site's logo and link back to the English-speaking home page image décorative 2, semblable à la précédente mais plus petite two additional texts about the history of Dijon between the Carolingian era and nowadays are available in French only. The tutorial Burgundy Wines in The 18th century is available in English arrow back

A City During the Carolingian Times

pages decorative bandeau, reminder of the one of the main entry home page and the localized home page

How could a Carolingian era city be looking like? That's what we are going to see with the example of Dijon, which nowadays is the capital of the region of Burgundy, France. Most of current cities, in Europe, took their origins during the Roman era as the Romans often built their cities upon a older, Gallic site, which was, further, often fortified. The origins of the European cities may often be traced too to the Roman legions' camps, or commercial sites

The St. Bénigne tower, the sole Dijon's castrum tower still availableThe St. Bénigne tower, the sole Dijon's castrum tower still available

From the Origins to Gallo-Roman Dijon

The geographic site of Dijon is located at the western limit of a tectonic ditch into which the Saône River is flowing, being filled with marnes and clays of the Oligocene geologic era. The site further is determined by the 'Côte', a North-South aligned cuesta dating back to the Jurassic, with the villages of Talant and Fontaine-lès-Dijon lying like relic-buttes ahead. The site of Dijon is lying at the confluent of two small rivers, the Ouche and the Suzon, which formed in the midst of the forests, a clearing intermingled with swamps. Lands are fertiles. Dijon, by the Copper Age, was along the main routes of tin and amber. Dijon, more specifically, is lying too upon pebble and gravel deposits which were laid down by the Suzon, a small torrent-cycled river flowing from the North. Prehistoric settlements all are found in the area of the 'Côte' or 'arrière-Côte' (in Dijon, that is pointing out to a line of plateaus' edge which runs from Dijon down to the Rhone river valley, and the rear country of that, respectiveley) which provided for obvious defensive sites. As the area of modern Dijon was devoided of any important river, with the Ouche River flowing South -it never freezes because it receives warm spring- the Suzon, or the Raine never having served beyond having some mills powered or timber floated and not providing the city with a real water resource, the development of that site based mainly upon that it had also become a crossroad of trade routes. The site of Dijon really find itself at such a crossroad of routes which look like being extant since the prehistoric times. Those trade routes, at the Celtic era in the 6th century B.C., were linked to the Vix oppidum as during those times, Dijon, under that name of 'Diviomagus', might have been a sacred market place which belonged to the territory of the Gallic tribe of Lingones. The first Celtic habitat likely first took refuge on the heights, West, of the 'Mont Afrique' as such heights might also constitute potential harbours, which could reassure people when they got to settle into the plain. One of the routes was coming from the Rhône River regions as it was heading thence to Flanders -through the nowadays villages of Vergy, Fleurey-sur-Ouche and Vix- or the Rhine River. A other route came from northern Italy through the Great St. Bernard pass, the Jougne pass and the Saône River at St-Jean-de-Losne as it was continuing beyond the site of Dijon towards the Paris area via the Seine River's source and Vix. A third route, at last, was a link between Bibracte and Autun and Gray and Alsace via the rim of the Côte and then northeast of the city at a location which nowadays harbours the city's borough of Grésilles. At that crossroad of Celtic routes, a 'vicus,' or little town, likely first appeared. Further elements which likely added to the site of Dijon were a legion camp which was installed by 70 A.D. in Chenôve, at a short distance southwest, when the Romans were occupied to defeat a rebellion by Civilis and Sabinus. Traders barracks were extant near that camp. The region of Dijon was then transfered from the Belgica Roman province to the military government of Upper Germany as legions' camps were extant in La Noue (Chenôve) and Mirebeau, a small city at about 15 miles northeast from Dijon. A military route, too,, was established by the end of the 1st century A.D. between Lyons, Gauls and Treves, Germany through Chalon and Langres, at the effect of being able to swiftly reach the Rhine. That road is called, locally, the 'Agrippa Road'. The prosperity of the area of Dijon, on a other hand, might more generally reside too into the fact that it was located just at the border of three territories of the Gauls, the Eduans, Sequanes and Lingones tribes which were found South, East and North respectively. By the Gallo-Roman era, those times during which the Gallic civilization melt into the Roman one, Dijon was a small city, a very prosperous trading and market place during the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. with the city then named 'Diviomagus' and lying along the crossroad of routes. The accurate location of the city is some surelevation at the arrival of the route coming from the Saône River, which was likely chosen to avoid the floodings from the Ouche River as the Agrippa Road is passing East and the other commercial route passing West. All those three road likely had become paved Roman roads at that time. During the Gallo-Roman era, routes, from Beaune, were passing through the arrière-Côte, southwest of Dijon, through the villages of Chamboeuf, which represents a important communications node, likely linked to the oldest habitat. The general axis of those routes was from the Mediterranean Sea to North Sea as the Beaune-Dijon route journeyed through current villages of Bouilland, Détain, Chamboeuf, and Gevrey-Chambertin. The site of Ecartelot had a important role as it served like a stop. Roman roads had been constructed few after Caesar's conquest by Roman engineer and general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, the son-in-law and cabinet minister of Augustus, of whom he was a king of co-regent. Such roads were constituted with a flat layer of rocks, a hedgehog-shaped layer of rocks and a last flat layer of rocks and eventually gravel. Miscellaneous goods were transported along the Dijon area's routes. Tin came from Châlon-sur-Saône and passed through Beaune, Savigny, Fontaine-Froide, Bouilland, la Fin-Haute, then Détain, Gergueil, Arcey, Mâlain and the Seine River's source. Oil and wine were imported from Italy through the Saône area. In the vicinity of Détain, sheep tending was dominating as wool was exported towards Italy. The commerce of stones, at last, was journeying from East to West through Meuilley, Arcenant, Détain and St-Jean-de-Boeuf. Such that main Roman South-North axis also made the link between local capital cities, Autun, Beaune, Dijon, and Langres. The importance of Dijon by that time is seen from the largeness of the most important cemetery of both which belonged to the city. It was stretching, either side of the military route, from the South to the East of Dijon. Burial stones further are describing numerous commercial activities. Another smaller cimetery, was found West, in a relatively lower location relative to the center of the agglomeration. The trade route between the Saône River and Paris was crossing into the town on a southeast-northwest diagonal. From the available maps, Dijon, like any Gallo-Roman city, Dijon likely was featuring a 'cardo' -the North-South axis- and a 'decumanus' -the West-East one- two perpendicular axis which determined the city. The North-South one likely was figured by the route leading to Alsace as the West-East was by the Saône River-Paris route. The intersection of both the cardo and decumanus, in Roman cities, were usually the place where the forum -the locus to public life- and major temples were found, which nowadays lies few away from Dijon's Art Museum and the Ste-Chapelle Square. That location even looks like it was preserved when the city found refuge into the castrum by the 3rd century A.D. Like most of the Gauls under the Roman rule, a part of the Gallic civilization had melt into the Roman to form the Gallo-Roman one, like in terms ofclothing, family names or the gods. God Mercury -likely due to the trade taking place in Dijon- was a important one. Some agricultural villages was to be found in the close and more distant neighbourhoods of the city. It seems plausible that, during that Roman era, the mighty naval trade corporation of the 'nautes' on the Saône River had too the monopoly of the terrestrial trade transport between that river and the valley of the Seine River. Of note that Dijon was not a civitas, those capital cities of Gallic peoples, with a ethnic identity but it was a crossroad of trade routes at the confines of three peoples, the Mandubians (with their capital at Alesia), the Eduans (Autun) and the Lingones (Langres), not taking in account some Sequanians (Besançon). There likely lies a explanation to the relatively open character of the inhabitants of Dijon, which generally, during history, proved extant until excesses of liberty shocked them. That also provides a explanation for that Dijon did not harbor officially a bishopric in the times of Christendom

