Languedoc: Wikis


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Country France
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Languedoc (English pronunciation: /ˌlɒŋɡəˈdɒk/; French: [lɑ̃ɡdɔk]; Occitan: Lengadòc [ˌleŋɡɔˈðɔ(k)]) is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France, and whose capital city was Toulouse, now in Midi-Pyrénées. It had an area of approximately 42,700 km² (16,490 sq. miles).


The question of the limits of Languedoc

The gouvernement of Languedoc (including Gévaudan, Velay, and Vivarais) among the former gouvernements of France.

The traditional provinces of the kingdom of France had no official existence. A province was a territory set up by tradition and customs, and which people regarded as a unit, but provinces had no political organization. Therefore their territory had no strict limits as we think today of administrative units, and their number varied depending on the point of view of the geographers. Today, when people refer to the old provinces of France, they actually refer to the gouvernements as they existed in 1789. Gouvernements were military regions established in the middle of the 16th century and whose territories matched those of the traditional provinces. However, in some cases, small provinces had been merged with a large one into a single gouvernement, so gouvernements are not exactly the same as the traditional provinces.

The limits of Languedoc vary depending on what is considered. Historically, the region was called the county of Toulouse, a county independent from the kings of France. The county of Toulouse was made up of what would later be called Languedoc, but it also included the province of Quercy (now département of Lot and northern half of the département of Tarn-et-Garonne) and the province of Rouergue (now département of Aveyron), both to the northwest of Languedoc. At some times it even included the province of Agenais (now eastern half of the département of Lot-et-Garonne) to the west of Languedoc, the province of Gévaudan (now département of Lozère), the province of Velay (now the central and eastern part of the département of Haute-Loire), the southern part of the province of Vivarais (now the southern part of the département of Ardèche), and even all the northern half of Provence. After the French conquest the entire county was dismantled, the central part of it being now called Languedoc.

The gouvernement of Languedoc which was created in the middle of the 16th century was made up of Languedoc proper, but also included the three small provinces of Gévaudan, Velay, and Vivarais (in its entirety), these three provinces being to the northeast of Languedoc. Some people also consider that the region around Albi was a traditional province, called Albigeois (now département of Tarn), although it is most often considered as being part of Languedoc proper. The provinces of Quercy and Rouergue, despite their old ties with Toulouse, were not incorporated into the gouvernement of Languedoc, instead being attached to the gouvernement of Guienne and its far-away capital Bordeaux. Probably this was made consciously to avoid reviving the independently-spirited county of Toulouse, potentially dangerous to France's unity. In the rest of the article, what is called Languedoc refers to the territory of the gouvernement of Languedoc, as described here, which is what most people refer to when they talk about the province of Languedoc, even though it is actually larger than strictly-speaking Languedoc proper.

Area and location of Languedoc

The province of Languedoc covered an area of approximately 42,700 km² (16,490 sq. miles) in the central part of southern France, roughly the region between the Rhône River (border with Provence) and the Garonne River (border with Gascony), extending northwards to the Cévennes and the Massif Central (border with Auvergne).

Old administrative structures and the question of the capital city of Languedoc

The governors of Languedoc resided in Pézenas, on the Mediterranean coast, away from Toulouse but close to Montpellier. In time they had increased their power well beyond military matters, and had become the real administrators and executive power of the province, a trend seen in the other gouvernements of France, but particularly acute in Languedoc, where the duke of Montmorency, governor of Languedoc, even openly rebelled against the king, then was defeated and beheaded in Toulouse in 1632 by the order of Richelieu. The kings of France became fearful of the power of the governors, so after King Louis XIV (the Sun King) they had to reside in Versailles and were forbidden to enter the territory of their gouvernement. Thus the gouvernements became hollow structures, but they still carried a sense of the old provinces, and so their names and limits have remained popular until today.

Saint-Sernin Basilica in Toulouse, displaying the typical pink brick architecture of Upper Languedoc.

