Antipope Gregory VIII
Gregory VIII, born Mauritius Burdinus, was antipope from 10 March 1118 until 22 April 1121. He was born in part of Occitania, France, he was educated at Cluny, at Limoges, in Castile, where he was a deacon at Toledo. In 1098/1099 his Cluniac connections recommended him as Bishop of Coimbra. After a four-year pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he was made Archbishop of Braga in 1111. There he was one of the principal agents of the Burgundian Henry, Count of Portugal, in his reorganization of the Portuguese church. Portugal was a fief of León, the ambitious Count Henry pursued a vigorous program of ecclesiastical and political autonomy. By 1114, Mauritius had become embroiled in a dispute with the Spanish primate and papal legate in Castile, Bernard of Toledo, to the extent that he was called to Rome and suspended by Pope Paschal II, he found favor at the papal court, in 1116, when Emperor Henry V invaded Italy during the ongoing confrontations over the Emperor's rights of investiture of clerics, Paschal II sent Mauritius with some cardinals on an embassy to the emperor, while the Pope and the Curia fled south to Benevento.
Mauritius espoused the cause of Henry, defected to the Emperor's side. Henry V went to Rome, on Easter Sunday, March 23, 1117, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Mauritius. Paschal II removed Mauritius from office; when Paschal II died on 24 January 1118, he was succeeded by Pope Gelasius II. Henry V went to Rome but Gelasius II escaped to Gaeta and refused to meet the Emperor to discuss German affairs. In reprisal the imperial party among the cardinals annulled Gelasius II's election, on March 1, 1118 Mauritius was proclaimed Pope, taking the name Gregory VIII. Gelasius II, at Capua, proceeded to excommunicate both Gregory VIII and Henry V on April 7, 1118. After Gelasius II's death, when Calixtus II had been elected Pope in 1119, Henry V was induced to change papal allegiance, in the Concordat of Worms of 1122. Calixtus II entered Rome, Gregory VIII left, going to Sutri, where he was in April 1121, when papal troops of Calixtus II closed up the city for eight days until its citizens surrendered antipope Gregory VIII.
He was imprisoned in the Septizonium. After having been moved in confinement from monastery to monastery, he died at La Cava, some time after August 1137. No information has been found about the cardinals created by Gregory VIII, but it is known that in March 1118 three cardinals created by Antipope Clement III joined his obedience and formed his own Sacred College: Romanus — cardinal-priest of S. Marco and provost of the titular church of S. Marcello Cinthius — cardinal-priest of S. Crisogono Teuzo — cardinal-priest, former legate of Clement III in Hungary Papal selection before 1059 Papal conclave Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church: Election of March 8, 1118 The Catholic Encyclopedia
Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry V was King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor, the fourth and last ruler of the Salian dynasty. Henry's reign coincided with the final phase of the great Investiture Controversy, which had pitted pope against emperor. By the settlement of the Concordat of Worms, he surrendered to the demands of the second generation of Gregorian reformers. Henry's parents were Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, Bertha of Savoy. On 6 January 1099, his father had him crowned King of Germany at Aachen in place of his older brother, the rebel Conrad. Henry took an oath to take no part in the business of the Empire during his father's lifetime, but he was induced by his father's enemies to revolt in 1104, securing a dispensation from the oath by Pope Paschal II, some of the princes did homage to him at Mainz in January 1105. Despite the initial setbacks of the rebels, Henry IV died soon after. Order was soon restored in Germany, the citizens of Cologne were punished with a fine, an expedition against Robert II, Count of Flanders, brought this rebel to his knees.
In 1107, Henry undertook a campaign to restore Borivoi II in Bohemia, only successful. Henry summoned Svatopluk the Lion. Borivoi was made godfather to Svatopluk's new son. On Svatopluk's return to Bohemia, he assumed the throne. In 1108, Henry went to war with Coloman of Hungary on behalf of Prince Álmos. An attack by Boleslaus III of Poland and Borivoi on Svatopluk forced Henry to give up his campaign. Instead, he invaded Poland to compel them to renew their accustomed tribute but was defeated at the Battle of Hundsfeld, although the existence of this battle is doubted by historians because it was first recorded about a century later. In 1110, he succeeded in securing the dukedom of Bohemia for Ladislaus I. Henry's primary concern during his reign was settling the Investiture Controversy, which had caused a serious dispute during the previous reign; the papal party who had supported Henry in his resistance to his father hoped he would assent to the papal decrees, renewed by Paschal II at the synod of Guastalla in 1106.
