Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


French: Hainault

Hainaut is a historical region and province located in the western part of present-day Belgium. Hainaut is situated in the southern part of the country, bordering France to the southwest.

According to Wace, it was part of Arthur’s empire. Wolfram says that it was ruled by King Lambekin in the time of Uther Pendragon.

Hainaut | 0 to the 9th century AD

Roman Period | 1st – 5th centuries
During the Roman period, the territory that would later become Hainaut was part of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. Roman influence brought urbanization, infrastructure development, trade routes, and cultural integration.

Migration Period and Franksih Rule | 5th – 7th centuries
With the decline of Roman authority, the region experienced the influx of Germanic tribes, including the Franks and Saxons. The Salian Franks, in particular, played a significant role in the formation of the early medieval Frankish kingdoms. The Franks began to establish control over parts of what is now modern Belgium, including the area that would become Hainaut.

The Frankish influence in the area increased, and the territory that would later be part of Hainaut became part of the Frankish kingdom. The Frankish rulers established a feudal system, and the region was governed by local lords and nobles. The Franks brought their own social structures, governance, and cultural influences to the area.

Early Medieval Period
In the early Medieval Period, in the sixth century, the area was often part of larger political entities that encompassed various regions in present-day Belgium, France, and Germany. The region’s development was influenced by the changing political landscape of early medieval Europe.

The spread of Christianity during the early medieval period period also had an impact on the region. Christian missionaries worked to convert the local population, and churches and religious institutes began to be established. The Frankish king Clovis I convert to Christianity in the late fifth century, which had significant implications for the spread of Christianity among the Frankish people.

Merovingian and Carolingian Periods | 5th – 9th centuries
The Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties, which succeeded each other in Frankish rule, continued to govern the region. The Carolingian Empire, established by Charlemagne, had a lasting impact on the political and social organization of the area. The Treaty of Verdun in 843, which divided the Carolingian Empire into three parts, had consequences for the territory that would later be associated with Hainaut.

Roman de Brut | Wace, c. 1155
Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400