For administrative purposes, Languedoc was divided in two généralités, the généralité of Toulouse and the généralité of Montpellier, the combined territory of the two generalities exactly matching that of the gouvernement of Languedoc. At the head of a generality was an intendant, but in the case of Languedoc there was only one intendant responsible for both generalities, and he was often referred to as the intendant of Languedoc, even though technically speaking he was in fact the intendant of the generality of Toulouse and intendant of the generality of Montpellier. The generality of Toulouse is also referred to as Upper Languedoc (Haut-Languedoc), while the generality of Montpellier, down to the level of the sea, is referred to as Lower Languedoc (Bas-Languedoc). The intendants of Languedoc resided in Montpellier, and they had a sub-delegate in Toulouse. Montpellier was chosen on purpose to diminish the power of Toulouse, whose parlement was very influential, and which symbolized the old spirit of independence of the county of Toulouse. The intendants replaced the governors as administrators of Languedoc, but appointed and dismissed at will by the king, they were no threat to the central state in Versailles. By 1789 they were the most important element of the local administration of the kingdom.

For judicial and legislative matters, Languedoc was overseen by the Parlement of Toulouse, founded in the middle of the 15th century. It was the first parlement created outside of Paris by the kings of France in order to be the equivalent of the Parlement of Paris in the far-away southern territories of the kingdom. The jurisdiction of the Parlement of Toulouse included the whole of the territory of the gouvernement of Languedoc, but it also included the province of Rouergue, most of the province of Quercy, and a part of Gascony. The Parlement of Toulouse was the supreme court of justice for this vast area of France, the court of last resort whose rulings could not be appealed, not even to the Parlement of Paris. The Parlement of Toulouse could also create case law through its decisions, as well as interpret the law. It was also in charge of registering new royal edicts and laws, and could decide to block them if it found them to be in contravention with the liberties and laws of Languedoc.

Finally, for purposes of taxation, Languedoc was ruled by the States of Languedoc, whose jurisdiction included only Languedoc proper (and Albigeois), but not Gévaudan, Velay, and Vivarais, which kept each their own provincial states until 1789. Languedoc proper was one of the very few provinces of France which had the privilege to decide over tax maters, the kings of France having suppressed the provincial states in most other provinces of the kingdom. This was a special favor from the kings to ensure that an independently-spirited region far-away from Versailles would remain faithful to the central state. The States of Languedoc met in many different cities, and for some time they established themselves in Pézenas, but in the 18th century they were relocated definitively to Montpellier, where they met once a year, until 1789.

For religious purposes, Languedoc was also divided into a certain number of ecclesiastical provinces, which had great importance at the time, but are less relevant to this article.

Resulting from this intricate entanglement of administrations and jurisdictions so typical of France before the French Revolution, it is hard to say which city was the capital city of Languedoc. Toulouse and Montpellier both often claim to be the capital of Languedoc. As a matter of fact, in the 18th century the monarchy clearly favored Montpellier, a city much smaller than Toulouse, and with less history and memories attached to it than the ancient metropolis of Toulouse, of which the kings of France were always fearful. However, most people consider that Toulouse is the real capital city of the province of Languedoc, due to its old status as center of the county of Toulouse, and due to the mighty power of its parlement. On maps (both ancient and modern) showing the provinces of France in 1789 (in fact the gouvernements as was explained above), Toulouse is always marked as the capital city of Languedoc.

Modern administrative divisions

The province of Languedoc has been divided between four modern-day régions:

Population and cities

Typical view of the mountainous Cévennes area in the thinly-populated interior of Languedoc: plateaus (the Causses) with deep river canyons

On the traditional territory of the province of Languedoc there live approximately 3,650,000 people (as of 1999 census), 52% of these in the Languedoc-Roussillon région, 35% in the Midi-Pyrénées région, 8% in the Rhône-Alpes région, and 5% in the Auvergne région.