The king, continued to invest the bishops, but wished the pope to hold a council in Germany to settle the question. After some hesitation, Paschal preferred France to Germany, after holding a council at Troyes, renewed his prohibition of lay investiture; the matter slumbered until 1110, negotiations between king and pope having failed, Paschal renewed his decrees and Henry invaded Italy with a large army. The strength of his forces helped him to secure general recognition in Lombardy, where archbishop Grossolano intended to crown him with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. At Sutri he concluded an arrangement with Paschal by which he renounced the rite of investiture in return for a promise of coronation and the restoration to the Empire of all Christendom, in the hands of the German state and church since the time of Charlemagne, it was a treaty impossible to execute, Henry, whose consent to it is said to have been conditional on its acceptance by the princes and bishops of Germany foresaw that it would occasion a breach between the German clergy and the pope.
Having entered Rome and sworn the usual oaths, the king presented himself at St. Peter's Basilica on 12 February 1111 for his coronation and the ratification of the treaty; the words commanding the clergy to restore the fiefs of the crown to Henry were read amid a tumult of indignation, whereupon the pope refused to crown the king, who in return declined to hand over his renunciation of the right of investiture. Paschal and sixteen cardinals were seized by Henry's soldiers. In the general disorder that followed, an attempt to liberate the pontiff was thwarted in a struggle during which the king was wounded. A Norman army sent by Prince Robert I of Capua to rescue the papists was turned back by the imperialist count of Tusculum, Ptolemy I of Tusculum. Henry left Rome carrying the pope with him. Paschal's failure to obtain assistance drew from him a confirmation of the king's right of investiture and a promise to crown him emperor; the coronation ceremony accordingly took place on 13 April, after which the emperor returned to Germany, where he sought to strengthen his power by granting privileges to the inhabitants of the region of the upper Rhine.
In 1112, Lothair of Supplinburg, Duke of Saxony, rose in arms against Henry but was quelled. In 1113, however, a quarrel over the succession to the counties of Weimar and Orlamünde gave occasion for a fresh outbreak on the part of Lothair, whose troops were defeated at the Battle of Warnstadt, though the duke was pardoned. On 7 January 1114 at Mainz, Henry married the daughter of Henry I of England; the emperor was confronted with a further uprising in 1114, initiated by the citizens of Cologne, who were soon joined by the Saxons and others. Henry took the fortified town of Deutz, which lay across the Rhine from Cologne, his control of Deutz allowed him to cut Cologne off from transportation. At this point, the citizens of Cologne assembled a large force, including bowmen, crossed the river, formed their ranks, prepared to meet Henry's army; the Cologne bowmen were able to break the armor of Henry's soldiers. Henry subsequently withdrew, turned south, sacked Bonn and Jülich. On his return to Deutz, he was met by Archbishop Frederick, Duke Gottfried of Lorraine, Henry of Zutphen, Count Theodoric of Aar, Count Gerhard of Julich, Lambert of Mulenarke, Eberhard
Pope Paschal II
Pope Paschal II, born Ranierius, was Pope from 13 August 1099 to his death in 1118. A monk of the Cluniac order, he created the Cardinal-Priest of San Clemente by Pope Gregory VII in 1073, he was consecrated as pope in succession to Pope Urban II on 19 August 1099. His reign of twenty years was exceptionally long for a pope of the Middle Ages, he was born near Forlì, Romagna. During the long struggle of the papacy with the Holy Roman Emperors over investiture, he zealously carried on the Hildebrandine policy in favor of papal privilege, but with only partial success; the future Emperor Henry V took advantage of his father's excommunication to rebel to the point of seeking out Paschal II for absolution for associating with his father, Henry IV. But, Henry V was more persistent in maintaining the right of investiture than Emperor Henry IV had been before his death in 1106; the imperial Diet at Mainz invited Paschal II to visit Germany and settle the trouble in January 1106, but the Pope in the Council of Guastalla renewed the prohibition of investiture.
