have conquered the territory. By the year 602, the duchy of Vasconia, under Frankish overlordship, was consolidated in the areas around the Garonne river but it may have extended up to Cantabria, under Frankish domain at the time of and before the creation of the Duchy.
In the years 610 and 612 the Gothic kings Gundemar and Sisebut launched attacks against the Basques. After a Basque attack in the Ebro valley in the year 621, Swinthila defeated them and founded the fortress of Olite. In 626, the Basques rebelled against the Franks, with the bishop of Eauze being exiled on the accusation of supporting or sympathising with the Basque rebels, while in 635 a gigantic Frankish expedition led by the duke Arnebert and 9 more dukes launched an attack against the Basques, forcing them to retreat to the mountains, while Arnebert's column was defeated in Subola, maybe near Tardets. However, the Basques' relish was short-lived. By 626, it is certain that the duchy extended up to the Pyrenees and Vasconia had replaced Novempopulania as a preferred name for the geographical area between the Pyrenees and the Garonne. In 643, there was another rebellion to the north of the Pyrenees and in 642 and 654 they battled against the Visigoths to the south, in Saragossa. From 589 to 684, the Bishop of Pamplona was absent from the Visigothic Councils of Toledo, interpreted by some as the result of this city being under Basque or Frankish control.
In the year 660, Felix of Aquitaine, a patrician from Toulouse of Gallo-Roman stock, received the ducal title of both Vasconia and Aquitaine ruling independently over Vasconia and at least part of Aquitaine. Under Felix and his successors, Frankish overlordship over these lands became nominal, Vasconia became a prominent regional power; the Ravena Cosmography cites "Wasconia" as extending up to the Loire, although the real concept behind the name is contested. Independent dukes Lupus, Odo and Waifer succeeded him with the last three belonging to the same lineage, their ethnicity is not certain, since their names are not conclusive. But the Umayyad invasion of 711 effected a complete shift in trends. Hitherto the duke Odo the Great had been independent, refusing to recognise the authority of either the Merovingian king or his mayor of the palace. In 714, Pa