The territory of the former province shows a stark contrast between some densely populated areas (coastal plains as well as metropolitan area of Toulouse in the interior) where density is between 150 inhabitants per km²/390 inh. per sq. mile (coastal plains) and 300 inh. per km²/780 inh. per sq. mile (plain of Toulouse), and the hilly and mountainous interior where density is extremely low, the Cévennes area in the south of Lozère having one of the lowest densities of Europe with only 7.4 inhabitants per km² (19 inh. per sq. mile).

The five largest metropolitan areas on the territory of the former province of Languedoc are (as of 1999 census): Toulouse (964,797), Montpellier (459,916), Nîmes (221,455), Béziers (124,967), and Alès (89,390).

The population of the former province of Languedoc is currently the fastest-growing in France, and also among the fastest-growing in Europe, as an increasing flow of people from northern France and the north of Europe relocating to the sunbelt of Europe, in which Languedoc is located. Growth is particularly strong in the metropolitan areas of Toulouse and Montpellier, which are the two fastest growing metropolitan areas in Europe at the moment. However, the interior of Languedoc is still losing inhabitants, which increases the difference of density that was mentioned.

Population of the coast of Languedoc as well as the region of Toulouse is rather young, educated, and affluent, whereas in the interior the population tends to be much older, with significantly lower incomes, and with a lower percentage of high school and especially college graduates.




Languedoc is a significant producer of wine, and a major contributor to the surplus known as the "wine lake". Today it produces more than a third of the grapes in France, and is a focus for outside investors. Wines from the Mediterranean coast of Languedoc are labeled as Languedoc, those from the interior have other labels such as Fronton, Gaillac, or Limoux to the west - and Côtes du Rhône towards east.

Other crops include wheat (the traditional crop which made the fortune of the landlords and parliamentarians based in Toulouse, and for whose trade the famous Canal du Midi was built), maize (the new and nowadays most popular crop in the region), olives (only on the Mediterranean coast of Languedoc), fruit, and rice (in some coastal areas). In the hilly and mountainous areas of the interior, sheep and goat are raised for meat and cheese. The coastal area is, naturally, a source of fish and shellfish.


Aerospace (Airbus, EADS, CNES, etc.), electronics (Motorola, etc.), and bio-tech industries in Toulouse; high-tech, electronics, and computer (IBM) industries in Montpellier; pharmaceutical industry (Pierre Fabre Group) in Castres.

The first completed Airbus A380 at the "A380 Reveal" event on January 18, 2005 in Toulouse, home base of the European aerospace industry.

There is also a significant chemical sector in Toulouse, which has been quite battered since the terrible explosion of AZF on September 21, 2001. It has been decided that chemical industries would be moved out of Toulouse, and a large campus devoted to cancer research and bio-tech R&D will be opened on the site.

Elsewhere in the region industries are small and in decline, in particular around the formerly mining areas of Alès and Carmaux in the interior of the region.

Services and tourism

Services are the largest sector of the economy in the region. In particular, government services employ a significant part of the workforce, especially in small towns. Key administrations have been relocated to the region, such as France's National Meteorology Office (Météo-France) relocated from Paris to Toulouse in 1982.

The area is also a major tourist destination. There exists three types of tourism. First, a massive summer tourism industry on the coast, with huge sea resorts such as Cap d'Agde, Palavas-les-Flots, or Grau-du-Roi, built in the 1970s.

Tourism related to history and art is also strong, as the region contains the historic cities of Carcassonne, Toulouse, Montpellier, countless Roman monuments (such as the Roman arenas in Nîmes), medieval abbeys, Romanesque churches, and old castles (such as the ruined Cathar castles in the mountains of Corbières, testimony of the bloody Albigensian Crusade).

More recently, "green" and sports tourism is on the rise, with the gorges of the Tarn River, the Ardèche Gorges, as well as the vast preserved expanses of Cévennes, Ardèche, Lauragais, and other sites.

Tourism on the Canal du Midi combines history (for example viewing the nine locks of Fonseranes near Beziers) with activities such as boating on the Canal, and walking or cycling on the towpaths.

