Languedoc (läNgdôkˈ) [key], region and former province, S France, bounded by the foot of the Pyrenees, the upper Garonne River, the Auvergne Mts., the Rhône, and the Mediterranean. It comprises the departments of Aude, Gard, Hérault, Lozère, and Pyrénées Orientales. The Garonne plains, centering around Toulouse, the chief city, are fertile farming and wine-producing districts. The name was derived from the language of its inhabitants (see langue d'oc and langue d'oïl). It now generally refers to Lower Languedoc, an alluvial plain along the Mediterranean, with a warm climate; wine is the chief product, and Montpellier, Nîmes, Sète, Béziers, and Narbonne are the chief cities. Historic Carcassonne is also there. The Massif Central rises in the north and the east. Historically, Languedoc roughly corresponds to Narbonensis prov. of Roman Gaul; Lower Languedoc was the later Septimania. Its history from the Frankish conquest (completed 8th cent.) to its final incorporation into the French royal domain (1271) is largely that of the counts of Toulouse. Under the old regime the parlement of Languedoc sat at Toulouse; the provincial assembly retained importance until the French Revolution.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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