The Castrum of Dijon

The Roman empire was struck by a profound crisis during the 3rd century A.D. which finally heralded is final fall as Dijon thus was affected too, like everywhere else. A general political crisis with the legions electing and unmaking their own emperor and the pressure from such people at the borders of the empire like the German tribes and the Parthians are bringing a general climate of instability during most of the century. All Roman cities either are vanishing, or are fortifying themselves behind makeshift walls. Such a wall, which usually was built from stones taken back from the existing monuments or buildings in the city, is called a 'castrum', from the Latin, meaning 'castle'. Dijon thus get fortified -likely about 270 A.D. under Emperor Aurelian- with walls measuring 15-ft wide and 30-ft tall, of which 20 ft of main apparel. The wall, totally, was 1,200-yard long. Some authors are calling a earlier date, by 170 A.D., under Marcus Aurelus, a feat which at that time would have matched the importance of Dijon only. Some others further are refereing to the time of Emperor Constantine the Great when that first Christian emperor made a inspection tour of, and repaired and fortified borders' cities between 311 and 319 A.D. The castrum was slighthly withdrawn from the Gallo-Roman town, upon a flat which, East of the crossroad of routes, overhanged the swamps area. Dijon then had a surface of 1 hectare (1.9 by 1.9 miles) as inhabitants which kept living outside the wall could also search refuge there in case of a threat. The castrum also is containing authorities' residences and some public buildings. That period of the history of Rome largely defined what cities were to remain such in the coming ages as some could afford their walls as other could not. In the region of Dijon, for example, Mediolanum, current days Mâlain, 9 miles West, a city more important than Dijon, with some thousands of inhabitants and founded by 200 A.D. on the tin trade route coming from Châtillon-sur-Seine, former Vix, was deserted as soon as by 250 A.D. as the people fled to behind the walls of Dijon. Les Bolards, which were another trade town, more South, between Dijon and Beaune, was eventually abandonned by the beginnng of the 5th century A.D. only as that might have been due that is was harbouring a Mitrha worshiping place, that Indo-Iranien religion prized by merchants and soldiers. The city of Beaune was the equivalent stop place to Dijon for the trade route coming from Lyon. It also could survive behind its walls. A general trend at the time, generally, was that the inhabitants of cities fled those towards the countryside and settled there, likely as they had better chances of finding they feeding resource. Like the case elsewhere, that defensive effort left outside the walls however with some inhabitants keeping to live there. Such places are called 'boroughs' ('bourgs' in French). It was the trade route between the Sa⊚ne and the Seine rivers which kept defining Dijon's castrum as it entered and got out through the two double-towered, main doors of it. The two other doors were mere 4-ft wide doorlets as protected by one tower only, which was lying to their left as seen from the outside. As far as the other roads are concerned, theirnetwork had gotten simplified. The route which came from the Rhône valley via Beaune looks like it merged with the route which came through the Côte. After it had sided the borough outside the walls, the latter departed, next to the northwestern door either in the direction of Langres, or, northeast, of Mirebeau and Gray and likely heading to the Rhine River. The military route had been abandoned with its tracks, North, integrated too into the route coming from Beaune

