Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital, he sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Boileau, La Fontaine, Marais, Le Brun, Bossuet, Le Vau, Charles, Claude Perrault, Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished; the revocation forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to destroy the French Protestant minority. During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the Spanish Succession. There were two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war.
He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military. Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638 in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, he was named Louis Dieudonné and bore the traditional title of French heirs apparent: Dauphin. At the time of his birth, his parents had been married for 23 years, his mother had experienced four stillbirths between 1619 and 1631. Leading contemporaries thus regarded him as his birth a miracle of God. Sensing imminent death, Louis XIII decided to put his affairs in order in the spring of 1643, when Louis XIV was four years old. In defiance of custom, which would have made Queen Anne the sole Regent of France, the king decreed that a regency council would rule on his son's behalf, his lack of faith in Queen Anne's political abilities was his primary rationale. He did, make the concession of appointing her head of the council. Louis' relationship with his mother was uncommonly affectionate for the time.
Contemporaries and eyewitnesses claimed. Both were interested in food and theatre, it is likely that Louis developed these interests through his close relationship with his mother; this long-lasting and loving relationship can be evidenced by excerpts in Louis' journal entries, such as: "Nature was responsible for the first knots which tied me to my mother. But attachments formed by shared qualities of the spirit are far more difficult to break than those formed by blood." It was his mother who gave Louis his belief in the absolute and divine power of his monarchical rule. During his childhood, he was taken care of by the governesses Françoise de Lansac and Marie-Catherine de Senecey. In 1646, Nicolas V de Villeroy became the young king's tutor. Louis XIV became friends with Villeroy's young children François de Villeroy, divided his time between the Palais-Royal and the nearby Hotel de Villeroy. On 14 May 1643, with Louis XIII dead, Queen Anne had her husband's will annulled by the Parlement de Paris.
This action made Anne sole Regent of France. Anne exiled some of her husband's ministers, she nominated Brienne as her minister of foreign affairs. Anne nominated Saint Vincent de Paul as her spiritual adviser, which helped her deal with religious policy and the Jansenism question. Anne kept the direction of religious policy in her hand until 1661. Anne wanted to give her son a victorious kingdom, her rationales for choosing Mazarin were his ability and his total dependence on her, at least until 1653 when she was no longer regent. Anne protected Mazarin by arresting and exiling her followers who conspired against him in 1643: the Duke of Beaufort and Marie de Rohan, she left the direction of the daily administration of policy to Cardinal Mazarin. The best example of Anne's statesmanship and the partial change in her heart towards her native Spain is seen in her keeping of one of Richelieu's men, the Chancellor of France Pierre Séguier, in his post. Séguier was the pers
Tripoli is the largest city in northern Lebanon and the second-largest city in the country. Situated 85 kilometers north of the capital Beirut, it is the capital of the North Governorate and the Tripoli District. Tripoli overlooks the eastern Mediterranean Sea, it is the northernmost seaport in Lebanon, it holds a string of four small islands offshore, they are the only islands in Lebanon. The Palm Islands were declared a protected area because of their status of haven for endangered loggerhead turtles, rare monk seals and migratory birds. Though the history of Tripoli dates back at least to the 14th century BCE, the city is famous for having the largest Crusader fortress in Lebanon, it has the second largest amount of Mamluk architectural heritage on earth. With the formation of Lebanon and the 1948 breakup of the Syrian-Lebanese customs union, once on par in economic and commercial importance to Beirut, was cut off from its traditional trade relations with the Syrian hinterland and therefore declined in relative prosperity.
Tripoli borders the city of El Mina, the port of the Tripoli District, which it is geographically conjoined with to form the greater Tripoli conurbation. Tripoli had a number of different names as far back as the Phoenician age. In the Amarna letters the name "Derbly" a Semitic cognate of the city's modern Arabic name Ṭarābulus, was mentioned, in other places "Ahlia" or "Wahlia" are mentioned. In an engraving concerning the invasion of Tripoli by the Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II, it is called Mahallata or Mahlata and Kayza. Under the Phoenicians, the name Athar was used to refer to Tripoli; when the Ancient Greeks settled in the city they called it Τρίπολις, meaning "three cities," influenced by the earlier phonetically similar but etymologically unrelated name Derbly. The Arabs called it Ṭarābulus al-Šām. Today, Tripoli is known as al-fayḥā′, a term derived from the Arabic verb faha, used to indicate the diffusion of a scent or smell. Tripoli was once known for its vast orange orchards. During the season of blooming, the pollen of orange flowers was said to be carried on the air, creating a splendid perfume which filled the city and suburbs.
