County of Aragon

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The County of Aragon or Jaca was a small Frankish marcher county in the central Pyrenean valley of the Aragon river, comprising Ansó, Echo, and Canfranc and centred on the small town of Jaca (Iacca in Latin and Chaca in Aragonese). It was created by the Carolingians late in the eighth or early in the ninth century, but soon fell into the orbit of the Kingdom of Navarre, into which it was absorbed in 922. It would later form the core of the 11th century Kingdom of Aragon.

Originally intended to protect the central Pyrenean passes from the Moors in the same way that the Duchy of Vasconia and the Marca Hispanica were to protect the west and east, Aragon remained largely out of the reach of its nominal Carolingian lords, though it was an expressly Frankish creation and not an ethnically distinct region. The earliest attested local ruler was Oriol (807), probably Frankish, Visigothic or Hispano-Roman. That Aragon was a combined creation of Frankish efforts at Reconquest and the activity of the local Hispano-Visigothic elite to unite the rural populace against the Moors of the Ebro valley seems assured.

In the first half of the ninth century, under the strong Carolingians, such as Charlemagne, the county of Aragon was culturally oriented northwards, across the important passes at Echo and Canfranc. The monastery of San Pedro de Siresa, founded about that time, was a Benedictine house nourished by the reforms of Benedict of Aniane. The cultural endowment of the monastery was...
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