Toulouse and Montpellier are also popular places for business congresses and conventions.


The walled city of Carcassonne, a major tourist attraction of Languedoc.

The Mediterranean coast of Languedoc was settled by the Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans, and invaded by the Alamanni, Vandals, Visigoths (Septimania), and Saracens. Languedoc was known in the Middle Ages as the county of Toulouse, an independent county which was in theory part of the kingdom of France. In the 12th century, Languedoc was the center of the Cathar religious movement. The Roman Catholic Church declared them heretics, and the Albigensian Crusade wiped them out. As a consequence, the county of Toulouse was taken by the crown of France in 1271, (the county of Toulouse was a vassal of the crown of France, but had many connections with the Crown of Aragon, which included Catalonia) and has been part of France ever since. Later the name given to the area was Languedoc, literally meaning "language of oc", from the word "yes" in the local Occitan language ("oc", as opposed to "oïl", later "oui", in the north of France). The kings of France made Languedoc one of the provinces of the kingdom, and established the parlement of Languedoc in Toulouse. The parlement and the province were abolished at the time of the French Revolution, like all the other parlements and provinces of France.


Rugby union is the "national" sport in Languedoc, unlike most other parts of France where football is more popular. The Toulouse rugby club (Stade Toulousain) is one of most successful in Europe; it regularly competes for the French championship and has won three European titles (1996, 2003, and 2005) in the ten years of the European championship's existence.

Bullfighting and other bull-related events are popular in the eastern part of Languedoc. Sea jousts (Joutes nautiques) are held on the coast. Dating from the 11th century, this sport has local leagues and attracts large crowds.


Property in the Languedoc is quite varied and ranges from beautiful newly built villas with swimming pools and tennis courts, to rambling old village houses set into the old ramparts of ancient fortified towns. Some of these village houses date back a very long time. A small house in the village of Magalas, Hérault département, has a date of 13th century carved into its stonework. Being a large area, the type of property available in Languedoc varies a lot, from apartments in beach resorts such as Cap D'Agde to isolated bastides in the rural interior.

See also


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LANGUEDOC, one of the old provinces of France, the name of which dates from the end of the 13th century. In 1290 it was used to refer to the country in whose tongue (langue) the word for "yes" was oc, as opposed to the centre and north of France, the langue d'oil (the oui of to-day). Territorially Languedoc varied considerably in extent, but in general from 1360 until the French Revolution it included the territory of the following departments of modern France: part of Tarn et Garonne, Tarn, most of Haute-Garonne, Ariege, Aude, Pyrenees-Orientales, Herault, Gard, Lozere, part of Ardeche and Haute-Loire. The country had no natural geographical unity. Stretching over the Cevennes into the valleys of the upper Loire on the north and into that of the upper Garonne on the west, it reached the Pyrenees on the south and the rolling hills along the Rhone on the east. Its unity was entirely a political creation, but none the less real, as it was the great state of the Midi, the representative of its culture and, to some degree, the defence of its peculiar civilization. Its climate, especially in Herault (Montpellier), is especially delightful in spring and early summer, and the scenery still holds enough ruined remains of Roman and feudal times to recall the romance and the tragedy of its history.