Tripoli has a Mediterranean Climate with moderately hot summers. Temperatures are moderated throughout the year due to the warm Mediterranean current coming from Western Europe. Therefore, temperatures are warmer in the winter by around 10°C and a bit cooler in the summer by around 7°C compared to most of Lebanon. Although snow is an rare event that only occurs around once every ten years and sleet are common and occur regularly in the winter. Rainfall is concentrated in the winter months, with the summer being dry. Evidence of settlement in Tripoli dates back as early as 1400 BCE. In the 9th century, the Phoenicians established a trading station in Tripoli and under Persian rule, the city became the center of a confederation of the Phoenician city states of Sidon and Arados Island. Under Hellenistic rule, Tripoli was used as a naval shipyard and the city enjoyed a period of autonomy, it came under Roman rule around 64 BCE. The 551 Beirut earthquake and tsunami destroyed the Byzantine city of Tripoli along with other Mediterranean coastal cities.
During Umayyad rule, Tripoli became a shipbuilding center. It achieved semi-independence under Fatimid rule; the Crusaders laid siege to the city at the beginning of the 12th century and were able to enter it in 1109. This caused extensive destruction, including the burning of Tripoli's famous library, Dar al-'Ilm, with its thousands of volumes. During the Crusaders' rule the city became the capital of the County of Tripoli. In 1289, it fell to the Mamluks and the old port part of the city was destroyed. A new inland city was built near the old castle. During Ottoman rule from 1516 to 1918, it retained its prosperity and commercial importance. Tripoli and all of Lebanon was under French mandate from 1920 until 1943, when Lebanon achieved independence. Many historians reject the presence of any Phoenician civilization in Tripoli before the 8th century BCE. Others argue that the north-south gradient of Phoenician port establishments on the Lebanese coast indicates an earlier age for the Phoenician Tripoli.
Tripoli has not been extensively excavated because the ancient site lies buried beneath the modern city of El Mina. However, a few accidental finds are now in museums. Excavations in El Mina revealed skeletal remains of ancient wolves and gazelles, part of the ancient southern port quay, grinding mills, different types of columns, Bows, a necropolis from the end of the Hellenistic period. A sounding made in the Crusader castle uncovered Late Bronze Age, Iron Age, in addition to Roman and Fatimid remains. At the Abou Halka area refuges dating to the early and middle Stone Age were uncovered. Tripoli became a financial center and main port of northern Phoenicia with sea trade, caravan trade. Under the Seleucids, Tripoli gained the right to mint its own coins. At the time, Tripoli was a center of cedar timber trade. During the Roman and Byzantine period, T
The Garonne is a river in southwest France and northern Spain, with a length of 602 kilometres. It flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Bordeaux; the name derives from Garumna, a Latinized version of the Aquitanian name meaning "stony river". The Garonne's headwaters are to be found in the Aran Valley in the Spanish Pyrenees, though three different locations have been proposed as the true source: the Uelh deth Garona at Plan de Beret, the Ratera-Saboredo cirque 42°36′26″N 0°57′56″E), or the slopes of Pic Aneto; the Uelh deth Garona at 1,862 metres above sea level has been traditionally considered as the source of the Garonne. From this point a brook runs for 2.5 kilometres until the bed of the main upper Garonne valley. The river runs for another 38 kilometres until the French border at Pont de Rei, 40.5 kilometres in total. The Ratera-Saboredo cirque is the head of the upper Garonne valley, its upper lake at 2,600 metres above sea level is the origin of the Ruda-Garona river, running for 16 kilometres until the confluence with the Beret-Garona brook, another 38 kilometres until the French border at Pont del Rei, 54 kilometres in total.
