Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/518

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503
PROVENCE

appear to us to have so far secured permanent fame by the magnitude of their achievement. Felix Gras (1844–1891) settled at Avignon in his youth. His rustic epic, Li Carbounié (1876) is full of elemental passion and abounds in fine descriptions of scenery, but it lacks proportion. The heroic geste of Toloza (1882), in which Simon de Montfort's invasion of the south is depicted with unbounded vigour and intensity, shows a great advance in art. Li Roumancero provençal (1887) is a collection of poems instinct with Provençal lore, and in Li Papalino (1891) we have some charming prose tales that bring to life again the Avignon of the popes. Finally, the poet gave us three tales dealing with the period of the Revolution (Li Rouge dou miejour, &c.); their realism and literary art called forth general admiration.[1]

A few lines must suffice for some of the general aspects of the movement. It goes without saying that all is not perfect harmony; but, on the whole, the differences are differences of detail only, not of principle. While Mistral and many of the best félibres employ the dialect of the Bouches-du-Rhône, others, who have since seceded as the Félibrige latin (headed by Roque-Ferrier), prefer to use the dialect of Montpellier, owing to its central position. A third class favour the dialect of Limousin, as having been the literary vehicle of the troubadours; but their claim is of the slenderest, for the félibres are in no sense of the word the direct successors of the troubadours. Nearly all the leaders of the Félibrige are Legitimists and Catholics, their faith being the simple faith of the people, undisturbed by philosophic doubts. There are exceptions, however, chief among them the Protestant Gras, whose Toloza clearly reflects his sympathy with the Albigenses. Yet this did not stand in the way of his election as Capouliè-a proof, if proof were needed, that literary merit outweighs all other considerations in this artistic body of men. Finally, it may be noted that the féfibres have often been accused of lack of patriotism towards northern France, of schemes of decentralization, and other heresies; but none of these charges holds good. The spirit of the movement, as represented by its leaders, has never been expressed with greater terseness, force and truth than in the three verses set by Félix Gras at the head of his Carbounié: “ I love my village more than thy village; I love my Provence more than thy province; I love France more than all.”

Authorities.—Las Joyas del gay saber, edited by Noulet (vol. iv. of Gatien-Arnoult's Monumens de la littérature romane, &c., Toulouse, 1849); Noulet, Essai sur l'histoire littéraire des patois du midi de la France aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles (Paris, 1859) and . . . au XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1877); Gaut, " Étude sur la littérature et la poésie provençales " (Mémoires de l'académie des sciences, &c., d'Aix, tome ix. pp. 247–344, Aix, 1867); Mary-Lafon, Histoire littéraire du midi de la France (Paris, 1882); Restori, Letteratura provenzale, pp. 200–214 (Milano, 1891); Mariéton's articles on Provençal and Félibrige in the Grande encyclopédie; Donnadieu, Les Précurseurs des féfibres 1800-1855; (Paris, 1888); Jourdanne, Histoire du Félibrige, 1854–1896 (Avignon, 1897); Hennion, Les Fleurs félibresques (Paris, 1883); Portal, La letteratura provenzale moderna (Palermo, 1893); Koschwitz, Ueber die provenzalischen Feliber und ihre Vorgänger (Berlin, 1894); Mariéton, La Terre provençale (Paris, 1894).  (H. O.) 


