Languedoc


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Languedoc

(läNgdôk`), region and former province, S France, bounded by the foot of the Pyrenees, the upper Garonne River, the Auvergne Mts., the Rhône, and the Mediterranean. It comprises the departments of Aude, Gard, Hérault, Lozère, and Pyrénées Orientales, and is part of the administrative region of Occitania. The Garonne plains, centering around Toulouse, the chief city, are fertile farming and wine-producing districts. The name was derived from the language of its inhabitants (see langue d'oc and langue d'oïllangue d'oc and langue d'oïl
, names of the two principal groups of medieval French dialects. Langue d'oc
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). It now generally refers to Lower Languedoc, an alluvial plain along the Mediterranean, with a warm climate; wine is the chief product, and Montpellier, Nîmes, Sète, Béziers, and Narbonne are the chief cities. Historic Carcassonne is also there. The Massif Central rises in the north and the east. Historically, Languedoc roughly corresponds to Narbonensis prov. of Roman Gaul; Lower Languedoc was the later Septimania. Its history from the Frankish conquest (completed 8th cent.) to its final incorporation into the French royal domain (1271) is largely that of the counts of ToulouseToulouse
, city (1990 pop. 365,933), capital of Haute-Garonne dept., S France, on the Garonne River. France's fastest growing region, it is one of France's great cultural and commercial centers.
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. Under the old regime the parlement of Languedoc sat at Toulouse; the provincial assembly retained importance until the French Revolution.

Languedoc

 

an economic region and former province in southern France. It is situated west of the lower Rhône and is bounded by the Massif Central, the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and the Pyrenees. Languedoc contains the departments of the Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude, Hérault, Gard, and Lozère. Area, 27,800 sq km; population, 1,750,000 (1971). Languedoc is France’s principal grape-growing and wine-producing region (more than 40 percent of all French wine production). It has other food industries. Light industry is well developed in Languedoc. There is also machine building, metal-working, and petroleum refining (Frontignan). One of the centers of the atomic industry is in Marcoule. There is mining of coal (city of Alés) and bauxites (Hérault Department). The coast is a tourist area.

The name “Languedoc” appeared in the 13th century (from the name of the language of the region’s inhabitants— la langue d’oc) to designate the territory of the county of Toulouse, which was annexed to the French crown after the Albigensian wars, partly in 1229 and completely in 1271. After becoming part of the royal domain, Languedoc received the rights of a self-governing province. Beginning in the 14th century, it had its own provincial government. In 1420 a parliament was instituted in Toulouse which functioned regularly from the 1440’s. During the Wars of Religion of the 16th century, the Huguenots took over a sizable part of Languedoc. In the 17th century, under Richelieu, the province’s self-government was somewhat limited, and power was concentrated in the hands of the province intendants, whose residence was in Montpellier. In the 17th and the early 18th century there were a number of antifeudal peasant and city uprisings (the movement of the Croquants in 1636–37 and 1643 and the insurrection of the Camisards in 1702–05, as well as uprisings in Montpellier, Nîmes, Toulouse, and other cities). During the Great French Revolution, Languedoc was divided into departments.

REFERENCES

Le Roy Ladurie, E. Histoire du Languedoc. Paris, 1962.

Languedoc

1. a former province of S France, lying between the foothills of the Pyrenees and the River Rh?ne: formed around the countship of Toulouse in the 13th century; important production of bulk wines
2. a wine from this region
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