Historical region, southwestern France. It was roughly equivalent to Aquitania, the Roman division of southwestern Gaul, which consisted of the area between the Pyrenees Mountains and the Garonne River. Conquered by Clovis in AD 507, it was later made a subkingdom by Charlemagne in the 8th century. After the Carolingian decline, it became a powerful duchy, which by the 10th century controlled much of France south of the Loire. It passed to the Capetian line when Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII (1137); on her second marriage, to Henry II of England (1152), it passed to the English Plantagenets. The name Guyenne, a corruption of Aquitaine, came into use in the 10th century, and the subsequent history of Aquitaine is merged with that of Gascony and Guyenne.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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