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Roussillon
Roussillon
(/ˈruːsɪjɒn/[1] or /ˌruːsiːˈjoʊn/; French: [ʁu.si.jɔ̃]; Catalan: Rosselló [rusəˈʎo], Occitan: Rosselhon) is one of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, corresponding roughly to the present-day southern French département of Pyrénées-Orientales
Pyrénées-Orientales
(Eastern Pyrenees). It may also refer to Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia
or French Catalonia, the first used by Catalan-speakers and the second used by French-speakers. A 1998 survey found that 34% of respondents stated they speak Catalan, and a further 21% understand it.

Contents

1 History 2 See also 3 References 4 External links

History[edit] Its name is derived from Ruscino (Rosceliona, Castel Rossello), a small fortified place near modern-day Perpignan
Perpignan
where Gaulish chieftains met to consider Hannibal's request for a conference. The region formed part of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis
Gallia Narbonensis
from 121 BC to AD 462, when it was ceded with the rest of Septimania
Septimania
to the Visigoth Theodoric II. His successor, Amalaric, on his defeat by Clovis in 531, retired to Hispania, leaving a governor in Septimania. In 719, the Saracens
Saracens
crossed the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
and maintained political hegemony of Septimania
Septimania
until their final defeat in 759 by Pepin the Short, who went on to occupy Roussillon
Roussillon
after conquering Narbonne. Roussillon
Roussillon
was occupied by the Carolingians in 760. On the invasion of Hispania
Hispania
in 778, Charlemagne
Charlemagne
found the Marca Hispanica
Marca Hispanica
wasted by war and the inhabitants settled in the mountains. He granted some lands in the plains to Visigothic refugees from Moorish Hispania
Hispania
and founded several monasteries. In 792, the Saracens
Saracens
again invaded France, but they were repulsed by Count
Count
Guillaume of Toulouse - regent of the child Louis the Pious, King of Aquitaine - whose hegemony extended into Catalonia. The different portions of his kingdom in time grew into allodial fiefs and, in 893, Sunyer II became the first hereditary Count
Count
of Roussillon. But his rule only extended over the eastern part of what became the later province. The western part, the Cerdanya
Cerdanya
(French, Cerdagne), was ruled in 900 by Miró as first count, and one of his grandsons, Bernat, became the first hereditary count of the middle portion, or Besalú. The Counts of Roussillon were allied to their cousins the Counts of Empúries in a centuries-long conflict with the surrounding great nobles. Count
Count
Girard I participated in the First Crusade in the following of Raymond IV of Toulouse, and was one of the first to set foot in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
when it was stormed by the Crusaders in 1099. At the beginning of the 12th century, the prestige of the Counts of Barcelona began to rise to such a height that the Counts of Roussillon
Roussillon
had no choice but to swear fealty to them. In 1111, Ramon Berenguer III, Count
Count
of Barcelona, inherited the fief of Besalú, to which was added in 1117 Cerdanya. The possession of Roussillon
Roussillon
by its last count, Girard II, was challenged by his illegitimate brothers. To ensure that his brothers would not inherit his territories, in his will Girard II left all his lands to Alfonso II of Aragon, who took possession in 1172. Under the Aragonese monarchs, economic and demographic growth of the region continued, and Collioure
Collioure
(Catalan: Cotlliure), the port of Perpignan, became an important locus of Mediterranean
Mediterranean
trade.[citation needed] As the French and Spanish crowns grew in power, the region of Roussillon, forming part of the border between them, was frequently a site of military conflict. By the Treaty of Corbeil (1258), Louis IX of France formally surrendered sovereignty over Roussillon
Roussillon
and his claim to the title of Count
Count
of Barcelona to the Crown of Aragon, recognizing a centuries-old reality.[citation needed] James I of Aragon
James I of Aragon
had wrested the Balearic Isles
Balearic Isles
from the Moors
Moors
and joined these islands with Roussillon
Roussillon
to create the Kingdom of Majorca, with its capital at Perpignan. In 1276, James I granted this kingdom to his son, who became James II. The subsequent disputes of this monarch with his brother Peter III were exploited by Philip III of France in his quarrel with Peter III for the crown of the Two Sicilies. Philip III espoused James II's cause and led an army into Aragon but, retreating, died at Perpignan
Perpignan