In the same year he brought to an end the investiture struggle in England, in which Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, had been engaged with Henry I of England, by retaining to himself exclusive right to invest with the ring and crozier, but recognizing the royal nomination to vacate benefices and the oath of fealty for temporal domains. Paschal went to France at the close of 1106 to seek the mediation of Philip I of France and Prince Louis in the imperial struggle, but he returned to Italy in September 1107, his negotiations remaining without result; when Henry V advanced with an army into Italy in order to be crowned, the Pope agreed to a compact in February 1111 which stipulated that before receiving the imperial crown, Henry was to abjure all claims to investitures, whilst the pope undertook to compel the prelates and abbots of the empire to restore all the temporal rights and privileges which they held from the crown. Preparations were made for the coronation on 12 February 1111, but the Romans rose in revolt against Henry, the German king retired, taking the Pope and Curia with him.
After 61 days of harsh imprisonment, during which Prince Robert I of Capua's Norman army was repulsed on its rescue mission, Paschal II yielded and guaranteed investiture to the Emperor. Henry V was crowned in St. Peter's on 13 April 1111, after exacting a promise that no revenge would be taken for what had happened, withdrew beyond the Alps; the Hildebrandine party was aroused to action, however. Towards the end of his pontificate trouble began anew in England. Matilda of Tuscany was said to have bequeathed all her allodial lands to the Church upon her death in 1115, but the donation was neither publicly acknowledged in Rome nor is any documentary record of the donation preserved. Emperor Henry V at once laid claim to Matilda's lands as imperial fiefs and forced the Pope to flee from Rome. Paschal II returned after the Emperor's withdrawal at the beginning of 1118, but died within a few days, on 21 January 1118. Pope Paschal II ordered the building of the basilica of Santi Quattro Coronati on the ashes of the one burned during the Norman sack of Rome in 1084.
During Paschal's trip to France in 1106–1107, he consecrated the Cluniac church of Notre Dame at La Charité-sur-Loire, the second largest church in Europe at the time. In 1116, Paschal II, at the behest of Count Ramon Berenguer III, issued a crusade for the capture of Tarragona. During Paschal's papacy some efforts were made by the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I to bridge the schism between the Orthodox and the Catholic Church, but these failed, as he pressed the demand that the Patriarch of Constantinople recognise the Pope's primacy over "all the churches of God throughout the world" in late 1112; this was something the patriarch could not do in face of opposition from the majority of clergy, the monastic world, the laity. The first bishop of America was appointed during Paschal II's reign, nearly four centuries before Columbus' first voyage across the Atlantic. Erik Gnupsson was given the province of Greenland and Vinland, the latter believed to refer to what is now Newfoundland. Pope Paschal II issued the bull "Pie Postulatio Voluntatis" on 15 February 1113.
It brought under Papal protection and confirmed as a religious order the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem known as the Knights Hospitaller and today known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. It confirmed the order's acquisitions and donations in Europe and Asia and exempted it from all authority save that of the Pope. First Council of the Lateran Concordat of Worms Cardinals created by Paschal II This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Paschal". Encyclopædia Britannica. 20. Cambridge University Press. Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Pope Paschal II". Catholic Encyclopedia. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company
Vienne is a department in the French region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It takes its name from the river Vienne. Established on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution, Vienne is one of the original 83 departments, it was created from parts of the former provinces of Poitou and Berry, the latter being a part of the Duchy of Aquitaine until the 15th century. The original Acadians, who settled in and around what is now Nova Scotia, left Vienne for North America after 1604. Kennedy argues that the emigrants carried to Canada social structure, they were frontier peoples. They emphasized trading for a profit, they were politically active. Édith Cresson, France's first woman Prime Minister from 1991-1992, was a deputy for the department. It has three arrondissements: Poitiers, the prefecture, the subprefectures Châtellerault and Montmorillon; the capital Poitiers is the see of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Poitiers, which pastorally serves the department. The most famous tourist sites include the Futuroscope theme park, the Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, a UNESCO world heritage site, the animal parks of Monkey's Valley in Romagne & the Crocodile Planet in Civaux.
