Aquitaine is an historical region of southwestern France. It is situated in the southwest corner of France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain, and for most of its written history Bordeaux has been a vital port and administrative center. There are traces of human settlement by prehistoric peoples, especially in the Périgord, but the earliest attested inhabitants in the south-west were the Aquitani, who were not considered Celtic people, but more akin to the Iberians (see Gallia Aquitania). The original Aquitania (named after the inhabitants) at the time of Caesar's conquest of Gaul included the area bounded by the river Garonne, the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean. The name may stem from Latin 'aqua', maybe derived from a general geographical feature. In 392, the Roman imperial provinces were restructured as Aquitania Prima (north-east), Aquitania Secunda (centre) and Aquitania Tertia, better known as Novempopulania in the south-west. Accounts of Aquitania during the Early Middle Ages are imprecise, but there was much unrest. The Visigoths were called into Gaul as foederati, legalizing their status within the Empire. Eventually they established themselves as the de facto rulers in south-west Gaul as central Roman rule collapsed. Visigoths established their capital in Toulouse, but their tenure on Aquitaine was feeble. In 507, they were expelled south to Hispania after their defeat in the Battle of Vouillé by the Franks, who became the new rulers in the area to the south of the Loire. The Roman Aquitania Tertia remained in place, where a duke was appointed to hold a grip over the Basques (Vascones/Wascones, rendered Gascons in English). These dukes were quite detached from central Frankish overlordship, sometimes governing as independent rulers with strong ties to their kinsmen south of the Pyrenees. As of 660, the foundations for an independent Aquitaine/Vasconia polity were established by the duke Felix of Aquitaine, a magnate (potente(m)) from Toulouse, probably of Gallo-Roman stock. Despite its nominal submission to the Frankish Merovingians, the ethnic make-up of the new Aquitanian realm was not Frankish, but Gallo-Roman north of the Garonne and in main towns and Basque, especially south of the Garonne. In 721, the Aquitanian duke fended Umayyad troops (Sarracens) off at Toulouse, but in 732 the King of the Franks, Charles Martel led the effort to defeat the Islamic invaders at the Battle of Poitiers. In 781, Charlemagne decided to proclaim his son Louis King of Aquitaine within the Carolingian Empire, ruling over a realm comprising the Duchy of Aquitaine and the Duchy of Vasconia. He suppressed various Basque (Gascon) uprisings, even venturing into the lands of Pamplona past the Pyrenees after ravaging Gascony, with a view to imposing his authority also in the Vasconia to south of Pyrenees. According to his biography, he achieved everything he wanted and after staying overnight in Pamplona, on his way back his army was attacked in Roncevaux in 812, but narrowly escaped an engagement at the Pyrenean passes. Seguin (Sihiminus), count of Bordeaux and Duke of Vasconia, seemed to have attempted a detachment from the Frankish central authority on Charlemagne's death. The new emperor Louis the Pious reacted by removing him from his capacity, which stirred the Basques into rebellion. The king in turn sent his troops to the territory, obtaining their submission in two campaigns and killing the duke, while his family crossed the Pyrenees and continued to foment risings against Frankish power. In 824, the 2nd Battle of Roncevaux took place, in which counts Aeblus and Aznar, Frankish vassals from the Duchy of Vasconia sent by the new King of Aquitaine, Pepin, King of the Franks, were captured by the joint forces of Iñigo Arista and the Banu Qasi. Before Pepin's death, emperor Louis had appointed a new king in 832, his son Charles the Bald, while the Aquitanian lords elected Pepin II as king. This struggle for control of the kingdom led to a constant period of war between Charles, loyal to his father and the Carolingian power, and Pepin II, who relied more on the support of Basque and Aquitanian lords. Aquitaine after the Treaty of Verdun: After the 843 Treaty of Verdun, the defeat of Pepin II and the death of Charles the Bald, the Kingdom of Aquitaine (subsumed in West Francia) ceased to have any relevance and the title of King of Aquitaine took on a nominal value. In 1058, the Duchy of Vasconia (Gascony) and Aquitaine merged under the rule of William VIII, Duke of Aquitaine. Aquitaine passed to France in 1137 when the duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII of France, but their marriage was annulled in 1152. When Eleanor's new husband became King Henry II of England in 1154, the area became an English possession, and a cornerstone of the Angevin Empire. Aquitaine remained English until the end of the Hundred Years' War in 1453, when it was annexed by France. (Wikipedia)