Dijon Under the Merovingians

The fate of Dijon then falls into the general history of Burgundy as the Roman empire's fall occurs and is letting room to the Barbaric kingdoms. Those in turn eventually passed under the rule of Clovis, King of Franks. Burgundians settled in Dijon by 476 A.D. as Dijon, which had turned a fortified town, kept being a vivid and prosperous city. Dijon at the time is acquiring its final name of 'Divio', like appearing in the writings of chroniker Gregory of Tours (544-595) which, by 570 A.D., is giving that accurate description of the city in his 'Ecclesiastical History Of the Franks.'
'Dijon is a fortress, castrum, featuring very powerful walls and located in the center of a fine plain, the lands of which are so fertile and so productive that the fields, as they are seeded after one ploughing only, are giving abundant harvests. South is found the Ouche river, which is very rich in fishes as from the North a other small river is flowing and entering the city through one door, passing under a bridge and getting out through another door, it is circling the whole walls through a calm water. In front of the door however, it is powering the mills with a amazing swiftness. Four doors are extant, each one facing a cardinal point as thirty-three towers reinforce the walls. The walls are made of quarried stones up to a height of twenty feet as they are made of a smaller apparel above that. The total height is of thirty feet and the width of the walls is of fifteen feet. Why Dijon is not termed a 'city', I do not know the reason. Useful source are found in the neighbourhoods, all around the city. To the West very fertile heights are found, as they are covered with wineyards which are providing the inhabitants with a so noble falerno that those are despising the Ascalon wine. Elders in Dijon are telling that it was the Roman emperor Aurelian who had the city built'

thumbnail to a view of the castrum of Dijon by the Carolingian timesclick to a illustration of the castrum of Dijon by the Carolingian times (some additional remarks concerning how the illustration was made are available)

The walls of the castrum, at an unidentified time, had been defensively augmented with ditches, which surrounded them as they were fed by the torrent-regimed river flowing from the North. Those ditches were not immediately contiguous to the walls but located at some tens of yards. The main stream of current was crossing into the castrum self as a system of dams and vanes allowed upstream to send a part of its waters to feed the ditches. Some dams further, downstream was retaining those as two mills benefited from that power when the water was released there. Before that detourment, the Suzon river was separating the castrum and the St-Bénigne abbey. The Suzon river, during the Middle Ages was to flow the westernmost part of the 'bourg' of the time, before the St-John and St-Philibert parishes. It is possible that other mills were found North of the castrum, by the current location of the Ducal Palace. The castrum eventually came to be replaced by a new wall, by 1137 A.D., which allowed for the life of Dijon until by the end of the 18th century. The walls of the castrum along with the ditches kept being extant inside the new wall however until by 1356. They were called the 'castle' of Dijon, or the 'Sarracenes Wall', with the Duke of Burgondy holding the exclusive right to re-use stones from it. The castrum then kept being inscribed the geography of Dijon as its limits became the ones of the St-Médard parish. In the surrounding country, most numerous pre-Roman settlements were found East of Dijon. Roman settled their own villae in that same area, albeit more North, closer to the city, or more East and southeast than previous settlements. Villae also were found South, about the current village of Marsannay-la-Côte. Germanic settlements came more West of Dijon, which represented the side of mounds and plateaus as a line of Germanic settlements is also found beyond northeastern and southeastern villae