Although the name is of comparatively late medieval origin, the history of Languedoc, which had little in common with that of northern France, begins with the Roman occupation. Toulouse was an important place as early as 119 B.C.; the next year Narbonne, the seaport, became a Roman colony. By the time of Julius Caesar the country was sufficiently Romanized to furnish him with men and money, and though at first involved in the civil wars which followed, it prospered under Roman rule as perhaps no other part of the empire did. While it corresponded exactly to no administrative division of the Roman empire, it was approximately the territory included in Gallia Narbonensis, one of the seventeen provinces into which the empire was divided at the death of Augustus. It was rich and flourishing, crowded with great and densely populated towns, Nimes, Narbonne, B eziers, Toulouse; with schools of rhetoric and poetry still vigorous in the 5th century; theatres, amphitheatres and splendid temples. In the 5th century this high culture was an open prize for the barbarians; and after the passing of the Vandals, Suebi and Visigoths into Spain, the Visigoths returned under Wallia, who made his capital at Toulouse in 419. This was the foundation of the Visigothic kingdom which Clovis dismembered in 507, leaving the Visigoths only Septimania - the country of seven cities, Narbonne, Carcassonne, Elne, Beziers, Maguelonne, Lodeve and Agde - that is, very nearly the area occupied later by the province of Languedoc. At the council of Narbonne in 589 five races are mentioned as living in the province, Visigoths, Romans, Jews - of whom there were a great many - Syrians and Greeks. The repulse of the Arabs by Charles Martel in 732 opened up the country for the Frankish conquest, which was completed by 768. Under the Carolingians Septimania became part of the kingdom of Aquitaine, but became a separate duchy in 817.

Until the opening of the 13th century there is no unity in the history of Languedoc, the great houses of Toulouse and Carcassonne and the swarm of warlike counts and barons practically ignoring the distant king of France, and maintaining a chronic state of civil war. The feudal regime did not become at all universal in the district, as it tended to become in the north of France. Allodial tenures survived in sufficient numbers to constitute a considerable class of non-vassal subjects of the king, with whose authority they were little troubled. By the end of the 11th century the house of the counts of Toulouse began to play the predominant role; but their court had been famous almost a century before for its love of art and literature and its extravagance in dress and fashions, all of which denoted its wealth. Constance, wife of King Robert II. and daughter of the count of Toulouse, gave great offence to the monks by her following of gallant gentlemen. They owed their tastes, not only to their Roman blood, and the survival of their old love for rhetoric and poetry, but also to their intercourse with the Mahommedans, their neighbours and enemies, and their friends when they were not fighting. Under Raymond of Saint Gilles, at the end of the 11th century, the county of Toulouse began its great career, but Raymond's ambition to become an Oriental prince, which led him - and the hundred thousand men who, according to the chroniclers, followed him - away on the first crusade, left a troubled heritage to his sons Bertrand and Alphonse Jourdain. The latter successfully beat off William IX., duke of Aquitaine, and won from the count of Barcelona that part of Provence between the DrOme and the Durance. The reign of Alphonse lasted from 1109 to 1148. By the opening of the 13th century the sovereignty of the counts of Toulouse was recognized through about half of Provence, and they held the rich cities of the most cultured and wealthiest portion of France, cities which had a high degree of local independence. Their local governments, with their consuls at the head, show, at least in name, the influence of Roman ideas. It is still an open question how much of their autonomy had remained untouched by the barbarian invasions from the Roman period. The citizens of these free cities were in continual intercourse with Saracens of Palestine and Moors of Spain; they had never entirely abandoned pagan customs; their poetry - the poetry of the troubadours - taught them the joys of life rather than the fear of death, the licence of their chivalry with its courts of love led to the other extreme of asceticism in such as were of religious temperament; all things combined to make Languedoc the proper soil for heresy. The Church never had the hold upon the country that it had in the north, the people of the Midi were always lukewarm in the faith; there was no noteworthy ecclesiastical literature in Languedoc from the end of the Carolingian period until after the Albigensian crusade, no theological centre like Paris, Bec or Laon. Yet Languedoc furnished the most heroic martyrs for the ascetic Manichaean creed. The era of heresy began with the preaching of Peter de Brueys and his follower, Henry of Lausanne, who emptied the churches and taught contempt for the clergy. Saint Bernard himself was able to make but temporary headway against this rebellion from a sacramental and institutionalized Christianity. In the first decade of the 13th century came the inevitable conflict. The whole county of Toulouse, with its fiefs of Narbonne, Beziers, Foix, Montpellier and Quercy, was in open and scornful secession from the Catholic Church, and the suppression of this Manichaean or Cathar religion was the end of the brilliant culture of Languedoc. (See Albigenses, Cathars, Inquisition.) The crusade against the Albigenses, as the Cathars were locally termed, in 1209, resulted in the union to the crown of France in 1229 of all the country from Carcassonne to the Rhone, thus dividing Languedoc into two. The western part left to Raymond VII., by the treaty of 1229, included the Agenais, Quercy, Rouergue, the Toulousain and southern Albigeois. He had as well the Venaissin across the Rhone. From 1229 to his death in 1249 Raymond VII. worked tirelessly to bring back prosperity to his ruined country, encouraging the foundation of new cities, and attempting to gain reconciliation with the Church. He left only a daughter, Jeanne, who was married to Alphonse of Poitiers. Alphonse, a sincere Catholic, upheld the Inquisition, but, although ruling the country from Paris, maintained peace. Jeanne died without heirs four days after her husband, upon their return from the crusade in Africa, in 1271, and although she attempted by will to prevent the reversion of her lands to the crown, they were promptly seized by King Philip III., who used the opposition of Roger Bernard, count of Foix, as an excuse to appear with a formidable army, which had little to do to secure entire submission. Thus the county of Toulouse passed to the crown, though Philip III. turned over the Agenais to Edward I. of England in 1279. In 1274 he ceded the county of Venaissin to Pope Gregory X., the papacy having claimed it, without legal grounds, since the Albigensian crusade (see Avignon).

