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Visigothic Spain

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  Quote vulkan02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Visigothic Spain
    Posted: 15-Oct-2005 at 14:29
The Visigoths(western Goths) invaded and settled Spain around 407 AD and formed a kingdom that to its extent in 500AD included about half of modern France as well. In the early 500's they lost in a battle against Clovis the Frankish king and lost this territory. Later on in 711 berber Tariq ibn Ziyad inflicted a crushing defeat to the Visigoths in the battle of Guadalete and killied king Roderic. Did they leave any particular impact in modern Spanish society besides Germanic genetics?




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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2005 at 15:33
Actually Germanic genetics was probably their less relevant impact. Their demic apportation was at most of 5% and probably much less.

One thing to take in account when dealing with both the Visigothic and Frankish kingdoms, is that they weren't technically invaders but foederati of the Roman Empire. In this sense it would be correct to talk of them as succesor states of Rome. The Visigoths in particular, a powerful tribe, had been sent to Aquitaine and Tarraconensis to deal with the "ilegal" invaders (Sueves, Vandals and Alans) and with the Basque rebellion - and also to get them out of Italy.

Unlike the Franks, who were better integrating with provincial Roman society, the Visigoths kept for a long time separated law codes for Goths and Romans and also were for long time adherents to the Arrian heressy, unlike their subjects. This probably weakened the cohesion of the Visigothic state. Another weakness was the elective system of the Visigothic monarchy, that propitiated civil strife in the interregnums.

But anyhow, specially in the later period, once lost Aquitaine and moved their capital to Toledo, they settled the bases of the future unified Spanish state. They were able to annihilate rather quickly to Vandals and Alans and, sometime later they annexed the Sueve domain of Galaecia too. What they were never able was of conquering the Basques, though they tried once and again. All their royal chronicles end with this delusional prase: et domuit Vascones (and subjugated the Basques), a clear notice that they never actually achieved it. When Muslims invaded, the Visigoth monarch Rodrigo (Roderick) was still trying to subjugate the Basques in a new rutinary campaign of prestige and had to rush to confront the Moors at Guadalete.

The Visigothic state was centered in two institutions: a Council of Gothic nobility and the Sinod of (Catholic) Bishops of Toledo. Under their rule, Latin, classic and vulgar, probably consolidated its presence in the less romanized areas and Roman Christianity also got consolidated.

But surely the most relevant legacy is the Gothic roots and ideology that they left among thenobility of the surviving Christian states on both sides of the Pyrenees: Asturias-Leon-Castile in the west, Catalonia-Aragon in the east and Aquitaine and the other Occitanian states in the north. Only Basque society, that had managed to say independent and didn't have a well developed feudalism anyhow, escaped that Gothic legacy.

Eventually, as the Spanish Christian kingdoms gained strength, the connections with the ancient Gothic state and its institutions became very relevant ideologically. Hence the role of Santiago, heir of the diocese of Mrida (Emerita Augusta) and the prestige of the latter conquest of Toledo, the former Visigothic capital, by Castile-Leon, the regional hegemon.

In the north also, Occitanian nobilty prided of their Visigothic roots and that, along with popular ethnic diferences with France proper, made them to be unruly and adopt heressies such as Catharism.

For the rest their importance was rather limited. In secondary school we always skipped that period: from Rome we jumped almost unnoticeably to Muslim invasion and the Reconquista. Though I know via comics that in older times they used to have to memorize sequentially the names of Goth kings, what, due to the obsolete and exotic nature of their names (such as Leovigild or Wamba), made it a dificult task for kids and a puny item for comic books that satyrized the typical Spanish family and their quotidian problems.

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  Quote vulkan02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2005 at 20:17
Hmm very insightful information there....I know this might be a stupid question because i havent read your article on the Basques yet.. but are they in any way related to the Cantabrians? Ive also read somewhere that the Byzantines conducted campaings against the Visigoths is this true?
You say they spoke Latin... surely they must have primarily spoken their native language as well, have they left any vocabulary at all to the modern language?
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2005 at 05:52
Cantabrians were a pre-Romanic tribe that is not talked about after Caesar defeats them and forces them to live in the valleys and not anymore in te mountains. Yet in some maps you see their name along with that of Vascones in the independent tribal Area around the Bay of Biscay. I don't know why this happens. Visigoths did set a Mark of Cantabria, in the limit with Basque lands (modern Rioja or norther Burgos) and that gave the name of Sierra de Cantabria to a mountain chain in a clearly Basque area. But apart of that, I don't know why they would be related at all: Goths were Romano-Germans, while Cantabrians were a native nation. The modern region of Cantabria never bear that name before 1980s, it was part of Castile (initially divided between Castile and Navarre) and it was known as Castilla de Santillana and later (19th century) as Santander. In Gothic times it was probably out of their control but I have no reference of any mention to Cantabri at all, only the name Mark of Cantabria, as I said, a Gothic military district in the frontier.

