Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Champayne, Guienne

Champagne is a historic region in northeastern France, renowned for its production of sparkling wine, also called Champagne.

According to Der Pleier, the region of Champagne was allied to ArthurArthour and Merlin tells us that Uther Pendragon acquired Champagne from HarinanIgerne’s (Igraine) first husband.

After Lancelot breaks with Arthur and goes back across the Channel with his kinsmen and supporters, here is how he parcels out his lands:

[Lancelot] crowned Sir Lionel, King of France; and Sir Bors [he] crowned him king of all King Claudas' lands; and Sir Ector de Maris ... King of Benwick, and king of all Guienne, that was Sir Launcelot's own land.

He also makes others of his supporters Dukes of Limosin (Limousin) in Guienne, Poictiers, Querne, Sentonge (Saintonge), Provence, Landok (Languedoc), Anjou, and Normandy; and Earls of Perigot, Roerge, Bearn (Béearn), Comange (Comminges), Arminak (Armagnac), EstrakePardiak (Pardiac), Foise (Foix), Masauke, Tursauk, the Launds, Agente, and Surlat.

Lionses (Leonce), whom Malory calls “lord of the country of Payarne,” and who fights on the side of Arthur, Ban, and Bors, is probably identical with Leonce, the wisest and most loyal man in Gannes according to the Vulgate. This makes Payarne (Payerne) another French territory.

Champagne | 0 to the 9th century AD

Pre-Roman and Roman Periods
Before the Roman conquest, the Champagne region was inhabited by Celtic tribs. The Romans, during their expansion, eventually incorporated the region into the Roman Empire. Roman influence brought viticulture to the area, laying the foundation for the later development of Champagne as a wine-producing region.

Fall of the Roman Empire and Early Medieval Period | 5th – 9th centuries
With the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the early fifth century, the Champagne region, like much of Western Europe, experienced a period of political and social upheaval. The region was subject to various invasions and migrations by different Germanic tribes, such as the Vandals, Visigoths, and eventually the Franks.

Frankish Period | 5th – 9th centuries
The Franks, led by Clovis I, established control over the region in the late fifth century. Clovis I, who converted to Christianity, played a crucial role in the spread of Christianity in the region. The Champagne region became part of the Merovingian and later Carolingian Frankish kingdoms. Charlemagne, the Carolingian ruler, held the territory during the eighth and ninth centuries.

Ecclesiastical Influence
During the early medieval period, ecclesiastical influence increased, and monastic communities played a significant role in the development of viticulture and winemaking. Monasteries, often associated with the Catholic Church, were instrumental in preserving and advancing the knowledge of grape cultivation and winemaking techniques.

Arthour and Merlin | Late 13th century
Tandareis and Flordibel | Der Pleier, 1240-1270