Laon, Commune of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Laon, Commune of


an urban commune established in the 12th century in the French city of Laon as a result of a bitter struggle between the city dwellers and the city’s seigniors, the bishops.

Laon first secured the rights of a commune in 1109 by paying off the seignior of the city, Bishop Gaudry, with a sizable sum of money. The commune was approved in 1111 by Louis VI, who had received a great deal of money from the city. However, in 1112 the king annulled the communal charter at the insistence of Gaudry, who promised Louis VI more money than the city’s inhabitants had given him. This led to a revolt by the city dwellers, in which the bishop and many of his associates were killed. The rebellion was brutally suppressed, but the inhabitants continued the struggle. The commune was restored in 1128. In the process of centralizing the French state, the king abolished the commune of Laon in 1331. Laon’s struggle for a commune was an important event in the history of the communal movement in Western Europe.


Thierry, A. Gorodskie kommuny vo Frantsii ν srednie veka. St. Petersburg, 1901. Pages 55–105. (Translated from French.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.