Gascoigne, Gascoyne, Gaskoyne, Guascogna
Gascony in a region located in the southwestern part of France. It is situated between the Pyrenees Mountains to the south and the Garonne River to the north.
According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Duke Hoel conquered it as part of Arthur’s campaign in Gaul. Rulers in other sources include Hardiz (Wolfram), Aramont (Prose Lancelot), Ladon (Claris et Laris), Bors (Welsh Triads), and the Hunting Knight (Irish tale).
In the Irish Arthurian tale, The Visit of Grey Ham, the Hunting Knight is the son of the King of Gascony. In Welsh tradition Gascony is the kingdom of the elder Bors.
Gascony | 0 to 1100 AD
During the first to fifth century AD, Gascony was inhabited by various Celtic tribes before the Roman conquest. The region became part of the Roman Empire and was incorporated into the province of Aquitainia. Roman influence brought urbanization, infrastructure development, and Latnization of the local population.
In the Late Antiquity era (fifth to seventh centuries) the decline of the Western Roman Empire brought Gascony instability and was subjected to migrations of various peoples, including the Visigoths and the Franks. The Visigoths established their kingdom in parts of southwestern France, including Gascony. The region was later incorporated into the Frankish realm.
During the early Medieval Period (seventh to ninth centuries), Gascony was part of the Kingdom of the Franks under the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties. It was often administered as a frontier region due to its proximity to the Pyrenees. The region experienced a blend of Frankish and local Gascon influences. During this time, Gascony’s distinct linguistic and cultural identity began to take shape.
In the eighth century AD, Gascony faced threats from the Moors (Muslims from North Africa) who invaded parts of the Iberian Peninsula and occasionally crossed into Gascony. Charlemagne, the Carolingian ruler, pushed back against Moorish incursions and extended his control over Gascony. The region was included in the Carolingian Empire.
Gascony, like much of Western Europe, experienced Viking raids and invasions during the ninth and tenth centuries. Vikings targeted coastal areas and navigable rivers. Local lords and rulers often had to organize defenses against Viking attacks.
In the ninth to eleventh centuries, Gascony had trading connections with the Byzantine Empire, and Gascon merchants were known to operate in Constantinople. Byzantine coins have been found in Gascony, indicating some level of contact.
Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138
Triads of the Island of Britain (Welsh ”Triads”) | 11th century to 14th century
Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Brut | Layamon, late 12th century to mid-13th century
Lancelot do Lac | 1215-1220
Diu Crône | Heinrich von dem Türlin, c. 1230
Arthour and Merlin | Late 13th century
Claris et Laris | 1268
The Visit of Grey Ham | Between 11th and 13th centuries