The Duchy of Vasconia
(, , ), or Wasconia
, was originally a Frankish
march formed by 602 to keep the Basques
) in check. It comprised the former Roman province
and, at least in some periods, also the lands south of the Pyrenees centred on Pamplona
.Collins, relying on the Vita Hludowici
. Louis the Pious crossed the Pyrenees and "settled matters" in Pamplona, implying that it fell within his realm, obviously within the Gascon march.
In the ninth century, civil war within the Frankish realm led to the permanent loss of control over the transpyrenean territories and several competing claimants to legal authority in Vasconia. After the chaos of Viking raids affecting the whole Basque area from Bordeaux to the coastal areas of Biscay and the decline of central Carolingian power, a strong regional political dynamics developed that was to become Gascony
when the territories south of the Pyrenees shook off Frankish suzerainty (Pamplona) and other counties were created in the Pyrenees.
The western Pyrenean hill country was the refuge of the Basques in the period of barbarian invasions
. Both the Visigoths
and the Franks of Gaul
sought to subdue them, but neither power ever fully brought them into the orbit of their realms. In 602, the Merovingians
created a frontier duchy to their southwest during the tripartite wars between Franks, Visigoths, and Basques. At the same time, the Visigoths created... Read More