Provence after the Roman Æra

The cultural and economical live changed in Provence. The large Roman farms were split up to smaller units and people moved a lot around, which had not been possible during the Roman period. The Christian community was split between the Catholic Church and the Arian cult.

In 415 Provence was invaded by Visgoths, who originally came from Poland and the Black Sea, and have established themselves on the Iberian Peninsula. Also the Burgunds (a people with probably Scandinavian origin) took control of several parts of Provence.

In 507 the Ostrogoth King Theodorik (from Italy) took over Provence.

In 537 Most of Provence came under Frank control and was ruled by the Merovingian Kings.

In 732-34 Provence was conquered by the Saracens (muslims). Most evidence show that the local lords in fact preferred the Saracens to the Franks. Local lords lead by Murontus fought with the Arabs against Karl Martel. The Saracens long held settlements at Hyères and Saint-Tropez.

In 855 Provence became a Kingdom (of Arelat), which in 932 was united with Burgundy to the Kingdom of Arles.

In 1032 Provence became a part of the Holy German-Roman Empire.

From 1113 Provence was under Spanish government, and in the following centuries Provence flourished with trade and cultural life (i.e. troubadour poetry in the Latin-like local Provencal language). It came under Papacy influence during the Albigenian crusade against the Catharian sect.

The Pope took up residence in Avignon from 1309 to 1377.

In 1481 Provence was willed to the King of France, but it kept administrative autonomy. However, the king's control over Provence grew in the following centuries.

In 1539 French (Langue d'Oïl) was by law adopted to all administration and commerce. The original language of Provence, Langue d'Oc or Provencal became the more rural and "unsophisticated" language. Later, in the 19th century, Provencal was revived by intellectuals.

In 1673 the généralité of Aix was established with a royal governor.

In 1790, during the French Revolution, Provence was divided into the départements of Bouches-du-Rhône, Var and Basses-Alpes (now Alpes-de-Haute-Provence).

In 1791 the département of Vaucluse was added, as in 1860 the Alpes-Maritime was.



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