Loire River

French: La Loire
Leire, Leue, Leyer, Loirre

The Loire River is the longest river in France and is one of the major rivers in Western Europe.

The prose Lancelot tells us that the French river formed one of the borders of King Ban’s Benoic (Benwick).

Loire River and the surrounding region | 0 to 900 AD

Roman Period | c. 0 to 5 century AD
During the Roman Empire, the Loire Valley was part of the province of Gallia Lugdunensis. The Romans established settlements and infrastructure along the Loire River, including the city of Caesarodunum (modern-day Tours). The Loire River served as an important transportation route for the Roman Empire, facilitating trade and the movement of troops.

Barbarian Invasions | c. 5th century AD
As the Western Roman Empire began to decline, the Loire Valley experienced invasions by various barbarian tribes, including the Visigoths and the Huns. The city of Tours, situated along the Loire, played a significant role in resisting these invasions. Saint Martin, a prominent Christian bishop in Tours, was known for his charitable work and efforts to protect the city.

Frankish Period | c. 5th to 8th century AD
The Frankish Kingdom, under the leadership of Clovis I, expanded its control into the Loire Valley and other regions of Gaul. The Loire River became a political and cultural boundary, separating the Frankish territories from the lands controlled by the Visigoths and other groups. The spread of Christianity continued during this period, with the establishment of monasteries and religious centers along the Loire River.

Carolingian Dynasty | c. 8th century AD
The Carolingian Dynasty, led by Charlemagne, expanded Frankish rule further into the Loire Valley and established the Carolingian Empire. Charlemagne’s court at Aachen influenced the cultural and intellectual development of the region. Charlemagne’s reign marked a period of Christian revival, and many churches and monasteries were founded or rebuilt along the Loire.

Viking Raids | 8th and 9th centuries AD
Towards the end of the eighth century and into the ninth century, Viking raids and incursions reached as far south as the Loire Valley. The Loire River served as a navigable route for the Viking longships, allowing them to penetrate deep into the Frankish territories.

Lancelot do Lac | 1215-1220
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230