Duke of Narbonne

The duchy of Narbonne was a Titularherzogtum the High Middle Ages in France. The Counts of Toulouse bore the title of duke of Narbonne to the document its claim to sovereignty over the historic landscape Septimania, which accounted for the north of the Pyrenees park of the old Gothia. The area in question corresponded in its scope as today's French region of Languedoc -Roussillon. With a real territorial sovereignty of the title of the Duke of Narbonne was not connected.

The area, which should make up the Duchy of Narbonne, was in the Great formed under Charles gothic Mark of the Frankish empire summarized in the 9th century before, but which fell apart quickly. Last carrier of the margrave title was Duke William the Pious of Aquitaine († 918). After his death, the Count of Toulouse family developed its dominance over the area of ​​today's southeastern France.

The Duchy

The county of Toulouse was originally the feudal structure of the kingdom, or the Duchy of Aquitaine belonging, in the early 10th century fought his counts even for supremacy over Aquitaine what. In recognition of Count Raymond III Pons as Duke of Aquitaine led by King Rudolph in 932. Ultimately, however, they could not permanently prevail at the top of Aquitaine and kicked them off to the Counts of Poitou. The Counts of Toulouse separated in the sequence of Aquitaine and proceeded its own supremacy in the form of a duchy of the feudal lords of the east adjacent to them Septimania region to build, to realize, however, never fully succeeded.

The largest competitors of Tolosaner Count for supremacy in Septimania represented the counts of Barcelona, or later the kings of Aragon, who sought to beat their Catalan heartland of Septimania over a land connection to the likewise held by them Provence. Consequently, the interests of the two powers clashed in this room, which was often discharged military. The Counts of Toulouse were able to maintain a feudal suzerainty over how, Narbonne, Béziers, Albi and Nîmes, while Carcassonne, Montpellier and Razès was the house of Barcelona obliged to vassalage. The Trencavel family was able to establish in this field of tension tacking in the 11th century a strong position of power in ancient Septimania. This condition made ​​the emergence of a spatially closed Feudalterritoriums impossible, so the claim of the Counts of Toulouse at the reality actually walked by. The claim of self Tolosaner Count to a dukedom was not recognized by any side, let alone of the French kings, from which they were entitled in royal documents always and exclusively as the Count of Toulouse. In addition to the question of power and the knowledge of the non-existence of a duchy Narbonne should it have been decisive.

Only the leader of the run in the early 13th century Albigensian Crusade, Simon de Montfort, was for a short period 1213-1218 summarize a dominion that the ideas of the Counts of Toulouse came to a duchy Narbonne close by next Narbonne itself also Nîmes, Béziers, Albi, Carcassonne and finally in Toulouse had been able to take power. He was also the only one that was built by King Philip II Augustus officially recognized as a duke, by looking at him homage Montfort in April 1216 in Melun as " Duke of Narbonne, Count of Toulouse, viscount of Beziers and Carcassonne ." His son Amaury de Montfort transferred the rights acquired by his father in 1225 to the French crown, whereupon King Louis VIII on the subjugation of the areas concerned were concerned the lion in the year, which was successfully completed with the exception of Toulouse. The old Septimania was connected to the royal domain and divided into Seneschallate. The county of Toulouse was followed by a ceased fief 1270. Soon was the historical landscape only known by the name of Languedoc.

The ducal title

The Counts of Toulouse has always been among the outstanding feudal lords of southern France and took in this region occupies a position comparable to a primus inter pares, accordingly, their early representatives in the charters of the West Frankish kings frequently with the Margrave's title ( marchio ) were provided. The Count Raymond III. Pons and his uncle Armengol de Rouergue were the historian Flodoard as " Prince of Gothia " ( principes Gotiæ ) or " prince of the Goths " ( Gothorum principe ) called and Richer named Raymond III. Pons even " Duke of the Goths " ( Gothorum ducem ), as expressed by its dominant power position in Gothia / Septimania.

But only Count Raymond IV of Toulouse took the title of duke actually on by he called himself in a 1088 issued to the Abbey of Saint -André near Avignon deed of gift " Duke of Narbonne " ( dux Narbonæ ). This title was adopted by all his successors, with the exception of Bertrand equal footing, maintained next to the Count. A striking feature of this titling is to avoid a ethnographically defined space name, so the obvious " Duke of Gothia ," modeled after the other western Frankish- French " duchies " Francia, Burgundy, Aquitaine, Gascony, Brittany and Normandy. This should be located in a demarcation to the Counts of Barcelona basis, because the Gothic name paraphrased by the then understanding not only the landscape Septimania north of the Pyrenees, but also lying to the south of them areas of the Counts of Barcelona, ​​Catalonia today. Some of the early Catalan Counts such as Borrell II had already worn the Gothic title of duke ( dux Goticae ), although they soon these tasks. Since Narbonne the old main and Metropolitan seat Septimaniens was the Count of Toulouse and the Count's rights associated with it paused, Raymond IV was the claimed by him Duchy named after its capital without encountering feelings of the Counts of Barcelona.

As Duke of Narbonne called themselves:

  • Raymond IV of Toulouse ( † 1105)
  • Alfonso Jordan of Toulouse ( † 1148 ), whose son
  • Raymond V of Toulouse ( † 1194), whose son
  • Raimund VI. of Toulouse ( † 1222 ), whose son
  • Raymond VII of Toulouse ( † 1249 ), whose son
  • Simon de Montfort († 1218 ), Gegenprätendent



  • The existing throughout the Middle Ages also viscounty Narbonne is not to be equated with the Duchy. The Viscounts represented the owner of the county Narbonne, which was limited to the city and closer surroundings. The Count rights in turn were owned by the Counts of Toulouse.
  • The medieval duchy of Narbonne is not to be confused with the later duchy of Narbonne- Lara, from Françoise de Châlus, Duchess of Narbonne- Lara (1734-1821), the mistress of King Louis XV., Is the best known.