Périgord


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Related to Périgord: Dordogne

Périgord

(pārēgôr`), region of SW France, now included in Dordogne and parts of Lot-et-Garonne depts. PérigueuxPérigueux
, city (1990 pop. 32,848), capital of Dordogne dept., SW France, on the Isle River. A commercial center and transportation hub, it is famous for the pâtés that are its chief exports.
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 (the capital) and BergeracBergerac
, town (1990 pop. 27,886), Dordogne dept., SW France, in Périgord, on the Dordogne River. It is a farm-trade and processing center. It also has boiler works, foundries, chemical plants, and shoe factories. Possessed by the English in the 14th cent.
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 are the chief cities. The region consists of low, arid limestone plateaus, the deep and fertile valleys of the Lot and Dordogne rivers, and extensive oak forests. Périgord is noted for its trufflestruffle
[Fr.], subterranean edible fungus that forms a mutually beneficial (symbiotic) relationship with the roots of certain trees and plants. The part of the fungus used as food is the ascoma, the fruiting body of the fungus.
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 and goose livers, which are its major exports. Its farms produce wheat, corn, and tobacco, and raise livestock. The traditional metallurgical industry is concentrated at Fumel. Near Madeleine and Moustier are numerous cave dwellings from the Paleolithic periodPaleolithic period
or Old Stone Age,
the earliest period of human development and the longest phase of mankind's history. It is approximately coextensive with the Pleistocene geologic epoch, beginning about 2 million years ago and ending in various places between
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. Occupied during Gallic and Roman eras by the Petrocorii, Périgord became a county under the MerovingiansMerovingians,
dynasty of Frankish kings, descended, according to tradition, from Merovech, chief of the Salian Franks, whose son was Childeric I and whose grandson was Clovis I, the founder of the Frankish monarchy.
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 (9th cent). First enfeoffed to the dukes of AquitaineAquitaine
, Lat. Aquitania, former duchy and kingdom in SW France. Julius Caesar conquered the Aquitani, an Iberian people of SW Gaul, in 56 B.C. The province that he created occupied the territory between the Garonne River and the Pyrenees; under Roman rule it was
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, it later passed to England, was returned to France c.1370 as a fief of the French crown, and passed eventually, through a complicated succession, to the house of Bourbon (1574). It was inherited by Henry of Navarre and, after he became king of France as Henry IV (1589), was incorporated (1607) into the royal domain as part of the province of Guienne.