Such was the fate of the reduced county of Toulouse. At the division of Languedoc in 1229 Louis IX. was given all the country from Carcassonne to the Rhone. This royal Languedoc was at first subject to much trickery on the part of northern speculators and government officials. In 1248 Louis IX. sent royal enqueteu y s, much like Charlemagne's missi dominici, to correct all abuses, especially to inquire concerning peculation by royal agents. On the basis of their investigations the king issued royal edicts in 1254 and 1259 which organized the administration of the province. Two senechaussees were created - one at Nimes, the other at Carcassonne - each with its lesser divisions of vigueries and bailliages. During the reign of Philip III. the enqueteu y s were busily employed securing justice for the conquered, preventing the seizure of lands, and in 1279 a supreme court of justice was established at Toulouse. In 1302 Philip IV. convoked the estates of Languedoc, but in the century which followed they were less an instrument for self government than one for securing money, thus aiding the enqueteu y s, who during the Hundred Years' War became mere revenue hunters for the king. In 1355 the Black Prince led a savage plundering raid across the country to Narbonne. After the battle of Poitiers, Languedoc supported t he count of Armagnac, but there was no enthusiasm for a national cause. Under Charles V., Louis of Anjou, the king's brother, was governor of Languedoc, and while an active opponent of the English, he drained the country of money. But his extortions were surpassed by those of another brother, the duc de Berry, after the death of Charles V. In 1382 and 1383 the infuriated peasantry, abetted by some nobles, rose in a rebellion - known as the Tuchinswhich was put down with frightful butchery, while still greater sums were demanded from the impoverished country. In the anarchy which followed brigandage increased. Redress did not come until 1420, when the dauphin, afterwards Charles VII., came to Languedoc and reformed the administration. Then the country he saved furnished him with the means for driving out the English in the north. For the first time, in the climax of its miseries, Languedoc was genuinely united to France. But Charles VII. was not able to drive out the brigands, and it was not until after the English were expelled in 1453 that Languedoc had even comparative peace. Charles VII. united Comminges to the crown; Louis XI. Roussillon and Cerdagne, both of which were ceded to Aragon by Charles VIII. as the price of its neutrality during his expedition into Italy. From the reign of Louis XI. until 1523 the governorship of Languedoc was held by the house of Bourbon. After the treason of the constable Bourbon it was held by the Montmorency family with but slight interruption until 1632.