Another determining element of the history of Dijon during the early Middle Ages, was Church! Dijon did not harbour a bishopry. It was Langres, the capital city of the Lingones, North, which had that privilege. Two basilicae only had been built in Dijon upon the graves of two ancient female saints, St. Paschasia and St. Florida, in the western cemetery which had been chosen like a burial place by the first Christians in the city. By 407, or 408 A.D. however Langres became plundered, likely because it found itself on the path of the German tribes flowing from the Rhine border. The bishops of Langres thus, at the time, did abandon their city and came to take refuge in the castrum of Dijon. The city of Dijon, generally, declined since the mid-5th century A.D. That transfer should have occur when Urbain was the sixth bishop of Langres, who died by 450. Dijon became the usual residence of the bishops of Langres under the bishopry of St. Gregory (bishop from 506 or 507 to 538, or 539), who was the grandfather to Gregory of Tours and under St. Tetricus, his son, who died by 573 A.D. The bishops of Langres only return to set back in Langres at the time when the Carolingians reorganized the Frankish Church, by the beginnings of the 9th century as that resettlement only became definitive by about 880-888 A.D. Langres then had turned a royal bishopric. They did keep a 'secondary seat' by Dijon however during the 9th and 10th centuries and until when Burgundy definitively passed under the rule of the Capetian kings. Canons of St-Stephen then turned a abbatial chapter and they kept benefitting important rights. The St-Bénigne abbey then kept -because it was a bishopric abbey- under the direct rule of the bishops of Langres, which lasted until in the 10th century A.D. Langres progressively turned a county by the late 9th century A.D. or maybe before. That presence of the bishops of Langres in the city of Dijon first had like a consequence that a 'cathedral group' of buildings was built inside the castrum. According to the rules of the time, it comprised the bishop's main church (in Dijon, under the invocation of St. Stephen), a smaller church South, Ste-Mary, dedicated to Virgin Mary and, North, a baptistery, the St-Vincent baptistery. The cathedral ensemble was served by a community of clerics which were governed by a abbot. The bishop's house self had it back linked to the walls like it had in many other cities. When the bishops returned to Langres, the St. Stephen church was ruled by a chapter of regular canons albeit conserving considerable rights into the city and eventually came to be the landlord to most of the surface of the city. Bishop Urbanus, before 450 A.D., on the other hand, had had built a new basilica -which had been named St-John- beside both the ancient ones at the use of his burial and the one of his successors. A popular devotion, at last, by the beginning of the 6th century, was performed in that western cemetery upon a grave which bishop St. Gregory -great-great-grandfather to writer Gregory of Tours- considered a pagan cult as a dream revealed to him that it was the grave of a martyr named Benignus. A fourth basilica thus soon was built, St-Bénigne, about 520 A.D. as the sarcophage of the saint was placed into a crypt. 'Benignus sanctus,' or the 'good saint,' in Latin, supposedly came from Smyrna, Asia Minor as he would have been the contemporary to St. Polycarpus who himself was a disciple to St. John. Polycarpus sent Benignus to evangelize the Gauls. After he had done in Marseille, Autun and Langres, Benignus eventually encoutered martyrdom in Dijon under Roman count Terence, governing the area for Emperor Marcus Aurelius. A abbey soon came to join the church of St-Bénigne, which was under the direct possession of the bishops of Langres until in the 10th century A.D. The feat allowed that abbey of the Merovingian times to survive until after those times. Bishop Isaac, by 871 A.D. re-founded the abbey -and rebuilt the church- like a Benedictine one which he placed under the direction of then Co-bishop Bertilon and granted appropriate properties. Isaac also had the church of St-Benignus self to be restored. The basilica however, along with the monasterial buildings, was rebuilt as soon as by the Year Thousand by the famed, Cluniac Abbot Guillaume of Volpiano in the romanesque style. Benignus' relics triggered a important pilgrimage. The abbey of St-Bénigne also influenced the topography of Dijon as a important borough developed close to the abbey, like often the case. The area came to be enclosed into a defensive ditch. St-Stephen, the bishop's church, and the abbey St-Benignus thus plaid a strong role into the history of Dijon, defining two poles, one in the castrum, the other in a borough. The abbey St-Bénigne, along with the St-Stephen cathedral -or chapter- was the largest land-owner of Dijon and the surroundings. The original endowment of the St-Bénigne abbey was due to Merovingian Burgundy King Gontran, by the late 6th century A.D. St-Bénigne thus was granted a wholeset of land West of Dijon, with the nowadays disappeared village of Larrey-sur-Ouche, in the Ouche River valley, then the royal domains since the Dijon's bridge upon the Ouche River up to Fleurey-sur-Ouche, and too Bussy, Colonges (between Talant and Plombières), Plombières, Saligny, Conge (left of Velars, or Ecotois), Velars, Lantenay, Giron, Corcelles, Flavignerot, Prenois, Gissey-sur-Ouche, Marigny (about Labussière), Barbirey, etc. It also by that time that the St-Bénigne abbey passed under the St. Benedict Rule. Until now, is was following the St. Macarius one as the first monks of St-Bénigne had come from St-Jean-de-Réome which was following that. King Gontran had linked the St-Bénigne abbey with the abbey of St-Maurice-d'Agaune, Switzerland and the one of St-Marcel-lès-Chalon. Monks of Dijon worried to have monasteries or lands -which they used like hostels- at their disposal along the old Roman road between Dijon, the Jura and Alps mountains, with Fauverney, Echigey, Les Tarts, Tavaux, the Doubs and then the Loue river (by Belmont), Chamblay, Sertemery, val de Salins, and Pontarlier. Other donations in the following times came to add to that original nucleus of lands, like Talant, on its butte, a uninhabited place until the 12th century, almost cursed and abandoned to the fairies (that site had been a place of oracle by druidesses as the mound there had been artificially built by a Celtic leader who buried into the treasures of his conquests and settled a village and his abode atop)

Here is a list of the bishops of Langres, who sojourned in Dijon (the list is approximate only):

