Burgundians


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Burgundians,

medieval French political faction: see Armagnacs and BurgundiansArmagnacs and Burgundians,
opposing factions that fought to control France in the early 15th cent. The rivalry for power between Louis d'Orléans, brother of the recurrently insane King Charles VI, and his cousin John the Fearless, duke of Burgundy, led to Louis's murder
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Burgundians

 

an east Germanic tribe. The Burgundians, who are assumed to have lived originally on Bornholm Island, moved to the Continent in the first centuries A.D. In 406 they founded a kingdom on the Rhine with Worms as its center. (The kingdom was destroyed by the Huns in 436.) In 443 the Burgundians were settled, with the status of Roman colonists, on the territory of Savoy. In 457, taking advantage of the weakening of the empire, they occupied the Rhône River basin, where they founded a new kingdom with Lyon as its center; this was one of the first so-called barbarian kingdoms on the territory of the western Roman Empire, which was disintegrating at that time. The Burgundians who settled among the Gallo-Romans witnessed a rapid disintegration of clan relations and the beginning of the development of feudal relations through a synthesis of the institutions of the Gallo-Roman (slaveholding) and so-called barbarian societies (with late Roman elements predominating). The process of feudalization among the Burgundians was largely promoted by the seizure and division of the Gallo-Roman lands, which was carried out on a particularly large scale in the late fifth and early sixth centuries under King Gundobad. A later source for the study of the Burgundian social system in the sixth century is the so-called Burgundian law (lex Burgundionum).

The Burgundians adopted Catholicism in the early sixth century; before that they had been Arians. In 534 the Burgundian kingdom was definitively incorporated into the Frankish state. Subsequently the Burgundians became part of the developing southern French nationality.

REFERENCES

Gratsianskii, N. P. “O razdelakh zemel’ u burgundov i vestgotov.” In Iz sotsial’no-ekonomicheskoi istorii zapadnoevropeiskogo srednevekov’ia. Moscow, 1960.
Serovaiskii, la. D. “Izmenenie agrarnogo stroia na territorii Burgundii v V v.” In Srednie veka, part 14. Moscow, 1959.

IA. D. SEROVAISKII

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