Context of Occitania
Occitania (Occitan: Occitània [utsiˈtanjɔ], locally [u(k)siˈtanjɔ], [ukʃiˈtanjɔ] or [u(k)siˈtanja]) is the historical region in Western and Southern Europe where the Occitan language was historically spoken and where it is still sometimes used as a second language. This cultural area roughly encompasses much of the southern third of France (except the French Basque Country and...Read more
Occitania (Occitan: Occitània [utsiˈtanjɔ], locally [u(k)siˈtanjɔ], [ukʃiˈtanjɔ] or [u(k)siˈtanja]) is the historical region in Western and Southern Europe where the Occitan language was historically spoken and where it is still sometimes used as a second language. This cultural area roughly encompasses much of the southern third of France (except the French Basque Country and French Catalonia) as well as part of Spain (Aran Valley), Monaco, and parts of Italy (Occitan Valleys).
Occitania has been recognized as a linguistic and cultural concept since the Middle Ages. The territory was united in Roman times as the Seven Provinces (Latin: Septem Provinciae) and in the Early Middle Ages (Aquitanica or the Visigothic Kingdom of Toulouse, or the share of Louis the Pious following Thionville divisio regnorum in 806).
Currently, between 200,000–800,000 people of 16 million living in the area, are either native or proficient speakers of Occitan. More commonly French, Piedmontese, Catalan, Spanish and Italian are spoken. Since 2006, the Occitan language has been an official language in Catalonia, which includes the Aran Valley where Occitan gained official status in 1990.
Under Roman rule, most of Occitania was known as Aquitania, the earlier conquered territories were known as Provincia Romana (see modern Provence), while the northern provinces of what is now France were called Gallia (Gaul). Under the Later Empire, both Aquitania and Provincia Romana were grouped in the Seven Provinces or Viennensis. So Provence and Gallia Aquitania (or Aquitanica) have been in use since medieval times for Occitania (i.e. Limousin, Auvergne, Languedoc and Gascony).
The historic Duchy of Aquitaine should not be confused with the modern French region called Aquitaine: this is a reason why the term Occitania was revived in the mid-19th century. The names "Occitania" and "Occitan language" (Occitana lingua) appeared in Latin texts from as early as 1242–1254 to 1290 and during the following years of the early 14th century; texts exist in which the area is referred to indirectly as "the country of the Occitan language" (Patria Linguae Occitanae). The name Lenga d'òc was used in Italian (Lingua d'òc) by Dante in the late 13th century. The somewhat uncommon ending of the term Occitania is most probably a portmanteau French clerks coined from òc [ɔk] and Aquitània [ɑkiˈtanjɑ], thus blending the language and the land in just one concept.
On 28 September 2016, Occitanie became the name of an administrative region that succeeded the regions of Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon, it is a small part of Occitania.
More about Occitania
- Native name Occitània
- Population 16922045
- Area 198113
- This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia.(May 2012)
Written texts in Occitan appeared in the 10th century: it was first used in legal texts, and then in literary, scientific, and religious texts. Spoken dialects of Occitan are many centuries older and appeared as soon as the 8th century, at least, as revealed through toponyms and Occitanized words left in Latin manuscripts....Read moreThis article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia.(May 2012)
Written texts in Occitan appeared in the 10th century: it was first used in legal texts, and then in literary, scientific, and religious texts. Spoken dialects of Occitan are many centuries older and appeared as soon as the 8th century, at least, as revealed through toponyms and Occitanized words left in Latin manuscripts.
Occitania was often politically united during the Early Middle Ages, under the Visigothic Kingdom and several Merovingian and Carolingian sovereigns. In the year 805 in Thionville, Charlemagne declared the partition of his empire into three autonomous territories along linguistic and cultural boundaries: what is now modern Occitania was to be formed from the reunion of a broader Provence and Aquitaine. Instead, however, at the 9th century division of the Frankish Empire, Occitania was split into different counties, duchies and kingdoms, bishops and abbots. Since then, the country has never been politically united, although Occitania remained intact through a common culture. Nonetheless, Occitania suffered a tangle of varying loyalties to nominal sovereigns: from the 9th to the 13th centuries, the dukes of Aquitaine, the counts of Foix, the counts of Toulouse and the Counts of Barcelona competed for control over the various pays of Occitania.
Occitan literature flourished during this time period: in the 12th and 13th centuries, the troubadours invented courtly love (fin'amor), and the Lenga d'Òc spread throughout European cultivated circles; the terms Lenga d'Òc, Occitan, and Occitania first appeared at the end of the 13th century.
From the 13th to the 17th centuries, the kings of France gradually conquered Occitania. By the end of the 15th century, the nobility and bourgeoisie had started learning French, while the peasantry generally continued to speak Occitan; this process began from the 13th century in the two northernmost regions, northern Limousin and Bourbonnais. In 1539, Francis I issued the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts that imposed the use of French in administration. But despite measures such as this, a strong feeling of national identity against the French occupiers remained as Jean Racine wrote on a trip to Uzès in 1662: "What they call France here is the land beyond the Loire, which to them is a foreign country."
In 1789, the revolutionary committees tried to re-establish the autonomy of the "Midi" regions, using the Occitan language; however, Jacobin power prevented its realization.
The 19th century witnessed a strong revival of the Occitan literature, exemplified by the writer Frédéric Mistral, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1904. But from 1881 onwards, children who spoke Occitan at school were punished in accordance with minister Jules Ferry's recommendations; this led to a deprecation of the language known as la vergonha (the shaming). In 1914, fourteen million inhabitants in the region spoke Occitan, but French overtook Occitan in prominence during the 20th century. The situation got worse with the media excluding the use of the langue d'oc. In spite of this decline, however, the Occitan language is still alive and gaining fresh impetus.The Diocese of Vienne, 300 AC.The Kingdom of Aquitaine after sharing 806Kingdom of Aquitaine and its Tributary countries
Languedoc in 1209
The expulsion of the inhabitants of the city of Carcassona during the Albigensian Crusade (1209)
Protestant regions in modern France at the 16th centuryJean-Pierre JUGE (2001) Petit précis – Chronologie occitane – Histoire & civilisation, p. 19. Frederic Mistral, Lou Tresor dóu Felibrige ou Dictionnaire provençal-français embrassant les divers dialectes de la langue d'oc moderne (1878–1886), vol. I, p. 1182: "Le poète Racine écrivait d'Uzès en 1662: «Nous appelons ici «la France» tout le pays qui est au-delà de la Loire. Celui-ci passe comme une province étrangère.»" Joseph Anglade, Grammaire de l'ancien provençal ou ancienne langue d'oc, 1921: La Langue d'Oc est parlée actuellement par douze ou quatorze millions de Français ("Occitan is now spoken by twelve or fourteen million French citizens").