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About the map[edit]

The new map is not better. The left bank of the Adour river ( hence in Labourd and Lower Navarre ) is Gascon-speaking with the exception of Urcuit and Mouguerre. The Gascon language is also spoken in the easternmost "quartiers" of the very same Toulouse. See this map by André Borell :

As for the language of Agen, linguists see it as a mix between Gascon and more central Romance languages. The Bearnese village of Esquiule ( Eskiula in Basque, Esquiula in Gascon ) and parts of the village of Géronce ( Jeruntze in Basque ) are Basque-speaking whereas the Souletine villages of Osserain-Rivareyte, Gestas, Montory are Gascon-speaking.

Consequently, the previous map was better because simpler : between the Garonne river, the Pyrenees and the Atlantic. If we begin to make detailed maps, that's be hell.

Bayonne and Hossegor etymologies[edit]

This Etymology of Bayonne (Bjornhamn) is controversial. According to french wiki-article on Bayonne, is would be derived from Bai Ona,--Sugaar 23:24, 5 January 2007 (UTC) "the hill of the river", or "good river". Please cite your sources.Reply[reply]

Etymology of Hossegor is also disputed. According to french wiki-article on Hossegor, it could come from " Hosse" and "gor" (deep ditch). Please cite reference.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by I-do-do-you? (talkcontribs) 20:47, 5 January 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

I'm editing that section heavily. Baiona is clearly Ibai-on ("at the river" or "good river"), a Basque ethymology. Baiona was not founded by Vikings but just conquered. Baiona existed at least since Roman times (Lapurdum) and the first know charter was given by Willian IX of Aquitaine (see Labourd).
I have not the slightest idea about the other town but these Viking claims seem more than just far fetched. Vikings were in Baiona, for example, for something more than a century, leaving, no doubt some legacy but they never controlled inland country and there's no evidence or even indication that they pretended to "settle" the country or whatever. It was just part of their systematic incursions along all Atlantic Europe.
The claim that whale-hunting and the "discovery of Newfoundland" by Basques and Gascons are related to Scandinavian presence may have some merit but the way it is presented is totally POV. Actually Basques of Labourd hunted wales already in the 7th century, even if that hunt was maybe a coastal one. Also Scandinavians had nothing to do (apparently) with the developement of the rudder, that seems a Basque (Labourdine) developement of a later period. --Sugaar 23:24, 5 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bayonne is not directly Ibai+Ona according to most recent works as -ona (=good) is quite unknown in Basque toponymy which is above all purely descriptive. Baiona is Bai ( which evolved into ibai in modern Basque ) + Ona ( which a very old Basque root meaning hill, summit, ... ). Consequently, Baiona is the little summit near the river, which means the confluence between the Adour and the Nive.

About these names Hossegor and Bayonne. Before the invasions, Lapourdan was a Roman city controlling the coastal road to Spain. The Vikings stayed there from 840 to 982. In between, the city became a port dealing with Northern Europe and had a new name, Bayonne. Some suppose that Basque shepherds came down from the mountain, decided to become sailors, to create a port and to name it Ibaiona. The only problem with this hypothesis is that there is no historical record of such an event. The only historical records are about the Vikings. Björn was the chief who conquered Gascony. Bayonne is a translation of his name. An area called Beyris in Bayonne could be an evolution of Bierhus. Bier was the Frankish name of Björn. Not far from there (7 km), Biarritz, anc. Bearis, is another name with the same origin. Bier and Björn mean Bear. Above Bordeaux, there is a port called Bayon-s/Gironde. Specialists say it’s a Germanic name coming from a guy called Baio. (Michel Morvan, “Noms de lieux du Pays Basque et de Gascogne” Bonneton, 2004, p179). Strangely enough he doesn’t consider this hypothesis for Bayonne… I think there is a lot of ideology in the choice of rejecting the Scandinavian hypothesis. About Hossegor, anc. Ossegor, I suggest Asgeir. The reason is simple. - Here was the mouth of Adour River during the invasions. - Asgeir had taken Saintes in 845 and Bordeaux in 848. He was active in the area. - The neighboring village is called Angresse. Angreville in Normandy, refers to Asgeirvilla. Angresse is the local way of writing Asgeirhus, the house of Asgeir. - Finally, the “H” of Hossegor appeared only lately. It had been added to fit with the hypothesis “Fosse, hosse”. Never anybody read anywhere Fossegor which should have existed if the “H” was original. Toponymy in Gascony is a big joke. People are not interested in linguistics and history, only in mythology. --Ossegor (talk) 19:02, 3 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bayonne and Biarritz Gascon cities?[edit]

