The New Student's Reference Work/Burgundy
Bur′gundy (bûr′gŭn-dĭ), the name, at different times, of three kingdoms, of a duchy and lastly of a French province. The first kingdom was formed about 406, by the Burgundians, a German people who crossed the Rhine and extended their dominion over the Saône and the Rhone. They were converted to Christianity in eight days. About 100 years later they were conquered by the Franks, but the country still kept its name. About 300 years later, when the Carlovingian Empire was broken up, two kingdoms were formed from a part of old Burgundy, and called Lower Burgundy and Upper Burgundy, which afterward were united and finally fell under the power of Germany. The remaining portion of old Burgundy meanwhile had become a powerful duchy of France. In the first family of the dukes of Burgundy there was a succession of twelve, who were among the most powerful princes of their time and were noted for their loyalty to the French kings. This family came to an end, and soon after the duchy was given by the French King John, to his son, Philip the Bold. This duke and his three successors, John the Fearless, Philip the Good and Charles the Bold, are among the most famous historical characters of their age. The last two had royal power, and owned, besides Burgundy, the Netherlands and several other countries. After the death of Charles the Bold, the duchy of Burgundy became a province of France. This province included the present departments of Côte-d'Or, Saône-et-Loire and Yonne, with parts of adjoining departments. Burgundy wines, which are famous, are produced in these departments and named after the old province.