Byantines under Justinian conquered parts of Baetica in their campaigns to re-unify the Roman Empire. I'm not sure now if they intervened in a dynastic dispute or it was an actual conquest attempt. I know that Visigoths were allied with Ostrogoths and Burgundians, so guess that this was part of the process of destruction of the Romano-Gothic bloc by Byzantines and, secondarily, Franks. Surely experts in Byzantine or Frankish history can tell you better.

I guess that Goths spoke Gothic among themselves, at least for some time, but the actual oficial language of the kingdom was Latin and all chronicles and acts are in that language. The Catholic Church, as mentioned before, played a very important role in giving structure to the state and that obviously kept Latin alive and kicking, though obviously becoming vulgar dialects among the people. Unlike in France maybe, nobody outside the Gothic nobility spoke German: it was a Latin state under a Gothic aristocracy, that's all.

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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2005 at 08:16
The Byzantines did indeed intervene in Baetica at the invitation of an erstwhile Visigothic king who was mired in a civil war. Incredibly a total force of 2,000 troops under a nonagenarian general took a surprisingly large portion of Spain, with a substantial number of Roman aristocrats seeking safety within the borders of the new province. The conquest did not last, however, within 50 years the last Byzantine stronghold on the Iberian peninsula had been conquered.
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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2005 at 12:37
Vulkan, the Visigoths settled in southern France before Spain.

They also left their tracks in southern France mind you. Probably more than in Spain even.
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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2005 at 12:45
Originally posted by Maju

In the north also, Occitanian nobilty prided of their Visigothic roots and that, along with popular ethnic diferences with France proper, made them to be unruly and adopt heressies such as Catharism.


Occitan (please, once again, spell our name correctly) nobility was not Visigothic but Frankish.

And Catharism had nothing to do at all with the Visigoths at all, and it was confined to Languedoc mostly and didn't spread to Occitania as a whole. And the Languedocian nobility was not catharist at all, at least not that I know, yet they protected the cathars. The Count of Toulouse (the Toulouse county being Languedoc) was one of the most catholic dynasty, this of the first crusade.
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2005 at 14:36
Originally posted by Exarchus

Originally posted by Maju

In the north also, Occitanian nobilty prided of their Visigothic roots and that, along with popular ethnic diferences with France proper, made them to be unruly and adopt heressies such as Catharism.


Occitan (please, once again, spell our name correctly) nobility was not Visigothic but Frankish.


All I've read is the opposite. So please, give me evidence. Of course that Frankish kings tried once and again to impose foreign dukes and counts but middle nobility was local and they did pride of their Gothic ancestry... at least until the Albigensian Crusade strip them from their lands and lifes.

And I don't know why Occitanian shouldn't be spelled that way in English, I know perfectly how it is in Romance but English follows diferent rules.

And Catharism had nothing to do at all with the Visigoths at all, and it was confined to Languedoc mostly and didn't spread to Occitania as a whole. And the Languedocian nobility was not catharist at all, at least not that I know, yet they protected the cathars. The Count of Toulouse (the Toulouse county being Languedoc) was one of the most catholic dynasty, this of the first crusade.


The Count of Tolouse himself was pressed hard to renounce to his Cathar beliefs. He did in hope of being able with that maneouvre to keep his regional power but anyhow the region was spoiled.

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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2005 at 17:03
Originally posted by Maju

All I've read is the opposite. So please, give me evidence. Of course that Frankish kings tried once and again to impose foreign dukes and counts but middle nobility was local and they did pride of their Gothic ancestry... at least until the Albigensian Crusade strip them from their lands and lifes.


Come on, the Dukes of Aquitaine were the Plantagenets, who were also kings of England. They were from the Frankisn aristocraty. Before that, the house of Poitiers was their relatives too. Raymond of Poitiers was Eleanor's uncle.

As for the Counts of Toulouse, they are tracked to Frdlon whose origin aren't clear. But he was apointed Count of Toulouse by the Carolingian local Kings, Peppin I of Aquitaine (Toulouse was part of Aquitaine back in those time). Peppin I was a direct relative of Charles the Bald, grandson of Charlemagne and led a revolt against him allied with the vikings. And Charles I defeated him but left Frdlon installing his dynasty of counts at the heard of Toulouse. Only the Counts of Gothia could have claimed descending from the Visigoths and they were defeated and absorbed in the County of Toulouse.