The reference to Bayonne and Biarritz as among the most important towns of Gascony would probably be strongly rejected by the inhabitants of these cities. Though Gascon-Occitanian nationalism/regionalism (a very weak current anyhow) does have some claim to the city of Bayonne (Baiona) and a small part of the inhabitants of that city do speak Gascon, that's not the case of Biarritz (Miarritze). Anyhow, both cities belong to the Basque historical region of Labourd (Lapurdi) and Basque language is much more extended (French is surely widely majoritarian nowadays). The claim of a separate Basque department (apart of Bearne) is overwhelmingly majoritarian among local politicans, no matter if they are Basque nationalists or they work inside whole-France parties. So, unless you consider the French Basque Country (Ipar Euskal Herria) as part of Gascony, which can have some historical reasons though, these Basque cities shouldn't be numbered among Gascon ones.

--Sugaar 21:58, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Some user put Bayonne and Biarritz a long time ago. I know there are claims these cities were historically part of Gascony, and there are claims for the opposite. You can delete it if you don't like it. Hardouin 2 July 2005 14:23 (UTC)
I've deleted Biarritz that is clearly not Gascon but kept Bayonne with a note: (arguably a Basque city), as it sometimes "claimed" by Gascons and has a Gascon-speaking minority. --Sugaar 03:42, 28 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bayonne has a double identity, Basque and Gascon. The basque community is the most important today, but in the late 19th century, the Basque would complain that most people spoke Gascon in Bayonne. I have asked the mapmaker to adapt the area of Gascony. Cheers. --Jibi44 11:03, 9 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bayonne has been Gascon-speaking since the Middle-Ages : the great majority of its toponymy is Romance and the remnants of Basque toponymy in the town are heavily gasconized. As a consequence, neighbouring village were also gasconized because of the town's influence ( it includes villages that are Landese such as Ondres<Ondartz, Tarnos<Tarnoze, ... ). Biarritz and Anglet were fully gasconized in the XVIIIth century. The Gascons were also present in the center-towns of Guétary/Getaria, St Jean de Luz/Donibane Lohizune and Bidart/Bidarte. St Sebastien/Donostia also used to have a Gascon minority. Bayonne's anthem is also in Gascon.

Basque elite or Basque character of Upper Medieval Gascony?[edit]

The author of the article states quite happily that the lords of Gascony were Basque while their subjects weren't, speaking a form of Romance that would evolve in Gascon.

Nevertheless, there's no evidence to sustain that and, in fact, it seems quite ilogical, however you look at it. Though the linguistic reality of VI-VIII centuries Wasconia (Gascony) is not known, it's very likely that Basque language and identity was much more extended northwards and eastwards than today. Most likely Basque was still spoken in most Gascony, along with a corrupted form of Latin that eventually gave birth to Gascon. At least three facts support this working hypothesis:

- Basque names found in funerary slabs of late Roman period, in what was then known as Novempopulania (Aquitania Tertia, Gascony), what seems to relate ancient Aquitanii with their neighbours south of the Pyrenees. Toponimy and genetic pool also confirm it.

- The very fact that the region is known as Vasconia or Wasconia: the land of the Vascones (Basque people). Though this name of Vascones is assigned originally (Estrabo) to a single tribe of what is now Navarre and northern Aragon, in the Middle Ages the name acquired an ethnical meaning, becoming the Latin/Romance synonim of Basque national name Euskaldunak: those who speak Basque.

- The fact that during personal union of the Duchies of Vasconia (Gascony) and Aquitaine (north and east of the Garonne) in the VIII century both territories remained separated, evidencing both historical and ethnic differences.