Dijon Under the Carolingians

As Dijon was part of the territories which had been invaded by the Burgundians, one of the German people who conquered the Roman empire, the city came to be a city of their kingdom. Then, by the end of the 6th century A.D., Dijon was taken into the fights which progressively became rising between the Franks and the other German folks, of which those Burgundians. Queen Clothilde, the wife to Frankish King Clovis was hating her uncle who had had her father Chilperic to be assassinated and she urged Burgundian bishops to pass to Franks. One bishop, for example, had to flee the city by about 490 by fear of the crowd as he had been accused of treason to the benefit of the Franks. He fled to Clermont-Ferrand, the bishop of which he became. King Clovis eventually vainquished the Burgundians in 501 A.D. in a battle which took place close to Dijon, on the banks of the Ouche River, likely in Fleurey-sur-Ouche after he had rallied to his cause Godegisel, the brother to king Gondebald. Chramm, a revolted son of King Clotair I, came to invade the city by 558 as, albeit well received, he could not conquer. Dijon was holding a monetary mint workshop under the Merovingians. King Dagobert II held 'assises" in Burgundy as Pippin II of Herstal, by 680 A.D., led the Greats of Austrasia against Neustrian majors of palace which were fighting against those of Burgundy. By 687 A.D., after the victory of Tertry, Pippin II turned the major of palace of the three Merovingian kingdoms of Neustria, Austrasia, and Burgundy. A major of palace of Burgundy was still extant by about 700 A.D. By those time and it looks like until in the 9th century, old families were perpetuating themselves as they bore the ancient titulature of 'senator.' As soon as Charles the Hammer however new, all-Austrasian elites, are settled in Burgundy. The Arabic raid in 725, when Autun, Langres and the abbey of Bèze were plundered, looks like it avoided Dijon. Burgundian Greats however had not done anything to prevent the raid as they even might have seeked for it. Charles the Hammer passed Burgundy, with Austrasia and Thuringia, to Carloman, the brother to Pippin the Short, who got Neustria, Provence and Burgundy). Dijon, a fortified city, kept vivid and prosperous by the end of the Merovingian times and during the Carolingian ones as the Church communities of St-Stephen and St-Bénigne contributed to that also. By 800 A.D., for example, a market linked to St-Bénigne developed. The church of St-Bénigne at the time was in a full reconstruction, which had been decided by Bishop Isaac. The new church was consecrated in 882 A.D. By the 8th and 9th centuries A.D., St-Bénigne tended to turn into a chapter and not a abbey anymore as Bishop of Langres entrusted the direction of it to a chorbishop. Bishop Isaac, as supported by Chorbishop Bertilo, came back to a monastic rule and he restored abbey's heritage. Since 803, there are tracks, in Dijon -either in the St-Stephen cathedral, or in St-Bénigne- of aa 'schola cantorum,' a school were they trained into Gregorian chant. The St-John basilica had, by the 9th century, took the new name of St-John-Outside-the-Walls and had become a abbatial church. Viscounts established by the Carolingians, by the 9th century A.D., settled in the northwestern corner of the castrum, where the later Ducal Palace was to be built. By the Treaty of Verdun in 843 A.D., Dijon, along with 'Frankish Burgundy,' passed to Charles the Bald's Francia occidentalis. That epoch also had turned the one of Northmen, who were raiding the coasts of the Carolingian empire. Southern Burgundy, like Dijon, thus became a region of refuge to threatenend monastic communities. Monks of Noirmoutiers, for example, came to take refuge in Tournus with their relics of St. Philibert, or the relics of St. Vivant, another saint of Vendée, found refuge in the area of Nuits-Saint-Georges. Vikings however eventually ventured into Carolingian mainland, from their own initiative or because they had been diverted there by rulers who wished to safeguard other regions. Dijon, by 878 A.D. fall into their hands. Bertilo, the aid to Bishop of Langres Isaac and chief of clerics attached to the St-Bénigne church is assassinated along with is monks as he had not willed to abandon the saint's tumb. He immediately was considered a martyr. Intended King Louis the Stammerer, by 862 A.D. married Ansgard of Burgundy. The St-Bénigne abbey, by 873 A.D., along with the St-Mammés church in Langres, was granted by Charles the Bald the right of mint and the rights pertaining to the market of Dijon. From that is appearing on the minted coins the words 'Divioni Castre' and 'Divione Civis' which hints to that Dijon at the time has had a castle built. That, with certainty, had been built in the northwestern corner of the castrum, there where the current Ducal Palace is found, as it was termed 'Palace' by 960 A.D., for example, and then 'Logis du roi' ('King's Abode'). Emperor Charles the Fat, by 886 A.D. kept that policy of rerouting raiders towards Burgundy as the Northmen were passing through the valleys of the Seine, Yonne and Armançon rivers and Burgundy was once again plundered by about 888. The abbeys of St-Germain-d’Auxerre, Flavigny, Vézelay and Bèze were plundered. Vikings were that numerous that one said that their beasts of burden almost entirely dried up the Bère river's spring. Dijon, that time, escaped damages through the walls of the castrum which had been reinforced by order of Bishop Isaac. Monks of the abbey of Bèze had had the time to shelter there St Prudent's relics, their patron saint and other relics could also be protected behind the walls