PROVENCE (Provincia, Proenza), a province in the south-east of ancient France, bounded on the N. by the Dauphiné, on the E. by the Rhône and Languedoc, on the W. by the Alps and Italy, and on the S. by the Mediterranean. The coast, originally inhabited by Ligurians, was from an early date the home of some Phoenician merchants. About 600 B.C., according to tradition, some traders from Phocaea founded the Greek colony of Massalia (Marseilles) and the colonists had great difficulty in resisting the Cavares and the Salyes, i.e. the Ligurian peoples in the vicinity. Other colonies in the neighbourhood, such as Antibes, Agde, Nice, originated in this settlement. During the wars which followed, the inhabitants of Massalia asked assistance from the Romans, who thus made their first entry into Gaul (125 B.C.), and, after a campaign which lasted several years under the direction of the pro-consul C. Sextius Calvinus, conquered the territories between the Alps, the sea and the Rhone (with the province of Narbonne on the right bank of this river). These lands formed the Provincia romana, and the name was retained by Provence. The town of Aix (Aquae Sextiae) was founded to form the capital of this conquered land. In consequence of the conquest of Gaul by Caesar (50 B.C.) and the administrative reforms introduced by Augustus, the territory of the former Provincia was divided into the new provinces of Narbonensis II., of the Maritime Alps and of Viennois, but it still remained an important centre of Roman learning and civilization. Marseilles, which for some time had a prosperous Greek school, and also Aix now became of secondary importance, and Arles was made the chief town of the province, becoming after the capture of Trèves by the barbarians (A.D. 418) the capital of Gaul. Christianity spread fairly early into Provence, although the legend that this country was evangelized by Mary Magdalene and some of the apostles cannot be traced farther back than the 12th century. Trophimus established a church at Arles in the 3rd century, and during the two centuries which followed bishoprics were founded in all the cities of Provence.

At the beginning of the 5th century, Provence was attacked by the Visigoths. In 425 the Visigothic king Theodoric I. was defeated by Aetius under the walls of Arles, but the part taken by the Goths in the election of the emperor Avitus did not put a stop to their attacks (450). In 480 Arles was captured by Euric I., and the southern part of Provence, i.e. the country south of the Durance, thus came definitely under Visigothic rule. The more northern cities, such as Orange, Apt, Trois-Châteaux, &c., were again joined to the kingdom of Burgundy. Towards 510 Visigothic Provence was ceded to Theodoric, king of the Italian Ostrogoths, by Alaric II. as a mark of his gratitude for the support given to him during the war against the Franks. In addition to this, about 523, the Ostrogoths took advantage of the wars between the Franks and the Burgundians to extend their lands in the north as far as Gap and Embrun. Vitiges, king of the Ostrogoths, ceded Provence to the kings of the Franks about 537, when it was divided in a peculiar manner: the northern cities and those on the coast (Arles, Marseilles, Toulon, Antibes, Nice) were given back to Burgundy, whilst a narrow strip of territory with Avignon, Apt, Cavaillon, Riez, &c., extending from the west to the east as far as the Alps, was added to the kingdom of Austrasia. and from that time followed the fortunes of Auvergne, which, as is known, was generally dependent on Austrasia. Provence was united under one ruler during the reigns of Clotaire II. and Dagobert I., but at the death of the latter in 639 was divided again, only to be reunited under the successors of Dagobert II. (679). At this period the name of Provence was restricted to the southern cities, which had passed from the Gothic to the Frankish rule; it did not regain its original signification and denote the country extending as far as Lyonnais till the end of the 8th and the beginning of the 9th centuries.

At the beginning of the 8th century, some Arabs from Spain, who had crossed the Pyrenees and settled down in Septimania, attacked Provence, in 735 took the town of Arles and in 737 captured Avignon, thus becoming masters of one part of the country. Charles Martel who had already made two expeditions against them, in 736 and 737, with the help of the Lombards of Italy, succeeded in 739 in expelling them, and brought the country definitely under Frankish rule. Austrasian counts were given authority in the cities, and under Charlemagne and Louis the Pious the history of Provence became incorporated with that of the rest of the empire. At the time of the partition of Verdun (843) Provence fell to the share of the emperor Lothair I., who joined it to the duchy of Lyons in 855 to form a kingdom for his youngest son, Charles. O11 the death of the latter in 863 his inheritance was divided between his two brothers, when Lothair II., king of Lorraine, received the northern part, Lyonnais and Viennois, and to the other, the emperor Louis II., king of Italy, was given Provence. At his death in 875 Provence passed into the hands of Charles the Bald, and he entrusted

  1. Gras was Capoulié from 1891 till 1901, succeeding his brother-in-law, Roumanille, who held the office from 1888 till 1891. The first Capouliè was, of course, Mistral (1876–1888). Gras's successor was Pierre Devoluy, of Die (appointed in April 1901).