Additionally, Gascon is also, with Castilian (Spanish) and Aragonese, one of the three romance languages that show a very strong Basque influx in their evolution.

So I think this part of the article also needs to be reviewed to conform to Wikipedia standards of objectivity.

--Sugaar 21:58, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You are confusing the Basque language and the Aquitanian language. It is the Aquitanian language that was spoken in Gascony, not the Basque language. Both languages are related, but are not the same. By the time of the dukes of Gascony, the Aquitanian language had almost already disapeared. The dukes themselves spoke Basque, because they were invaders from the mountains where Basque was spoken. Later they spoke Gascon like the majority of the inhabitants of Gascony. Hardouin 2 July 2005 14:10 (UTC)
Well, we don't know how close they were related (the same): they were probably just dialects of each other (in fact Basque language is actually three, but for rasons of number, is being unified). In any case, I use Basque and Aquitanian indistinctly when speaking of languages, sometimes Basco-Aquitanian, whatever: it tells of the same reality.
You also don't have any reason to know wether Aquitanian language had disappeared either. It may have been the case in some regions and not yet in others. We can infer from the Aquitanian slabs (simmilar to others in La Rioja and low Navarre) that bilinguism was a reality in the outer ring, in the late Roman period, but then came the Bagaudae and the de facto independence. The Basque ethnicity was not then aristocratic in organization, nor I think that were Aquitanians either, so why those "elites"?
The case is that Basque (from a an ancient tribe called Vascones) was in the Middle Ages extended to deal with the whole Basco-Aquitanian area: the tribal independent region that basically spoke euskara (Basco-Aquitanian), primary identitarian concept in Basque (and logically also in Aquitanian). That there were several dialects or related languages (whatever you prefer) is not really relevant but actually trying to confuse things, as if Basques were a perfectly homogeneous group and would never had tribes nor separate dialects.
Also the Northern Basque Country was in Roman times considered Aquitania (Novempopulania). They surely spoke Aquitanian, their own Aquitanian dialects: central or eastern Basque.
I agree that eventually Gascon replaced Basque. No problem with that, but the name and history of the region is better understood once you realize that early Gascons were Basques (Basco-Aquitanians, euskaldunak, whatever term you prefer).
Those theories about invasions by Basques are totally unrealistic and part of official French history. There was no invasion, it was a rebellion against feudalization. --Sugaar 04:18, 28 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Otsoa, Loup and... Lobo?[edit]

Definitively Lobo was not the Medieval Castilian form of this extint name, but actually it was Lope (frome where the common surname López: son of Lope). Lobo does mean wolf in modern Spanish but it has never been used as name in that form.

--Sugaar 21:58, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Lobo is the name found in Spanish history books, that's why I used it. You can check this for an example where the name Lobo is used: [1]. Lope was the medieval Castillian version, but it seems now historians in Spain prefer to use the name Lobo. Hardouin 2 July 2005 14:22 (UTC)
I understand. But we are talking about an English Wikipedia article on a country where Spanish has never been spoken, so at least translate it to English, man!
Lop is the Gascon form (Otsoa in Basque, Loup in French). --Sugaar 04:21, 28 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

More, Please![edit]

Great article. However, could the person who wrote it ad a bit more detail, or at least more sub-articles, by writing up the red links? Fergananim

Spain vs. France[edit]

I'm not sure about this, but on a Travel Channel show I heard that the residents of Gascony are a mix of French and Spanish. They also said that the people of Gascony are under the rule of Spain and France, which does not make sense because it's part of France. Can someone clear this up?