in 1285. Lacking the resources to continue the struggle, James then became reconciled to his brother Peter, and in 1311 the former was succeeded by his son Sanç I, or Sancho I, who founded the cathedral of Perpignan
Perpignan
shortly before his death in 1324. His successor, James III of Majorca, refused to do homage to Philip VI of France
Philip VI of France
for the seigneury of Montpellier, and applied to Peter IV of Aragon
Peter IV of Aragon
for aid. Peter not only refused, but declared war and seized Majorca
Majorca
and Roussillon
Roussillon
in 1344.[citation needed] The province was now reunited to the Crown of Aragon, and it enjoyed peace until 1462. In that year, the disputes between John II of Aragon and his son over the Crown of Navarre spurred Louis XI of France
Louis XI of France
to support John against his subjects, who had risen in revolt. The province, having been pledged as collateral to Louis for 300,000 crowns, was occupied by French troops until 1493, when Charles VIII evacuated the region as part of a settlement with the Catholic Monarchs (Isabel I of the Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
and Ferdinand II of the Crown of Aragon, they were second-cousins, creators of the Trastamara dynasty that ruled over the two Crowns). During a subsequent war between France and the Trastamara dynasty (1496–1498), the people suffered equally from the Castilian garrisons and the French invaders. The Habsburg dynasty took control of both the Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
and the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
in 1516 and the two crowns were for the first time ruled by the same physical person. This was under Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (called Charles I of Spain), grandson of the Catholic Monarchs. The dislike caused by the Castilians during the Trastamara rule was effaced in the pride of sharing the glory of the Emperor Charles I of Spain. When Perpignan
Perpignan
was besieged by the forces of Henry, Dauphin of France in 1542, the inhabitants were loyal to Charles V. Perpignan earned the royal sobriquet of "Fedelissima" ("Most Faithful City"). When the Catalans
Catalans
rose against the Spanish Crown in 1641, Louis XIII of France entered the conflict on the side of the former. After a protracted war, the Treaty of the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
(1659) secured Roussillon and part of the Cerdanya
Cerdanya
(Cerdagne) to the French crown, creating the French province of Roussillon. The next fifty years saw a concerted effort by Louis XIV both to ensure the political allegiance of his new subjects and to alter their cultural identity. He was successful in the former but failed in the latter. Outside the capital of Perpignan, Roussillon
Roussillon
remained distinctly Catalan in outlook and culture until the late nineteenth century, when industrialization began to replace Catalan identity with French. During the French Revolution, the Ancien Régime
Ancien Régime
province of Roussillon
Roussillon
was abolished and a new department, the Department of Pyrénées-Orientales, was created instead. This department corresponds roughly to the old Roussillon, with the addition of the comarca of Fenouillèdes. Pyrénées-Orientales
Pyrénées-Orientales
is the name by which this department is officially known in France. The old name of Roussillon
Roussillon
did contribute to the French région of Languedoc-Roussillon. See also[edit]

Counts of Roussillon History of Catalonia History of France Northern Catalonia Catalonia Roussillon
Roussillon
wine

References[edit]

^ "Roussillon". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved August 28, 2015. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Roussillon". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 780. 

External links[edit]

County
County
of Rosselló from Catalan Encyclopaedia. (in French) History of Roussillon
Roussillon
site

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Pays of the Pyrénées-Orientales

Albères Aspres Capcir Cerdagne Conflent Corbières catalanes Fenouillèdes Ribéral Roussillon Salanque Vallespir Côte Vermeille

v t e

Historical provinces of France

Alsace Angoumois Anjou Artois Aunis Auvergne Basse-Navarre Béarn Beaujolais Berry Bourbonnais Brittany Burgundy Champagne Corsica Dauphiné Flanders and Hainaut Foix Forez Franche-Comté Gascony Guyenne Île-de-France Languedoc Limousin Lorraine Lyonnais Maine Marche Montbéliard Mulhouse Nice Nivernais Normandy Orléanais Perche Picardy Poitou Provence Roussillon Saintonge Savoy Touraine Trois-Évêchés Venaissin

Coordinates: 43°54′09″N 5°17′37″E / 43.90255°N 5.29350°E / 43.90

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