The time was that of Richard the Righter of Wrongs, who termed himself 'Duke of Burgundians.' A defensor against the Northmen, a member to the Robertian family (whende the Capetian kings eventually issued), he represents the move which makes that the Carolingian empire, during the first halve of the 10th century, is to break up into several large principalities. The Carolingians further tried to control and organize those like military commands. By that same time, counts of Dijon -the first of which are Aimar, Eliran and several Raul- who look like there are also issued from the Robertians. Last Carolingians of Francia occidentalis, during the second halve of the 10th century A.D., endeavoured to keep control, through faithful Robertians, of that part of Burgundy which was lying under their rule. Under Louis IV (921-954 A.D.), they even took direct control of Dijon, Chalon or Langres. Another tendency looks like some other party favored Burgundian independency or its merge with County of Burgundy (current Franche-Comté). That opened out into confused struggles who had the main principalties of the previous epoch to split up further still and eventually give birth to the feudal era. Above all that, since 950 A.D., the shadow of Ottonians, who revived the Empire in Germany, is rising. Dijon turned the residence of the Dukes of Burgundy as, by 960 A.D., Beaune maybe took the role for a while. St-Stephen chapter and St-Bénigne abbey kept the main landlords of lands, tenures and such in Dijon and around. Queen Emma, the widow to King Lothair, daughter to Lothair of Arles, from the House of Burgundy and King of Italy, looks like she kept Dijon, or even the Duchy of Burgundy, like her dowry as she minted coins and she took refuge there after King Lothair's death when se was at odds with King Louis V his son, and last Carolingian king of France. She might have brought into Dijon some German influence as her mother married in second weddings Otto the Great and thus impress and mother to Emperor Otto II. Emma too at a time was the prisoner to Charles of Lorraine, the last Carolingian, French crown pretender. Dijon then, likely after Queen Emma's death (who eventually had married un heir to Emperor Otto I) passed under control, by the late 10th century, of Bishop of Langres, Brun of Roucy as count of Beaumont-sur-Vingeanne was ruling in his name. Hugh Capet who had become the first Capetian king of France wanted to maintain the control upon Burgundy as another party searched to even merge the duchy and the County of Burgundy. The Duchy of Burgundy first passed to Duke Henry the Great, brother to Hugh Capet as he died by 1002 A.D. without heirs. The duchy then passed to his son-in-law, Count of Burgundy (Franche-Comté) Odo-William, he had adopted and who also is the brother-in-law to Bishop Brun of Roucy. Such a choice was supported by Bishop of Langres and the Burgundian Greats, which likely evidences for a regional feeling at the time. King of France Robert the Pious however, who was the nephew to Henry the Great and his successor by law, claimed the duchy and he wanted to follow the Capetian policy of controling Burgundy. King Robert came to besiege Dijon in vain as the city was defended by Humbert, lord of Mailly and Viscount Guy the Rich. As soon as 1006 A.D. however, Duke-Count Odo-William prefered to withdraw into the County of Burgunday and to leave the duchy to King Robert. Robert had to wait until the death of Bishop of Langres Brun of Roucy, by January 1016, to be able to take possession of Dijon. A treaty by 1015 A.D. had given the duchy of Burgundy to the Capetian king as the county of Dijon to a certain Lambert, a opponent to the king. Lambert eventually was given the bishopric of Langres by King Robert as he leaves the county of Dijon to him. By 1016, Dijon still was featuring a viscount. The duchy of Burgundy first passed to Henry, the second son to King Robert the Pious but, as the elder son died and he became heir to the crown like King Henri I, King Robert as he was dying, in 1031 A.D., appointed Duke of Burgundy another son of his, who also was named Robert. At that date too, Dijon became the capital of the duchy as from that Duke Robert will be issued the Capetian Dukes of Burgundy who were to hold it until in 1361. The duchy then was given like a apanage to one of the sons to King of France John II the Good, the duchy then passed to the Valois Dukes. William of Volpiano had been sent from the abbey of Cluny and he had the abbatial church of St-Bénigne rebuilt by the early 11th century. The church then turned a pilgrimage place more important than Cluny self. The originator of that renewal had been Bishop of Langres Brun of Roucy who wanted to reform the abbey, who had fallen into relaxation. He called to Abbot Mayol, of Cluny, who sent to him twelve monks by November 989, one of those being William of Volpiano. Volpiano was then elected abbey by 990 A.D. As he had acquired a reputation for being a reformer, he braced into the reform of numerous other abbeys whic however were not rattached to the Cluniac Order as they formed the 'Benignan Congregation' instead. Such abbeys were found in Burgundy, Normandy or Lotharingia. William of Volpiano died in 1031 and those abbeys turned independent back. He had had rebuilt in 1002 A.D. the abbey and cloister of St-Bénigne and Middle Ages chronicler Raul Glaber wrote a life of him. That new abbey burnt during the fire of Dijon by 1137 A.D. as it was rebuilt then. It is that abbey which is still existing nowadays. Dijon turned the ducal capital of the Capetian Dukes by 1031. By the first halve of the 11th century A.D., St-Stephan church, like a cathedral church, was rebuilt upon the location of the ancient St-Mary church as the old St-Stephan turned into St-Médard, a parish church