The small spanish Aran Valley is, historically speaking, a part of Gascony. The local dialect is gascon, like on the other side of the border. That may explain why the show makes such an allusion to Spain. But most of Gascony is as a matter of fact in France. --Jibi44 09:13, 2 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is an old story: people who discover for the first time tne Occitan languages say they're a mix between French and Spanish. Of course, French, Spanish an Occitan (and Gascon) are clearly different languages, all resulting from evolution of the Latin. As an old Gascon I lived for years without putting a foot in Spain (it was in general Franco's time. It was like if there were nothing behind the Pyrenees). Morburre (talk) 17:58, 30 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Amazing that there's no mention of the English connection? It was, after all, the trigger for the longest war in history. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:21, 19 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Primary source used[edit]

Hi there, quite surprised about the revert, I thought the problem was rather the lack of a primary source. This is a pretty safe source (if this can be said of any record of that time), a classic when talking about Vasconia, Aquitania and the Franks and a safe statement (geographically accurate). I'm not elaborating my own these. Anyway, where is that rule set out? Regards Iñaki LL (talk) 22:14, 19 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have taken time to find some assertions about the specific problem of use of very ancient history classics to source articles, I found nothing on :en, but on :fr whose nooks and crannies I know better I found this caveat : "Les sources primaires (...) Il peut s'agir de documents comme : (...) des ouvrages historiques anciens (...) Toute interprétation de source primaire doit être fondée sur une source secondaire fiable" that is : "primary sources include old historical books. Every interpretation of such a source must rely on a secondary trustworthy source".
Let see why I think it typically applies here. You quote Einhard which only gives poor information : according to one author of the IXth century, there has been "Wascones" who "trans Garonnam et circa Pirineum montem habitant". First these old sources are not researched in the same way as can be history books from the last three or four centuries, with discussions and disputes between scholars, and Einhard is known not to be totally accurate - any information taken in his Annals must be weighted and analized, which is a job for professional historians, who can in turn been quoted. Second, even supposing this source is reliable, it does not prove there is an identity between "Wascones" and "Basques", and furthermore your use of the word "identity" with its flavour of modern nationalisms seems quite anachronistic here. I am no expert on this topic, but the sources I had browsed through a few words ago, mainly the book of Juan José Larrea about medieval Navarre and the book of Michel Rouché about medieval Aquitaine seem to think the question is quite tricky, but as far as I understood them, the equation between Wascones and Basque seem to them at best dubious, at worst unreliable. French Tourist (talk) 20:48, 24 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First sentence misleading[edit]

I am not familiar with editing articles and I don't want to accidentally delete anything important, so I simply undid a recent change to the first sentence of the article that said Gascony is today known as the Pays Basque. This clearly contradicts most of the article and is not, to my knowledge, how the term is generally used. I would suggest changing the sentence further to include something like "Gascony is a historical, cultural and linguistic region in southwestern France roughly located south and west of the Garonne River."

Regardless, the equation of Gascony with Pays Basque is clearly wrong, despite the etymological relationship. First, the area today known as the Pays Basque is a fairly small area compared to the area described as Gascony in the rest of the article. Second, at least in the past several hundred years, the Basque and Gascon peoples have spoken very different languages and have occupied different (if possibly overlapping) areas. The departments most closely associated with Gascony (Gers, Landes, etc.) are not today considered part of the Basque Country. Finally, even the map indicating Gascony in green at the top of the page excludes the area generally known as the Basque Country.

At any rate, judging by the content of the rest of the article and the nature of the comments on the talk page, people with far more knowledge on the topic than me have worked on this article. So this first sentence would appear to have simply been an oversight since it clearly contradicts much of what is said elsewhere in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pooley49 (talkcontribs) 21:20, 12 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Could we see Gascony on a map of all of France? CessnaMan1989 (talk) 14:01, 12 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cyrano de Bergerac[edit]

Cyrano de Bergerac was apparently Parisian, not a Gascon. See the article about him. Humphrey Tribble (talk) 06:39, 15 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article is linking to the historical person, but referring to the literary character, who is in fact more or less from Gascogne. 2 different Bergerac places, and two different Cyranos you see. 2607:FA49:4041:F700:C000:192A:D21E:C996 (talk) 16:33, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also, it may be a stretch to say that Bergerac is in Gascony. It was in the Dordogne sub prefecture of Guyenne Humphrey Tribble (talk) 06:44, 15 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Be that as is may, Cyrano in the text specifically describes himself as Gascon See Raving Colonel (talk) 16:43, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]