The region of Gascogne in southwest France, known to Anglophones as Gascony, is bounded by the Bay of Biscay, the Garonne River, and the Pyrenees. During the Roman occupation, between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, Gascogne was ruled from neighboring Aquitaine. In 418, the Visigoths took the region, but under the leadership of Clovis, who conquered Alaric II in 507, it was reunited to the French kingdom. Gascogne was again conquered in the 5th century-this time by the Franks.
In the next century, yet another invading force overthrew the area. The region took its name from these conquerors, the Vascones. In the 9th century, the duchy of Gascogne was reunited with the duchy of Aquitaine.
In 1154, Gascogne was included with the possessions of Eleanor of Aquitaine on her marriage to Henry II, the Plantagenet King of England, and became part of the English dominion. In 1259, it was confirmed to England by Louis IX, but returned to France shortly afterward.
In 1360, Gascogne returned to English rule under the Treaty of Brittany, signed by King Charles V. The territories of Aquitaine, Ponthieu, and Calais, as well as an enormous ransom, were included in the deal. After Charles VII of vanquished the English in 1453, Gascogne was ceded to France for the last time.
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