->Bèze, Another Great Abbey in The Region of Dijon
After the troubled times that saw the death of Queen Brunehaut --of Visigothic origin -- who, Queen of the Austrasians, had lost their support because partisan of a centralized monarchy opposed to the Greats, Merovingian King Dagobert I (629-639) restored the Merovingian lineage one last time. Its reign already was to see the development of Pepin of Landen and St Arnulf, the founders of the Carolingian lineage and it was to be followed, in general, by the weakening of Merovingian Kings to the benefit of the mayors of the palace. In these still troubled times, Dagobert had his uncle Brodulf killed as, with Neustrians, he supported Charibert II, half-brother of Dagobert, as the king of Aquitaine. Aquitaine became a Frankish 'subkingdom' according to the Germanic tradition but Brodulf however was nethetherless executed by three Greats of the royal court, Dukes Amalgaire and Amebert and Patrice Willibaud, around 636. Amalgaire was rewarded by the granting of the Pagus Attoariorum, or the 'county of Attuarians', a German (and even Frankish) people, the Hattuaires, which the Romans had installed on the banks of the Saône and the valley of the Vingeanne rivers at the end of the troubled times of the 3rd century A.D. towards 304. Amalgaire then, with his wife Aquiline, in imitation of Dagobert I who regretted his decision and built the abbey of St-Denis in Paris, ended up giving his land to the Church in atonement and founded, in 616 or 630, a abbey, the Abbey Fontaine de Bèze, dedicated to the Saints Peter and Paul, at the source of the river of that name, or the 'fons Besua,' likely already a place of pagan worship. Amalgaire continued to endow the abbey for the remainder of its life with villages in the Dijon or the Saône area and vineyards of the Burgundian coast including the famous Clos de Bèze de Gevrey-Chambertin. The Abbey of Bèze was one of the four Merovingian abbeys of the Bishopric of Langres with St-Benign, Saint-Seine or Moûtiers-St-Jean. It was, from the beginning, a Colombanian abbey as the first abbot, Waldalene, one of the sons of Amalgaire, was a monk of Luxeuil. By 826 A.D., which was a time of a major reconstruction by Bishop of Langres, Alberic, the abbey turned Benedictine, after a hectic life: disorders that followed the death of Dagobert and its Greats (658-676), destruction by the Saracens (731), abbacy of Rémi, the half-brother of Pepin the Short with his dissolute life (about 752; that triggered the departure of most monks back to Luxeuil), or epidemics. Such a turbulent life was to continue with the devastation of the Normans and desertification (888 A.D.; restoration in 900), the Magyars (935 then 937; again desertification down to 988 A.D.). In 883 A.D., Bishop of Langres Geilon, on its way back from a pilgrimage to Compostella, brought back from Narbonne the relics of Saint Prudent. Then Raoul the White, Viscount of Dijon (he made himself monk at the abbey and became the abbot) and the Bishop of Langres Brun of Roucy asked Abbot Mayeul of Cluny to send them monks to raise back up the abbeys of the region. Guillaume de Volpiano was the artisan of that and, after being the Abbey of St-Benign in Dijon, he became abbot of Bèze (990-1031). The abbey of Bèze became a center of erudition --with one of the monks Raul Glaber, the historian of the year 1000. The abbey also had been one of the first to own a monastic school as soon as by 655 A.D. The abbey, which in the 11th century was named the abbey of St-Pierre de Bèze, engaged in the classical Middle Ages and knew the climaxes and torments of them, participating in the prosperity of its small region. The Hundred Years' War brought fortifications and moats to the abbey, which continued to undergo the raising and woes of the times: regime of the commende which brought lay abbots, French Wars of Religion, Thirty Years' War. It was to be to the monks of the Congregation of St-Maur to give a last lustre to St-Pierre de Bèze until the French Revolution. The abbey however, due to the creation of the bishopric of Dijon --to which it was attached -- had become no more than a convent, with a prior. The ones who bought the 'Biens nationaux' during the French Revolution --those wealth taken to Church and Greats -- destroyed the abbey between 1796 and 1804. The abbey of Bèze, nowadays, is opened to visits to the care of the family who owns the abbey since 1872 (more details on the abbey's website). The village of Bèze, with its cave-resurgence of the river, is also worth the tour

Dijon, in terms of trade routes by the Carolingian times, is located on the routes by which the Rhadhanite merchants are trading from and to Austrasia, in direction of Lyon, wheat, wine, honey and garance and then from and to the Persian Gulf and India slaves, furs and swords, exchanging those against musk, aloes, camphor, cinnamon and other Eastern products. Their trade towards Spain also likely passed through Dijon as they made transit the same goods than towards the East outside the Carolingian empire. Such products as far as they are concerned, were aiming to the Middle East through North Africa. The Frisian, and maybe Anglo-Saxon, merchants too are passing in Dijon as they are exporting ceramics and glass products towards Marseille. Those trade flux are hinting to that it is mostly the Beaune-Langres route which mostly conserved its commercial role during those times as the road coming from northern Italy did not as much except when some of the cargo is routed by water, unto the Saône River, down South. Burgundy however, generally, acquired a strategic and commercial status under the Carolingians as the sovereigns first encouraged, for their military use, the development of the route of the Mont-Cenis pass through the Maurienne valley and the Val of Suza as the commercial route to Italy kept through the Great St-Bernard pass. When, like said above, Charles the Bald, by 873 A.D. granted market and minting rights to the abbey of St-Bénigne and the the St-Mammès church in Langres, and the revenue of St-Stephen to the Bishop of Langres, that likely comforted the predominating role of Dijon. By the 11th century A.D., the borough West had been added with a borough East which was called 'la ville, or 'villa'