At the confluence, the Ruda-Garona carries 2.6 cubic metres per second of water. The Ratera-Saboredo cirque has been pointed by many researchers as the origin of the Garonne; the third thesis holds that the river rises on the slopes of Pic Aneto at 2,300 metres above sea level and flows by way of a sinkhole known as the Forau de Aigualluts through the limestone of the Tuca Blanca de Pomèro and a resurgence in the Val dera Artiga above the Aran Valley in the Spanish Pyrenees. This underground route was suggested by the geologist Ramond de Carbonnières in 1787, but there was no confirmation until 1931, when caver Norbert Casteret poured fluorescein dye into the flow and noted its emergence a few hours 4 kilometres away at Uelhs deth Joèu in the Artiga de Lin on the other side of the mountain. From Aigualluts to the confluence with the main river at the bed of the upper Garonne valley at 800 metres above sea level, the Joèu has run for 12.4 kilometres, carrying 2.16 cubic metres per second of water, while the main river is carrying 17.7 cubic metres per second.
Despite the lack of universal agreement upon definition for determining a stream's source, the United States Geological Survey, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution agree that a stream's source should be considered as the most distant point in the drainage basin from which water runs. The Ratera-Saboredo cirque is the "most distant point in the drainage basin from which water runs", the source of the Garonne, according to the United States Geological Survey, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution convention upon determining a stream's source; the Garonne follows the Aran Valley northwards into France, flowing via Toulouse and Agen towards Bordeaux, where it meets the Gironde estuary. The Gironde flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Along its course, the Garonne is joined by three other major rivers: the Ariège, the Tarn, the Lot. Just after Bordeaux, the Garonne meets the Dordogne at the Bec d'Ambès, forming the Gironde estuary, which after 100 kilometres empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
Other tributaries include the Gers. The Garonne is one of the few rivers in the world. Surfers and jet skiers could ride the tidal bore at least as far as the village of Cambes, 120 kilometres or 75 miles from the Atlantic, further upstream to Cadillac, although the tidal bore appears and disappears in response to changes in the channel bathymetry. In 2010 and 2012, some detailed field studies were conducted in the Garonne's Arcins channel between Arcins Island and the right bank close to Lastrene township. A striking feature of the field data sets was the large and rapid fluctuations in turbulent velocities and turbulent stresses during the tidal bore and flood flow; the European sea sturgeon known as the Atlantic sturgeon or common sturgeon, is now a Critically Endangered species status. This species of sturgeon that can reach a length of 6 m and weigh 400 kg and can reach an age of 100 year Previously found on most coasts of Europe, it has now become so rare that they ONLY breed in the Garonne river basin in France.
Conservation projects are under way to save this fish from extinction with species reintroduction from aquaculture with the first releases being made in 1995. Aran Valley: Vielha, Bossòst Haute-Garonne: Saint-Gaudens, Toulouse Tarn-et-Garonne: Castelsarrasin Lot-et-Garonne: Agen, Aiguillon Gironde: Langon, Bordeaux Following the flow of the river: The Garonne plays an important role in inland shipping; the river not only allows seagoing vessels to reach the port of Bordeaux but forms part of the Canal des Deux Mers, linking the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. From the ocean, ships pass through the Gironde estuary up to the mouth of the Garonne. Ships continue on the tidal river Garonne up to the Pont de Pierre in Bordeaux. Inland vessels continue upstream to Castets-en-Dor
Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious called the Fair, the Debonaire, was the King of the Franks and co-Emperor with his father, from 813. He was King of Aquitaine from 781; as the only surviving adult son of Charlemagne and Hildegard, he became the sole ruler of the Franks after his father's death in 814, a position which he held until his death, save for the period 833–34, during which he was deposed. During his reign in Aquitaine, Louis was charged with the defence of the empire's southwestern frontier, he conquered Barcelona from the Muslims in 801 and asserted Frankish authority over Pamplona and the Basques south of the Pyrenees in 812. As emperor he included his adult sons, Lothair and Louis, in the government and sought to establish a suitable division of the realm among them; the first decade of his reign was characterised by several tragedies and embarrassments, notably the brutal treatment of his nephew Bernard of Italy, for which Louis atoned in a public act of self-debasement. In the 830s his empire was torn by civil war between his sons, only exacerbated by Louis's attempts to include his son Charles by his second wife in the succession plans.
