Boulogne

Boulogne-sur-Mer
Latin: Gesoriacum

Boulogne-sur-Mer, commonly known as Boulogne, is a coastal city in northern France, situated on the English Channel, south of Calais.

According to Geoffrey, Arthur conquered it from Frollo as part of his invasion of Gaul, and gave it to either Holdin or Leodegan (Leodegrance). In Arthour and Merlin, it is one of the lands aquired by Uther Pendragon from King HarinanIgerne’s (Igraine) first husband.


Boulogne | 1st century BC to the 9th century AD

Roman Period | 1st century BC – 5th century AD
Boulogne originated as the Roman port of Gesoriacum, established around the first century BC. The strategic location on the English Channel made it an important maritime hub for trade and military activities. The Romans fortified Gesoriacum with walls and defensive structures. It served as a key base for Roman military campaigns and naval operations in the region.

Boulogne was a significant embarkation point for Roman expeditions to Britannia (Roman Britain). It played a crucial role in the Roman presence in northern Gaul and the British Isles.

Christianization
Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire during this period, including in Boulogne. Christian communities emerged, and churches were built in the city. Boulogne played a role in the Christianization of the region.

Early Medieval Period | 5th – 9th century
With the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century, the region, like many others, experienced a period of instability and transitions. Boulogne faced invasions by Saxon and Frankish tribes, which brought significant changes to the region’s political and cultural landscape. The area came under the influence of the Franks as the Frankish Kingdom expanded its territories. The Merovingian and Carolingian rulers had control over the region during the early medieval period.

Viking Incursions | 8th – 9th centuries
Like other coastal areas in Europe, Boulogne faced Viking raids and incursions during the eighth and ninth centuries. The Vikings, known for their seafaring prowess, targeted coastal settlements for plunder and trade.


Sources
Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138
Roman de Brut | Wace, c. 1155
Arthour and Merlin | Late 13th century