To end up with Provence, it was called back then the Kingdom of Burgundy and was part of the Holy Roman Empire.

And I don't know why Occitanian shouldn't be spelled that way in English, I know perfectly how it is in Romance but English follows diferent rules.


Because it's Occitan in both English and French, that's the way it is and there is nothing about it.

Myself being born in Toulouse, I'm well placed to tell that. Just google Occitan and you'll see it's the correct spelling. So please, stop butchering our name.


The Count of Tolouse himself was pressed hard to renounce to his Cathar beliefs. He did in hope of being able with that maneouvre to keep his regional power but anyhow the region was spoiled.


The Count of Toulouse defended the Cathars that's for sure. But can you prove he was himself a cathar?

He was spared by the Inquisition, he had to give up his succession to the King of France, but the inquisition didn't kill him like they killed the Cathars.

Talking of the Occitan aristocracy, Raymond VI of Toulouse was the son of Louis VI. You wanted a proof the Occitan aristocracy was Frankish and not Visigothic, you have it.


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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 03:32
I concede the spelling issue. 

On the rest, notice that I said that the middle and low Occitan nobility was or prided of Visigothic ancestry. It's well known that princes (kings, dukes, counts...) do continuously marry with foreigners of their class, so we can hardly talk of their nationality. But it's also clear that for the adequate excercise of their rule, they need a consensus among the locals, specially among those with some power, and these were the low nobility.

Anyhow, I've made a little research on the origins of the main Occitan houses:

The post-Carolingian Dukes of Aquitaine, occasionaly styled themselves as kings, were descendant of Ranulf I of Poitiers, of unclear origin but possibly son of Count Gerard of Auvergne. The locality of these original feudal domains, seem to point to a Visigothic ascendance or at least strong local integration.

The same can be said about the Counts of Tolouse: their indpendent lineage starts with Fredelon (Freddon), son of Fulcoald of Rouerge and succesor to Bernard of Septimania. It's quite noticeable that the Counts of Tolouse did not only owe feudal vassallage to the Kings of France but also to the Counts of Barcelona (later Kings of Aragon), to the Holy Roman Emperor and eventually to the Kings of England as well.

Raymond de Trencavel, the main Paladin of the Albigensians was also nephew of Raymond of Tolouse. While I don't have clear evidence that Raymond of Tolouse was a Cathar himself, it is so obvious that he did defend his subjects and his states as far as he was able. It is also obvious that the Albigensian Crusade, famous for its incredible brutality, was a war of France against Occitania, at least as much as a war of the Papacy against the heretics. It's result is well kown: apart of the massacres, the lands of the Occitan nobility went to the French crown and aristocrats, but the Occitan resentment on foreign imposition didn't totally die and that would fuel the adoption of Protestantism later on.

References:
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counts_of_Toulouse
  • http://www.languedoc-france.info/19020106_lineage.htm
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranulf_I_of_Poitiers
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dukes_of_Aquitaine
  • http://www.languedoc-france.info/1210_ramon.htm


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  Quote Quetzalcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 03:37

 

 

 Maju I like the point where you said the Franks weren't truely invaders but foederati, a point mostly ignored by many general historians. But I do think the Visigoths were infact invaders. If you look at the map of western europe after the fall of the western roman empire, you'll notice that infact the Franks shielded the  last roman kingdom of Syagrius while the south was overran by Visigoths and burgundians. In reality the Franks were much more integrated into northern France,  having been there now for hundreds of years.10%- 15% of french vocabulary is of old frankish, and amasingly most agricultural tools of old french are of old frankish origin. Meaning some Franks were infact integrated into northern France prior to the fall of the roman empire. It is not suprising that the romans even recorded the Franks foederati as Galli. I really have some doubts that the Franks invaded northern France, i'm more inclined to believe the Franks somehow took control of Syagrius kingdom, because they believed they were the rightful heir. Immediately after they launched a campaign against the Visigoths. This campaign has another nature, all goths were pushed out the area. they were trying to expel the burgundians but they weren't sucessful at that. This to me indicate that the people of France didn't quite view the Franks as foreign but they perceived the Visigoths and the burgundi as a foreign invading force. there is also a tendency to confuse salian and ripudian Franks.