Though his reign ended on a high note, with order restored to his empire, it was followed by three years of civil war. Louis is compared unfavourably to his father, though the problems he faced were of a distinctly different sort. Louis was born while his father Charlemagne was on campaign in Spain, at the Carolingian villa of Cassinogilum, according to Einhard and the anonymous chronicler called Astronomus, he was the third son of Charlemagne by his wife Hildegard. His grandfather was King Pepin the Younger. Louis was sent there with regents and a court. Charlemagne constituted the sub-kingdom in order to secure the border of his kingdom after the destructive war against the Aquitanians and Basques under Waifer and Hunald II, which culminated in the disastrous Battle of Roncesvalles. Charlemagne wanted his son Louis to grow up in the area. However, in 785, wary of the customs his son may have been taking in Aquitaine, Charlemagne sent for him to Aquitaine and Louis presented himself at the Royal Council of Paderborn dressed up in Basque costumes along with other youths in the same garment, which may have made a good impression in Toulouse, since the Basques of Vasconia were a mainstay of the Aquitanian army.
In 794, Charlemagne settled four former Gallo-Roman villas on Louis, in the thought that he would take in each in turn as winter residence: Doué-la-Fontaine in today's Anjou, Ebreuil in Allier, Angeac-Charente, the disputed Cassinogilum. Charlemagne's intention was to see all his sons brought up as natives of their given territories, wearing the national costume of the region and ruling by the local customs, thus were the children sent to their respective realms at so young an age. Each kingdom had its importance in keeping some frontier, Louis's was the Spanish March. In 797, the greatest city of the Marca, fell to the Franks when Zeid, its governor, rebelled against Córdoba and, handed it to them; the Umayyad authority recaptured it in 799. However, Louis marched the entire army of his kingdom, including Gascons with their duke Sancho I of Gascony, Provençals under Leibulf, Goths under Bera, over the Pyrenees and besieged it for two years, wintering there from 800 to 801, when it capitulated.
The sons were not given independence from central authority and Charlemagne ingrained in them the concepts of empire and unity by sending them on military expeditions far from their home bases. Louis campaigned in the Italian Mezzogiorno against the Beneventans at least once. Louis was one of Charlemagne's three legitimate sons to survive infancy, he had Lothair who died during infancy. According to Frankish custom, Louis had expected to share his inheritance with his brothers, Charles the Younger, King of Neustria, Pepin, King of Italy. In the Divisio Regnorum of 806, Charlemagne had slated Charles the Younger as his successor as emperor and chief king, ruling over the Frankish heartland of Neustria and Austrasia, while giving Pepin the Iron Crown of Lombardy, which Charlemagne possessed by conquest. To Louis's kingdom of Aquitaine, he added Septimania and part of Burgundy. However, Charlemagne's other legitimate sons died – Pepin in 810 and Charles in 811 – and Louis alone remained to be crowned co-emperor with Charlemagne in 813.
On his father's death in 814, he inherited the entire Frankish kingdom and all its possessions. While at his villa of Doué-la-Fontaine, Louis received news of his father's death, he rushed to Aachen and crowned himself emperor to shouts of Vivat Imperator Ludovicus by the attending nobles. Upon arriving at the imperial court in Aachen, one of Louis' first acts was to purge the palace of its "filth", he destroyed the old Germanic pagan tokens and texts, collected by Charlemagne. He further exiled members of the court he deemed morally "dissolute", including some of his own relatives. From the start of his reign, his coinage imitated his father Charlemagne's portrait, which gave it an image of imperial authority and prestige, he sent all of his unmarried sisters to nunneries, to avoid any possible entanglements from overly powerful brothers-in-law. Sparing his illegitimate half-brothers, he forced his father's cousins and Wala to be tonsured, placing them in Noirmoutier and Corbie despite the latter's initial loyalty.
His chief counsellors were
William of Gellone
William of Gellone, the medieval William of Orange, was the second Duke of Toulouse from 790 until 811. In 804, he founded the abbey of Gellone, he was canonized a saint in 1066 by Pope Alexander II. In the tenth or eleventh century, a Latin hagiography, the Vita sancti Willelmi, was composed based on oral traditions. By the twelfth century, William's legend had grown, he is the hero of an entire cycle of chansons de geste, the earliest of, the Chanson de Guillaume of about 1140. In the chansons, he is nicknamed Fièrebrace on account of his strength and the marquis au court nez on account of an injury suffered in battle with a giant. William was born in northern France in the mid-8th century, he was the son of Thierry IV, Count of Autun. As a kinsman and trusted comes, he spent his youth in the court of Charlemagne. In 788, Count of Toulouse, was captured by the Basque Adalric, made to swear an oath of allegiance to the Duke of Gascony, Lupus II. Upon his release Charlemagne replaced him with his Frankish cousin William.