The Reformation found Languedoc orthodox. Persecution had succeeded. The Inquisition had had no victims since 1340, and the cities which had been centres of heresy were now strongly orthodox. Toulouse was one of the most fanatically orthodox cities in Europe, and remained so in Voltaire's day. But Calvinism gained ground rapidly in the other parts of Languedoc, and by 1560 the majority of the population was Protestant. It was, however, partly a political protest against the misrule of the Guises. The open conflict came in 1561, and from that until the edict of Nantes (1598) there was intermittent civil war, accompanied with iconoclasm on the one hand, massacres on the other and ravages on both.

The main figure in this period is that of Henri de Montmorency, seigneur de Damville, later duc de Montmorency, governor of the province from 1563, who was, at first, hostile to the Protestants, then from 1574 to 1577, as leader of the "Politiques," an advocate of compromise. But peace was hardly ever established, although there was a yearly truce for the ploughing. By the edict of Nantes, the Protestants were given ten places of safety in Languedoc; but civil strife did not come to an end, even under Henry IV. In 1620 the Protestants in Languedoc rose under Henri, duc de Rohan (1579-1638), who for two years defied the power of Louis XIII. When Louis took Montpellier in 1622, he attempted to reconcile the Calvinists by bribes of money and office, and left Montauban as a city of refuge. Richelieu's extinction of Huguenotism is less the history of Languedoc than of the Huguenots. By 1629 Protestantism was crushed in the Midi as a political force. Then followed the tragic episode of the rebellion of Henri II., duc de Montmorency, son of the old governor of Languedoc. As a result, Languedoc lost its old provincial privilege of self-assessment until 1649, and was placed under the governorship of Marshal Schomberg. During Louis XIV.'s reign Languedoc prospered until the revocation of the edict of Nantes. Industries and agriculture were encouraged, roads and bridges were built, and the great canal giving a water route from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean increased the trade of its cities. Colbert especially encouraged its manufactures. The religious persecutions which accompanied the revocation of the edict of Nantes bore hardest on Languedoc, and resulted in a guerilla warfare known as the rebellion of the Camisards. On the eve of the Revolution some of the brightest scenes of contentment and prosperity which surprised Arthur Young, the English traveller in France, were those of the grape harvests in Languedoc vineyards.

In 1790 Languedoc disappeared from the map of France, with the other old provinces; and the departments mentioned took its place. But the peculiar characteristics of the men of the Midi remain as clearly distinct from those of the north as the Scottish type is distinct from the English. The "peaceful insurrection" of the Languedoc vine-growers in the summer of 1907 revealed to the astonished Parisians the same spirit of independence as had underlain the resistance to Simon de Montfort and Richelieu.

The one monumental history of Languedoc is that of the Benedictines, Dom Claude Devic and Dom J. J. Vaissete, Histoire generale de la province de Languedoc (5 vols., Paris, 1730-1745). This has been re-edited, and continued and increased by the addition of important monographs, to 15 volumes (Toulouse, 1872-1892). It is the great library of sources, critical apparatus and bibliographies concerning Languedoc, and carries the history up to 1790. The fine article "Languedoc" in La Grande Encyclopedie is by A. Molinier, perhaps the greatest modern authority on Languedoc. (J. T. S.*)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




French Languedoc, from langue d'oc (the language of oc), from Dante Alighieri’s De vulgari eloquentia, where he wrote in Latin: “nam alii oc, alii si, alii vero dicunt oil” (‘some say òc, others say sì, others say oïl’). Based on the Occitan word òc (yes), in contrast to Old French oïl (now French oui).




Languedoc (uncountable)

  1. A former province of France, in the south of the country.




  1. Pertaining to the Occitan language: Provençal, related to Catalan.

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From langue d'oc (the language of oc), from Dante Alighieri’s De vulgari eloquentia, where he wrote in Latin: “nam alii oc, alii si, alii vero dicunt oil” (‘some say òc, others say sì, others say oïl’). Based on the Occitan word òc (yes), in contrast to Old French oïl (now French oui).

Proper noun


  1. Languedoc (a former province of France).

See also


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