 



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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 04:35
I agree partly with you, Quetzacoatl. Franks were no doubt much better integrated in Roman structure and they can hardly be defined as invaders. Yet the Visigoths in Aquitania and Tarraconensis were put there by the Romans too. True that they needed to make some deal to get them out of Italy but it is also true that Rome had no means of fighting the invasion of the other "ilegal" tribes (Sueves, Vandals and Alans) or the Basque independence de facto. So they gave command to the Goths as foederati of the Empire. After that, with or without the like of the local populations, Visigoths became the legal arm of Rome in SW Europe until the Western Empire itself ceased to exist with Odoacer, when they can be considered a succesor state along with that of the Franks.

Can you shed some light on the diferences among Ripuarians and Salians? I'm not knowledgeable.

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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 05:22
Maju, can you explain me then if the Count of Toulouse had Visigothic roots, how could he be the son of a King of France? I'm talking of Albigensian Crusade. Raymond was not only the son of Louis VI (Louis the Fat) but also a cousin of Philip II Augustus therefore.

As for the vassility to the County of Barcelona, I would like you to back it. I know he tried to build an alliance with Aragon and not Barcelona.... and with Henry II (Duke of Aquitaine and King of England) against the King of France but both failed. The Count of Toulouse was a direct vassal of the King of France.

And what about the Plantagenets? They were Visigoths too?


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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 05:42
Douple post, could a mod delete?


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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 05:49
Taken from your own sources:

From wikipedia: they say after the Visigoths (ended up in 509), the Merovigians took the title... the Merovingians were Franks and direct relatives to Clovis.

The lineage from the second links shows nothing apart the Counts of Toulouse descends from the Merovingians that replaced the Visigoths after their defeat.

3rd link, Ranulf of Poitiers was a descendant of Louis the Pious, Charlemagne's son. Enough said.

4th link, lineage again. + I see Louis the Pious, Pippin II, Carloman and many famous names in... all Frankish aristocracy.

Last link? Relevance? I see nothing in backing any claim the Occitan aristocracy was related to the Visigoths.
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 05:58
If you would have checked the references, I wouldn't have to copy and paste:

In the Middle Ages the family of St-Gilles, Counts of Toulouse, was one of the most powerful in Europe.  
At the time of the outbreak of the wars, the ruler was Ramon VI.   One of his several wives was Jeanne of England, which made Ramon son-in-law of Henry II and Elenour of Aquitaine, and brother-in-law to Richard I (the Lionheart) and King John.  He was also related to the King of France, and to the King of Aragon.   Ramon VI held his lands under the feudal system from a number of his relatives.   Most of these lands were held as a vassal of the King of Aragon, but some (notably Provence) he held from the Holy Roman Emperor, some from the King of France and some from the King of England.

http://www.languedoc-france.info/1210_ramon.htm

If you look at this other related link: http://www.languedoc-france.info/19020106_lineage.htm , you will see that the Counts of Tolouse, starting from Fredelon and ending with the Raymond VII are all son or brother of each other, though they are married with diferent princesses: Emma of Provence, Almodis de la Marche, Constance of France (daughter of Louis VII), Jeanne of England, Eleanor of Aragon and Sancha of Aragon.

Regarding Aragon, it is not Zaragoza: originally it's a small Pyrenean county around Jaca that, after the first partition of Navarre (Pamplona), already united to Catalonia (Barcelona) and the other sud-Pyrenean counties, starts styling as kingdom.

Zaragoza was then the capital of an important Muslim taifa (emirate) and wouldn't be annexed to Aragon till later. In any case, the story of the Crown of Aragon is the story of Catalonia since the 11th century.


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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 06:14
Fair enough for Zaragoza.

But it's you who doesn't read me, I've read your links, and I see nowhere, even in your cut/paste, where they affirm they were Visigoths, on the contrary they were direct relatives of the French monarchy like most French princes, counts and dukes.

And I see nowhere how the Count of Toulouse was a vassal of the Count of Barcelona. The Count of Barcelona was the same man than King of Aragon but that was to the title of King of Aragon the vassality went to and not to the one of Count of Barcelona.

And yet, his lord was the King of France, he tried to own himself a vassal to the King of Aragon (he did the same with the King of England) but both failed when the King of Aragon was killed at Muret and when Henry II rather tried to conquer Toulouse than protecting it (and the Count of Toulouse had to call for the French king help against Henry II).
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 06:16
Originally posted by Exarchus

Taken from your own sources:

From wikipedia: they say after the Visigoths (ended up in 509), the Merovigians took the title... the Merovingians were Franks and direct relatives to Clovis.

The lineage from the second links shows nothing apart the Counts of Toulouse descends from the Merovingians that replaced the Visigoths after their defeat.