William in turn subdued the Gascons. In 793, Hisham I, the successor of Abd ar-Rahman I, proclaimed a holy war against the Christians to the north, he amassed an army of 100,000 men, half of which attacked the Kingdom of Asturias while the other half invaded Languedoc, penetrating as far as Narbonne. William defeated them, he met the Muslim forces again near the river Orbieu at Villedaigne but was defeated, though his obstinate resistance exhausted the Muslim forces so much that they retreated to Spain. In 801, William commanded along with Louis King of Aquitaine a large expedition of Franks, Provençals, Aquitanians and Goths that captured Barcelona from the Moors. In 804, he founded the abbey in Gellone near Lodève in the diocese of Maguelonne, he granted property to Gellone and placed the monastery under the general control of Benedict of Aniane, whose monastery was nearby. Among his gifts to the abbey he founded was a piece of the True Cross, a present from his cousin Charlemagne. Charlemagne had received the relic from the Patriarch of Jerusalem according to the Vita of William.
In 806, William retired to Gellone as a monk and died there on 28 May 812. When he died, it was said the bells at Orange rang on their own accord. William mentioned both his family and monastery in his will: His will of 28 January 804, names his living wives Gunegunde and Guitburgi, his deceased parents and Aldana van Martel, two brothers and Adalelmo, two sisters and Bertana, four sons, Guitcario and Helmbruc, not his daughter Waldrada, or daughter Rotlinde, one nephew, Bertrano, his wife Guitburgi is said to have been the widow of the Moorish wali of Orange taken by William in his battles against the Umayyad army of Hisham I in and around the county of Narbona about 793-796. His son Barnardo is said to have been by Guitburgi, her name before her baptism was Orable. It is not clear if she married William or was held in concubinage, although he calls her his wife in his will. Gellone remained under the control of the abbots of Aniane, it became a subject of contention. So many pilgrims were attracted to Gellone that his corpse was exhumed from the modest site in the narthex and given a more prominent place under the choir, to the intense dissatisfaction of the Abbey of Aniane.
A number of forged documents and assertions were produced on each side that leave details of actual history doubtful. The Abbey was a major stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, its late 12th century Romanesque cloister, systematically dismantled during the French revolution, found its way to The Cloisters in New York. The Sacramentary of Gellone, dating to the late 8th century, is a famous manuscript. William's faithful service to Charlemagne is portrayed as an example of feudal loyalty. William's career battling Saracens is sung in epic poems in the 12th and 13th century cycle called La Geste de Garin de Monglane, some two dozen chansons de geste that center around William, the great-grandson of the legendary Garin. One section of the cycle, however, is devoted to the feats of his father, there named Aymeri de Narbonne, who has received Narbonne as his seigniory after his return from Spain with Charlemagne. Details of the "Aymeri" of the poem are conflated with a historic figure, the viscount of Narbonne from 1108 to 1134.
In the chanson he is awarded Ermengart, daughter of Didier, sister of Boniface, king of the Lombards. Among his seven sons and five daughters is William; the defeat of the Moors at Orange was given legendary treatment in the 12th century epic La Prise d'Orange. There, he was made Count of Toulouse in the stead of the disgraced Chorso King of Aquitaine in 778, he is difficult to separate from the legends and poems that gave him feats of arms and titles: Guillaume Fièrebras, Guillaum au Court-Nez, Guillaum de Narbonne, Guillaume d'Orange. His wife is said to have been a converted Saracen, Orable christened Guibourc. "L'Abbaye de Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert" Metropolitan Museum:The Saint-Guilhem Cloister This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Guillaume d'Orange". Encyclopædia Britannica. 12. Cambridge University Press. P. 692. "The saint who married a Muslim princess", Catholic Herald, January 4, 2008 "Die altfranzösi
Peerage of France
The Peerage of France was a hereditary distinction within the French nobility which appeared in 1180 in the Middle Ages, only a small number of noble individuals were peers. It was abolished in 1789 during the French Revolution, but it reappeared in 1814 at the time of the Bourbon Restoration which followed the fall of the First French Empire, when the Chamber of Peers was given a constitutional function somewhat along British lines, which lasted until the Revolution of 1848. On 10 October 1831, by a vote of 324 against 26 of the Chamber of Deputies, hereditary peerages were abolished, but peerages for the life of the holder continued to exist until the chamber and rank were definitively abolished in 1848; the prestigious title and position of Peer of France was held by the greatest, highest-ranking members of the French nobility. French peerage thus differed from British peerage, for the vast majority of French nobles, from baron to duke, were not peers; the title of'Peer of France' was an extraordinary honour granted only to a small number of dukes and princes of the Roman Catholic Church.