Goat cheese making is an important industry of Vienne. Vienne has a partnership relationship with: Communes of the Vienne department Cantons of the Vienne department Arrondissements of the Vienne department Anjou wine French Vienne Tourism Agency General Council website
Pisa is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, straddling the Arno just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower, the city of over 91,104 residents contains more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces, various bridges across the Arno. Much of the city's architecture was financed from its history as one of the Italian maritime republics; the city is home of the University of Pisa, which has a history going back to the 12th century and has the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, founded by Napoleon in 1810, its offshoot, the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, as the best-sanctioned Superior Graduate Schools in Italy. The origin of the name, Pisa, is a mystery. While the origin of the city had remained unknown for centuries, the Pelasgi, the Greeks, the Etruscans, the Ligurians had variously been proposed as founders of the city. Archaeological remains from the fifth century BC confirmed the existence of a city at the sea, trading with Greeks and Gauls.
The presence of an Etruscan necropolis, discovered during excavations in the Arena Garibaldi in 1991, confirmed its Etruscan origins. Ancient Roman authors referred to Pisa as an old city. Strabo referred Pisa's origins to king of Pylos, after the fall of Troy. Virgil, in his Aeneid, states that Pisa was a great center by the times described; the Virgilian commentator Servius wrote that the Teuti, or Pelops, the king of the Pisaeans, founded the town 13 centuries before the start of the common era. The maritime role of Pisa should have been prominent if the ancient authorities ascribed to it the invention of the naval ram. Pisa took advantage of being the only port along the western coast between Ostia. Pisa served as a base for Roman naval expeditions against Ligurians and Carthaginians. In 180 BC, it became a Roman colony as Portus Pisanus. In 89 BC, Portus Pisanus became a municipium. Emperor Augustus fortified the colony into an important port and changed the name as Colonia Iulia obsequens.
Pisa was founded on the shore, but due to the alluvial sediments from the Arno and the Serchio, whose mouth lies about 11 km north of the Arno's, the shore moved west. Strabo states, it is located 9.7 km from the coast. However, it was a maritime city, with ships sailing up the Arno. In the 90s AD, a baths complex was built in the city. During the last years of the Western Roman Empire, Pisa did not decline as much as the other cities of Italy due to the complexity of its river system and its consequent ease of defence. In the seventh century, Pisa helped Pope Gregory I by supplying numerous ships in his military expedition against the Byzantines of Ravenna: Pisa was the sole Byzantine centre of Tuscia to fall peacefully in Lombard hands, through assimilation with the neighbouring region where their trading interests were prevalent. Pisa began in this way its rise to the role of main port of the Upper Tyrrhenian Sea and became the main trading centre between Tuscany and Corsica and the southern coasts of France and Spain.
After Charlemagne had defeated the Lombards under the command of Desiderius in 774, Pisa went through a crisis, but soon recovered. Politically, it became part of the duchy of Lucca. In 860, Pisa was captured by vikings led by Björn Ironside. In 930, Pisa became the county centre within the mark of Tuscia. Lucca was the capital but Pisa was the most important city, as in the middle of 10th century Liutprand of Cremona, bishop of Cremona, called Pisa Tusciae provinciae caput, a century the marquis of Tuscia was referred to as "marquis of Pisa". In 1003, Pisa was the protagonist of the first communal war in Italy, against Lucca. From the naval point of view, since the 9th century, the emergence of the Saracen pirates urged the city to expand its fleet. In 828, Pisan ships assaulted the coast of North Africa. In 871, they took part in the defence of Salerno from the Saracens. In 970, they gave strong support to Otto I's expedition, defeating a Byzantine fleet in front of Calabrese coasts; the power of Pisa as a maritime nation began to grow and reached its apex in the 11th century, when it acquired traditional fame as one of the four main historical maritime republics of Italy.
At that time, the city was a important commercial centre and controlled a significant Mediterranean merchant fleet and navy. It expanded its powers in 1005 through the sack of Reggio Calabria in the south of Italy. Pisa was in continuous conflict with the Saracens, who had their bases in Corsica, for control of the Mediterranean. In 1017, Sardinian Giudicati were militarily supported by Pisa, in alliance with Genoa, to defeat the Saracen King Mugahid, who had settled a logistic base in the north of Sardinia the year before; this victory gave Pisa supremacy in the Tyrrhenian Sea. When the Pisans subsequently ousted the Genoese from Sardinia, a new conflict and rivalry was born between these mighty marine republics. Between 1030 and 1035, Pisa went on to defeat several rival towns in Sicily and conquer Carthage in North Africa. In 1051–1052, the admiral Jacopo Ciurini conquered Corsica, p
Marseille is the second-largest city of France. The main city of the historical province of Provence, it nowadays is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, it is located on French Riviera coast near the mouth of the Rhône. The city covers an area of 241 km2 and had a population of 852,516 in 2012, its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,173 km2 is the third-largest in France after Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,831,500 as of 2010. Known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Massalia, Marseille was an important European trading centre and remains the main commercial port of the French Republic. Marseille is now France's largest city on the Mediterranean coast and the largest port for commerce and cruise ships; the city was European Capital of Culture in 2013 and European Capital of Sport in 2017. It is home to Aix-Marseille University. Marseille is the second-largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris and Lyon.
