Location Of Occitan

Where is Occitan?

A quick answer is-

In the south of France, south of the Central Massif and bordering the Mediterranean, stretching from the Alpes in the East to the upper reaches of the Garonne River in the West.

cote d'azur To those who holiday on the Cote d’Azur…

canal du midi

or while away time meandering on the Canal du  Midi ….

this may be an adequate answer,  but for others it may not.


 Finding a specific location, drawn from the history books, on a modern day map is problematical. In 1790 Following the French revolution the revolutionary council changed the map of France.

1789 provinces Up until that time the map showed provinces which were based around the holdings of the great landowners.

However one of the great anomolies in that “Ancien”system was that the southern provinces of Guienne  and Languedoc were much greater than any of the other provinces, perhaps symbolising the fact that these areas had been taken by force by the French crown removing the rights of the previous landowners.

During the Revolution, 40,000 people were executed, most of them nobles.

The administrative system was changed to a three level structure af which the base was communes owned and managed by the people .

departements post 1790 These communes were then grouped into departements, not provinces.

The departements were generally named afer geograhical features.

The  objective of the revolutionary council was to  totally erradicate the names of the landowners from memory.

french regions pre 2916

Finally, in the revolutionary system, the departments were grouped into regions. this final level of administration was purely administrative.


As an example:  The area previously controlled by the comte of Armagnac became  Gers . Gers is the name of a river which runs through the area.

Auch, Capital City ofArmagnac. became  Auch,  Gers, Midi-Pyreneees

armagnac bottles Despite their best efforts to eliminate any memory of the Comte d’Armagnac the earlier owner, they did not quite succeed. The brandy of the area is still called Armagnac.

Navarre and Bearn

Similarly Bearn and Navarre  previously controlled by the Henry III king of Navarre.(and HenryIV of France) became Pyrenees Atlantique.

Pau, Capital city of Bearn , became Pau, Pyrenees Atlantique, Aquitaine

bearnaise sauce

Nevertheless we still enjoy Bearnaise sauce.


The French Goverment,  In a five year exercise culminating In 2016,  reorganised the structure of its administrative regions. The revolutionary departements have been unchanged but the way they have been grouped into regions has.

The changes have been introduced to make savings in administratice costs by reducing the number of regions, but it has created a very interesting result

2916 french administrative regions Twelve departements have been grouped together to form Nouvelle Aquitaine, in a recreation of the possessions of  the English crown, as they were in 1360 .

Six different departements make up the rather clumsily named Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Az ur. which is a recreation of the Aragonese possessions of about the same time.

Another thirteen departements have been grouped together into a single administrative region of Occitaine., thus  giving the people of this area what they wanted for a long time;  a recognition their unique identity.

There is no historical precedent for the name Occitanie. Occitan is the name of a language, not of a sepecific geograpical area. However the people living in the area are both proud and vocal in support of their unique identity.  The choice of the name was driven by the people who voted overwhelmingly in favour of its creation.

Occitan/ 7/free-occitan/263 Those who still have ambitions to create a separate state have however been quick to point out that places where the Language of Occitan was and to a certain extent still is spoken covers a much wider area, (shown as a red line on the map)


nouvelle Aqitania.svg

From the very beginning there were politics involved in the redefinition of  regions. The people in  the departements of Nouvelle Aquitaine really wanted and voted overwelmingly for simply Aquitaine but were blocked by polititians from Poitou and Limousan, now included in the new region.



As the plans for the redefinition of regions was first discussed and then tabled in the various assemblies there was a vocal and highly visible campaign to use the name of the language and culture of Occitan for the region. Eventually  the people and the politicians agreed. The decision was widely celebrated.


provence if the trend in the selection of Nouvelle Aquitane and Occitaine had been followed through it could have been expected that  the name Provence would have been given to this Region. However the politicians were  determined to retain the prestigeus Cote d’Azur in the name. Nor surprisingly this made the retention of the existing name Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur almost inevitable. Already it is being shortened to PACA. Not I  think what anyone wanted!

The Big Picture

southern regions If the three southern regions are brought together, all of which have Occitan speakers. this gives a good impression of where greated occitan can be found.

whole of france south trencavel The only question is how does the modern region of Occitaine compare with the historical concept of where thecore occitan state might lie. It turns out there is a remarkable correlation!

The Celtic Sea There remains an additional question; who were the peoples of occitan?  Why to this day do they see themselves different from ‘Le Francais” who live north of the Centrale Massive.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.