Bohorges, Boorges, Borges, Bouxges, Burges
The thirteenth-century Lancelot du Lac tells us that it was the birthplace of Uther Pendragon, and that it was ruled by the evil Lord Claudas. When Claudas waged war on his overlord, King Aramont of Brittany, Aramont and Uther laid waste to Berry, but spared Bourges because Uther had been born there.
Bourges | 1st century BC – 9th century AD
Roman Period | 1st century BC – 5th century AD
The site of Bourges was likely inhabited by the Gallic tribe of Bituriges, and the town was called Avaricum during the Roman period.
In the winter of 52 BC, during the Gallic Wars, Avaricum became a significant site of resistance against Julius Caesar’s Roman forces. The Gaulish leader Vercingetorix made Avaricum his base of operations. However, the city eventually fell to Caesar’s army after a siege, resulting in its integration into the Roman Empire.
The Romans reconstructed Avaricum as a Roman city with aqueducts, temples and an amphitheater. During the Roman period, Avaricum experienced urban development and infrastructure improvements. Roman architectural elements, such as public buildings, temples, and an amphitheater, were constructed in the city.
Early Christian Era
Like many Roman cities, Bourges experienced Christianization during the late Roman Empire. The spread of Christianity became more prominent in the region, Christian communities emerged, and churches were built in the city. Saint Ursin became the first bishop of Bourges during the third century AD.
Merovingian Period | 5th – 8th centuries
With the decline of the Roman Empire, Gaul underwent significant political changes, and came under the control of the Burgundians and later the Franks. The Merovingian kings held sway over the area during the early medieval period. Clovis I, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, played a significant role in the Christianization of the Franks. According to tradition, Clovis converted to Christianity in the late fifth century, and this event had implications for the religious landscape of the region.
Carolingian Period | 8th – 9th centuries
During the Carolingian period, Charlemagne’s empire included Bourges. The city and its surroundings were part of the broader political and administrative structure of the Carolingian Empire.
Viking Incursions | 9th century
The ninth century saw Viking incursions and raids along the coasts of France. While Bourges itself is not typically associated with Viking attacks, the broader region experienced the impact of Viking activities during this time.
Lancelot do Lac | 1215-1220
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230