To the east, starting in the small fishing village of Callelongue on the outskirts of Marseille and stretching as far as Cassis, are the Calanques, a rugged coastal area interspersed with small fjord-like inlets. Farther east still are the city of Toulon and the French Riviera. To the north of Marseille, beyond the low Garlaban and Etoile mountain ranges, is the 1,011 m Mont Sainte Victoire. To the west of Marseille is the former artists' colony of l'Estaque; the airport lies to the north west of the city at Marignane on the Étang de Berre. The city's main thoroughfare stretches eastward from the Old Port to the Réformés quarter. Two large forts flank the entrance to the Old Port—Fort Saint-Nicolas on the south side and Fort Saint-Jean on the north. Farther out in the Bay of Marseille is the Frioul archipelago which comprises four islands, one of which, If, is the location of Château d'If, made famous by the Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo; the main commercial centre of the city intersects with the Canebière at Rue St Ferréol and the Centre Bourse.
The centre of Marseille has several pedestrianised zones, most notably Rue St Ferréol, Cours Julien near the Music Conservatory, the Cours Honoré-d'Estienne-d'Orves off the Old Port and the area around the Hôtel de Ville. To the south east of central Marseille in the 6th arrondissement are the Prefecture and the monumental fountain of Place Castellane, an important bus and metro interchange. To the south west are the hills of the 7th and 8th arrondissements, dominated by the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde. Marseille's main railway station—Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles—is north of the Centre Bourse in the 1st arrondissement; the city has a hot-summer mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and warm to hot dry summers. December and February are the coldest months, averaging temperatures of around 12 °C during the day and 4 °C at night. July and August are the hottest months, averaging temperatures of around 28–30 °C during the day and 19 °C at night in the Marignane airport but in the city near the sea the average high temperature is 27 °C in July.
Marseille is the sunniest major city in France with over 2,900 hours of sunshine while the average sunshine in country. It is the driest major city with only 512 mm of precipitation annually thanks to the Mistral, a cold, dry wind originating in the Rhône Valley that occurs in winter and spring and which brings clear skies and sunny weather to the region. Less frequent is the Sirocco, a hot, sand-bearing wind, coming from the Sahara Desert. Snowfalls are infrequent; the hottest temperature was 40.6 °C on 26 July 1983 during a great heat wave, the lowest temperature was −14.3 °C on 13 February 1929 during a strong cold wave. Marseille was founded circa 600 BC as the Greek colony of Massalia and populated by settlers from Phocaea, it became the preeminent Greek polis in the Hellenized region of southern Gaul. The city-state sided with the Roman Republic against Carthage during the Second Punic War, retaining its independence and commercial empire throughout the western Mediterranean as Rome expanded into Western Europe and North Africa.
However, the city lost its independence following the Roman Siege of Massilia in 49 BC, during Caesar's Civil War, in which Massalia sided with the exiled faction at war with Julius Caesar. Marseille continued to prosper as a Roman city, becoming an early center of Christianity during the Western Roman Empire; the city maintained its position as a premier maritime trading hub after its capture by the Visigoths in the 5th century AD, although the city went into decline following the sack of 739 AD by the forces of Charles Martel. It became part of the County of Provence during the 10th century, although its renewed prosperity was curtailed by the Black Death of the 14th century and sack of the city by the Crown of Aragon in 1423; the city's fortunes rebounded with the ambitious building projects of René of Anjou, Count of Proven
Avignon is a commune in south-eastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 90,194 inhabitants of the city, about 12,000 live in the ancient town centre enclosed by its medieval ramparts. Between 1309 and 1377, during the Avignon Papacy, seven successive popes resided in Avignon and in 1348 Pope Clement VI bought the town from Joanna I of Naples. Papal control persisted until 1791; the town is now the capital of the Vaucluse department and one of the few French cities to have preserved its ramparts. The historic centre, which includes the Palais des Papes, the cathedral, the Pont d'Avignon, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995; the medieval monuments and the annual Festival d'Avignon have helped to make the town a major centre for tourism. The earliest forms of the name were reported by the Greeks: Аὐενιὼν = Auenion Άουεννίων = Aouennion; the Roman name Avennĭo Cavarum, i.e. "Avignon of Cavares" shows that Avignon was one of the three cities of the Celtic-Ligurian tribe of Cavares, along with Cavaillon and Orange.