3rd link, Ranulf of Poitiers was a descendant of Louis the Pious, Charlemagne's son. Enough said.

4th link, lineage again. + I see Louis the Pious, Pippin II, Carloman and many famous names in... all Frankish aristocracy.

Last link? Relevance? I see nothing in backing any claim the Occitan aristocracy was related to the Visigoths.


Well, I was replaying to your previous post, when you wrote this one.

That the Merovingians or Carolingians took over doesn't mean that they kept in control forever. The lineages of the princes in the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries seem clearly local and by no means descendant from the Frankish royal families, except maybe by maternal lineage.

In fact the 3rd link says exactly: He is considered a possible son of Grard, Count of Auvergne and Hildegard / Matilda, daughter of Louis the Pious and Ermengarde.

Notice the speculative nature of the sentence and the clearly maternal lineage, that for some reason you decided to ignore. I'm no machoist but the fact is that in these times (and much more modernly too) aristocratic marriages were normally a pact of allegiance and maternal lineages were considered somehow inferior or secondary.

The last link was posted to inform the fact that Tolouse was related to many neighbour states, not just France.

The refernece on Occitan nobility (in general, maybe not the counts but the simple knights) priding Visigothic inheritance I took from the following book on Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade: Los Ctaros of Jean-Pierre Leduc (apparently it's been published first in Spanish, as that title figures as the original one), 2002, Ed. Crculo Latino.

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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 06:21
If you can't affirm for sure the roots of the Occitan nobility, don't affirm it's Visigoth.

Having myself a Gascon name with both influences, I wouldn't make myself more Franks than I am, but the aristocrary of Occitania was far more Frankish than Visigothics. I hardly see how it can be even contested. The Visigothic ruling class was contained to Spain Nord-Catalonia mainly and replaced by a new Frankish one.

Hell, even Fredegund made a Frankish king to murder his visigothic wife.

And I agree the maternal lineage was considered inferior, but Raymond VI the count of Toulouse during the Albigensian Crusade was the son of a King of France himself.......
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 08:17
I concede the Aragon issue because it was my error to mention anachronistically Barcelona instead of Aragon as the source mentioned corrctly. Anyhow the Count of Barcelona and the King of Aragon were the same person and Barcelona was a lot richer and much more central to his power. This is a case as that of Prussia, where the center of the state was in Brandemburg and the royal title came from elsewhere (Prussia) - or the case of Sicily (Naples) or Sardinia (Savoy) too.

Where do you get that the Visigothic ruling class was displaced and replaced prior to the Albigensian Crusade? I'm not talking about a few strategic offices but about general landlordship. The fact that Aquitaine and Occitaine remained unruly and working for their own center of power and even for an independent state rather weights against your assumptions. You say that Goths were restricted to Catalonia but you make no especific reference for your claim. In the best case you should have added Gothia (Languedoc) to those particularly Gothizied places. But I think that the situation was rather general in all Occitania and medieval Aquitaine (north of the Garonne). Of course, there was surely also a popular ethnic diference in all those places, in comparison to strongly Gaulish France proper, that pre-dated German migrations and that explains better the diference of Romance languages due to ethnical background but that's even more dificult to study, specially as Gauls (Celts) were also present in the south (Auvergne, Northern Aquitaine) and Roman sources are not very interested in such ethnical diferences.

Furthermore, Jan Dhont's book The Upper Middle Age (original title: Das frche Mittelalter), comments on the Caroligian state that its central consolidated domains were France-Franconia, included what later would be called Lothairingia, all these nuclear Frankish lands were refered at earlier times as Neustria and Austria, the well assimilated Alamania (later Swabia) and Burgundy and, once conquered, also Saxony.

Instead, among the unruly regions Friesland, Aquitaine, Brittany and Vasconia are mentioned. Regarding Aquitaine, he says: Aquitaine preserved along the centuries their own aristocracy, that configured the substance of a truly independent people. In the second half of the 8th century and, specially, under Charlemagne's domain, the Frankish state tried energically to weaken in Aquitaine those national political forces and sent there a major staff, not at all insignificant, of Frankish officers. But this measure showed itself to be not sufficient. Aquitaine continued being, even for most of the 9th century, a great rebel bloc, and the adversaries of Frankish central power could always find adepts in its territory.

So, you tell me: where does that Aquitanian unruly aristocracy came from? If they were Frankish, as in Neustria, they would not be so rebellious... and anyhow the passage shows that they were local. They could only come from two sources: Visigothic or Roman aristocracy - or both. Most likely the Gothic element was dominant.


Edited by Maju

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