It was analogous to the rank of Grandee of Spain in this respect. The French word pairie is equivalent to the English "peerage"; the individual title, pair in French and "peer" in English, derives from the Latin par, "equal". It signifies those noblemen and prelates considered to be equal to the monarch in honour, it considers the monarch thus to be primus inter pares, or "first among equals"; the main uses of the word refer to two historical traditions in the French kingdom and after the First French Empire of Napoleon I. The word exists to describe an institution in the Crusader states; some etymologists posit that the French word baron, taken from the Latin baro derives from the Latin par. Such a derivation would fit the early sense of "baron", as used for the whole peerage and not as a noble rank below the comital rank. Medieval French kings conferred the dignity of a peerage on some of their pre-eminent vassals, both clerical and lay; some historians consider Louis VII to have created the French system of peers.
A peerage was attached to a specific territorial jurisdiction, either an episcopal see for episcopal peerages or a fief for secular ones. Peerages attached to fiefs were transmissible or inheritable with the fief, these fiefs are designated as pairie-duché or pairie-comté; the traditional number of peers is twelve. They are: Archbishop-Duke of Reims, premier peer Bishop-Duke of Laon Bishop-Duke of Langres Bishop-Count of Beauvais Bishop-Count of Châlons Bishop-Count of Noyon Duke of Normandy Duke of Aquitaine called Duke of Guyenne Duke of Burgundy Count of Flanders Count of Champagne Count of ToulouseAccording to Matthew Paris, the Duke of Normandy and Duke of Aquitaine ranked above the Duke of Burgundy, but since the first two were absorbed into the crown early in the recorded history of the peerage, the Duke of Burgundy has become the premier lay peer. In their heyday, the Duke of Normandy was undoubtedly the mightiest vassal of the French crown; the constitution of the peerage first became important in 1202, for the court that would try King John of England in his capacity as vassal of the French crown.
Based on the principle of trial by peers, a court wishing to acquire jurisdiction over John had to include persons deemed to be of equal rank to him in his capacity as either Duke of Aquitaine or Normandy. None of the peers had been specified, but since John's trial required the presence of the peers of France, it can be said that the first two peerages identifiable in the documents would be the duchies of Aquitaine and Normandy. In 1216, Erard of Brienne claimed the County of Champagne through the right of his wife, Philippa of Champagne. Again this required the peers of France, so the County of Champagne is a peerage. Six of the other peers were identified in the charter — the archbishop of Reims, the bishops of Langres, Chalons and Noyon, the Duke of Burgundy; the tenth peerage that could be identified in the documents is the County of Flanders, in 1224. In that year John de Nesle entered a complaint against Joan of Flanders; the absence of the two remaining peers in the documents of this era can be explained thus: the bishop of Laon had only been elected at the time the other ecclesiastical peers were mentioned, in 1216, not yet consecrated.
Thus, though there had been differences in the dates of the identification of the twelve peers, they were instituted and their identities were known to their contemporaries. These twelve peerages are known as the'ancient peerage' or pairie ancienne, the number twelve is sometimes said to have been chosen to mirror the twelve paladins of Charlemagne in the Chanson de geste. Parallels may be seen with the mythical Knights of the Round Table under King Arthur. So popular was this notion that, for a long time, people thought that peerages had originated in the reign of Charlemagne, considered a model king and a shining example for knighthood and nobility; the dozen pairs played a role in the royal sacre or consecration, during the liturgy of the coronation of the king, attested to as early as 1179, symbolically upholding his crown, each original peer had a specific role with an attribute. Since the peers were never twelve during the coronation in early periods, due to the fact that most lay peerages were fo
Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River to the west to the Italian border to the east, is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It corresponds with the modern administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, includes the départements of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and parts of Alpes-Maritimes and Vaucluse; the largest city of the region is Marseille. The Romans made the region the first Roman province beyond the Alps and called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name; until 1481 it was ruled by the Counts of Provence from their capital in Aix-en-Provence became a province of the Kings of France. While it has been part of France for more than five hundred years, it still retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity in the interior of the region; the coast of Provence has some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Europe. Primitive stone tools dating back 1 to 1.05 million years BC have been found in the Grotte du Vallonnet near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Monaco and Menton.