The current name dates to a pre-Indo-European or pre-Latin theme ab-ên with the suffix -i-ōn This theme would be a hydronym – i.e. a name linked to the river, but also an oronym of terrain. The Auenion of the 1st century BC was Latinized to Avennĭo, -ōnis in the 1st century and was written Avinhon in classic Occitan spelling or Avignoun in Mistralian spelling The inhabitants of the commune are called avinhonencs or avignounen in both Occitan and Provençal dialect. Avignon is on the left bank of the Rhône river, a few kilometres above its confluence with the Durance, about 580 km south-east of Paris, 229 km south of Lyon and 85 km north-north-west of Marseille. On the west it shares a border with the department of Gard and the communes of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and Les Angles and to the south it borders the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and the communes of Barbentane, Rognonas, Châteaurenard, Noves; the city is in the vicinity of Orange, Nîmes, Arles, Salon-de-Provence, Marseille. Directly contiguous to the east and north are the communes of Caumont-sur-Durance, Morières-lès-Avignon, Le Pontet, Sorgues.
The region around Avignon is rich in limestone, used for building material. For example, the current ramparts, measuring 4,330 metres long, were built with the soft limestone abundant in the region called mollasse burdigalienne. Enclosed by the ramparts, the Rocher des Doms is a limestone elevation of urgonian type, 35 metres high and is the original core of the city. Several limestone massifs are present around the commune and they are the result of the oceanisation of the Ligurian-Provençal basin following the migration of the Sardo-Corsican block; the other significant elevation in the commune is the Montfavet Hill – a wooded hill in the east of the commune. The Rhone Valley is an old alluvial zone: loose deposits cover much of the ground, it consists of sandy alluvium more or less coloured with pebbles consisting of siliceous rocks. The islands in the Rhone, such as the Île de la Barthelasse, were created by the accumulation of alluvial deposits and by the work of man; the relief is quite low despite the creation of mounds allowing local protection from flooding.
In the land around the city there are clay, silt and limestone present. The Rhone passes the western edge of the city but is divided into two branches: the Petit Rhône, or "dead arm", for the part that passes next to Avignon and the Grand Rhône, or "live arm", for the western channel which passes Villeneuve-lès-Avignon in the Gard department; the two branches are separated by the Île de la Barthelasse. The southernmost tip of the Île de la Barthelasse once formed of a separated island, the L'Île de Piot; the banks of the Rhone and the Île de la Barthelasse are subject to flooding during autumn and March. The publication Floods in France since the 6th century until today – research and documentation by Maurice Champion tells about a number of them, they have never stopped as shown by the floods in 1943–1944 and again on 23 January 1955 and remain important today – such as the floods of 2 December 2003. As a result, a new risk mapping has been developed; the Durance flows along the southern boundary of the commune into the Rhone and marks the departmental boundary with Bouches-du-Rhône.
It is a river, considered "capricious" and once feared for its floods (it was once called the "3rd scourge of Provence" as well as for its low water: the Durance has both Alpine and Mediterranean morphology, unusual. There are many natural and artificial water lakes in the commune such as the Lake of Saint-Chamand east of the city. There have been many diversions throughout the course of history, such as feeding the moat surrounding Avignon or irrigating crops. In the 10th century part of the waters from the Sorgue d'Entraigues were diverted and today pass under the ramparts to enter the city.. This watercourse is called the Vaucluse Canal but Avignon people still call it the Sorgue or Sorguette, it is visible in the city in the famous Rue des teinturiers. It fed the moat around the first ramparts fed the moat on the newer east