The County of Dijon

From a administration history point of view, the history of Dijon is obscured enough. It is known however that Dijon is the seat to a county as soon as by the 5th century A.D. as, since 658, Dijon and its area are termed like 'pagus Attoariorum.' 'Pagus' which means '(local) country' in Latin was the titulature used to point to a local administrative unit which was entrusted a count. By 750 A.D. Dijonnais was divided into 3 pagi, with each a count. Those were the county of Dijon, of the Ouche River -or Oscheret- and of Attoarians -or Tiltes- respectively. Some are stating that the pagus was the county Dijon was the capital city of which as Dijon then turned the one of 'pagus Divionensis.' Counts, generally, might have existed since the Carolingian era only. The county of Dijon, which was termed 'pagus divionensis" since 768 A.D. stretched North-South from Grancey to Gevrey-Chambertin and from Arceau et Lantenay, West to Remilly, East. It did appear, which varies depending upon sources, in 768 only, or in the 10th century A.D. 'Pagus Attoariorum' or the 'Atuyer', which meant the 'country of the Hattuarians' refered to a German -and even Frankish- people, the Hattuarians, that Romans had settled along the shores of the Saône river, in the Vingeanne river valley, by the end of the troubled times in the 3rd century, by 304 A.D. The Oscheret, or the county of the Ouche river, was stretching from the Saône to the Côte and from the Tille to the Vouge rivers. It appeared during the 9th century only, like a part taken from the county of Dijon. One count to it only is known, with Maldegaugus, by 893 A.D. and St-Jean-de-Losne looks like it was the county's capital. The Oscheret looks like it eventually was rattached again to the county of Dijon during the 10th century A.D. as the latter took the name of 'comitatus divionensis' at the time. Such that division seems to have been hesitating -or badly understood by the contemporaries selves- as, between 658 and the 10th century A.D. same place were said indifferently belonging to one or the other counties' names and 'pagus Oscariensis' even might have had termed the county of Dijon too. That terminology complexity might also have mirrored the Dijon area originality in terms of territorial entity. Dijon and his surroundings indeed never constituted a Roman 'civitas,' that Roman administrative unit which matched the former Gallic tribes's. In fact, Dijon was lying at the confines of three Gallic territories and his commercial importance only, from the Ouche to the Saône rivers had assured it its fame (and maybe too the settlement of the Bishops of Langres) and likely awarded it with a count. The count of Dijon resided in his countal house, inside the castrum at a undetermined location. A castle is seen extant by about 873 A.D., by the northwestern corner of the castrum, there where the miscellaneous ducal palaces were built in the following times. Counts of Dijon began to be knwon by name with Manasses of Vergy only, who was the first hereditary count in 877 A.D. The county of Dijon remained in the House of Vergy until in 986 when it passed to that of the lords of Beaumont-sur-Vingeanne. The country then passed to Duke-Count Odo-William and, eventually to French crown in 1015 A.D.

Counts have some lieutenants with him, which are termes 'viscounts.' They are removable as some of them are known as soon as by the 9th century A.D. They were judges during the count was absent as they were appointed by the count, of the Bishop of Langres. Like the counts, viscounts eventually turned their office into a hereditary one and them, with their 'men,' or 'vassals' -the count had his own ones- were granted, along with their rights of privileges, liberties, freedoms, like the exemption of the debts of Dijon, for example, the part of the castrum which lied by the southwestern door of it, a one which was very populated. They had their hostel there, a chapel, a tenure and several adjoining buildings, a cimetery as markets and fairs were also held in that quarter. The viscount alone had the right to judge in that district, possessed the feudal rights and the wines and harvest time bann, or decision. Such viscounts are known by name since the 11th century A.D. only, as the first one was Guy the Rich, who possessed three fiefs in St-Apollinaire, a village northeast of Dijon as those were given by Duke Robert I to St-Bénigne. His successor was his son, Gauthier, by 1043 A.D. Since a certain time, the count also had with him a provost and the sergeants of him

Some swift bibliographic reference (all in French, unluckily): a famed texte, from Gregory of Tours, in his 'Ecclesiastical History of the Franks', III, 19. 'Le séjour à Dijon des évêques de Langres du Vème au IXème siècle, in Pierre Gras, Recueil des travaux offerts à Cl. Brunel, Paris, 1955. F. Dumas, La monnaie d'Emma, reine de France, Bulletin de la Société française de numismatique, t. 28, 1973 (to be used for lights about the county of Dijon). A general presentation of the history of Dijon in the Middle Ages is extent, by J. Richard, in the Lexikon des Mittelalters, t. III, 1985

Website Manager: G. Guichard, site Learning and Knowledge In the Carolingian Times / Erudition et savoir à l'époque carolingienne, http://schoolsempire.6te.net. Page Editor: G. Guichard. last edited: 8/1/2016. contact us at geguicha@outlook.com