More sophisticated tools, worked on both sides of the stone and dating to 600,000 BC, were found in the Cave of Escale at Saint Estėve-Janson, tools from 400,000 BC and some of the first fireplaces in Europe were found at Terra Amata in Nice. Tools dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic were discovered in the Observatory Cave, in the Jardin Exotique of Monaco; the Paleolithic period in Provence saw great changes in the climate. Two ice ages came and went, the sea level changed dramatically. At the beginning of the Paleolithic, the sea level in western Provence was 150 meters higher than today. By the end of the Paleolithic, it had dropped to 100 to 150 metres below the sea level today; the cave dwellings of the early inhabitants of Provence were flooded by the rising sea or left far from the sea and swept away by erosion. The changes in the sea level led to one of the most remarkable discoveries of signs of early man in Provence. In 1985, a diver named Henri Cosquer discovered the mouth of a submarine cave 37 metres below the surface of the Calanque de Morgiou near Marseille.
The entrance led to a cave above sea level. Inside, the walls of the Cosquer Cave are decorated with drawings of bison, auks and outlines of human hands, dating to between 27,000 and 19,000 BC; the end of the Paleolithic and beginning of the Neolithic period saw the sea settle at its present level, a warming of the climate and the retreat of the forests. The disappearance of the forests and the deer and other hunted game meant that the inhabitants of Provence had to survive on rabbits and wild sheep. In about 6000 BC, the Castelnovian people, living around Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, were among the first people in Europe to domesticate wild sheep, to cease moving from place to place. Once they settled in one place they were able to develop new industries. Inspired by pottery from the eastern Mediterranean, in about 6000 BC they created the first pottery made in France. Around 6000 BC, a wave of new settlers from the east, the Chasséens, arrived in Provence, they were farmers and warriors, displaced the earlier pastoral people from their lands.
They were followed about 2500 BC by another wave of people farmers, known as the Courronniens, who arrived by sea and settled along the coast of what is now the Bouches-du-Rhône. Traces of these early civilisations can be found in many parts of Provence. A Neolithic site dating to about 6,000 BC was discovered in Marseille near the Saint-Charles railway station, and a dolmen from the Bronze Age can be found near Draguignan. Between the 10th and 4th century BC, the Ligures were found in Provence from Massilia as far as modern Liguria, they were of uncertain origin. Strabo distinctly states they were not of a different race from the Gauls, they did not have their own alphabet, but their language remains in place names in Provence ending in the suffixes -asc, -osc. -inc, -ates, -auni. The ancient geographer Posidonios wrote of them: "Their country is dry; the soil is so rocky. The men compensate for the lack of wheat by hunting... They climb the mountains like goats." They were warlike. Traces of the Ligures remain today in the dolmens and other megaliths found in eastern Provence, in the primitive stone shelters called'Bories' found in the Luberon and Comtat, in the rock carvings in the Valley of Marvels near Mont Bégo in the Alpes-Maritimes, at an altitude of 2,000 meters.
Between the 8th and 5th centuries BC, tribes of Celtic peoples coming from Central Europe began moving into Provence. They had weapons made of iron, which allowed them to defeat the local tribes, who were still armed with bronze weapons. One tribe, called the Segobriga, settled near modern-day Marseille; the Caturiges and Cavares settled to the west of the Durance river. Celts and Ligurians spread throughout the area and the Celto-Ligures shared the territory of Provence, each tribe in its own alpine valley or settlement along a river, each with its own king and dynasty, they built hilltop forts and settlements given the Latin name oppida. Today the traces 165 oppida are found in the Var, as many as 285 in the Alp