Toulouse county

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The coat of arms of the Counts of Toulouse is today the coat of arms of the French region Midi-Pyrénées and is included in the coat of arms of the Languedoc-Roussillon region and several cities in southern France

The county of Toulouse around its capital Toulouse was a medieval feudal territory in the south of what is now France . In terms of area, its territory roughly comprised the present-day departments of Haute-Garonne , Tarn and Tarn-et-Garonne .



The county of Toulouse was founded at the end of the 8th century by the Frankish king Charlemagne , after he brought the region of Languedoc , corresponding to today's south-east France, under his rule in several campaigns against the Moors . To administer the region, Karl installed his followers as counts in the most important cities, who were supposed to rule the country and defend it from attacks by the Moors. The Counts of Toulouse were subordinate to the Carolingian part of Aquitaine .

Dispute for supremacy

After the death of Charlemagne and the associated collapse of the royal central power, order in the so-called Midi also collapsed , and the counts of the region fought each other for supremacy. The families of the Gellones (Wilhelmiden) , who also fought for rule over all of Aquitaine, and the Raimundines , who were at home in the Rouergue region, competed for Toulouse . In addition, several usurpers appeared in the power struggle. In 849 and 864, King Charles the Bald confirmed the Raimundines as Count of Toulouse. This family then prevailed permanently in Toulouse, especially after the Gellones were defeated in the battle for Aquitaine against the Counts of Poitou . The Tolosan counts were among the most powerful princes of the south due to the accumulation of other counties (including Rouergue, Quercy , Albi , Béziers , Narbonne , Nîmes ) and as liege lords of other counts (including Foix , Carcassonne , Razès ) and were strong enough to maintain themselves to separate from the supremacy of Aquitaine and henceforth to form its own principality.


When the last king of the Carolingian dynasty died in 987 and the Capetians ascended the throne with Hugo Capet , the Counts of Toulouse refused to recognize the new ruling house. Because of their weakness, the early Capetian kings could not do anything about it. This made Toulouse a de facto sovereign principality, whose counts claimed supremacy over all the other princes of Languedoc . The basis for this was the inherited dignity of a Duke of Narbonne , which went back to the old Margraviate of Septimanien / Gothien . In the 11th and 12th centuries, the counts of Toulouse were therefore in competition with the counts of Barcelona and kings of Aragón , who were pursuing the same goal.


From the end of the 11th century, Raymond IV of Toulouse and his descendants made a name for themselves during the Crusades as Counts of Tripoli in what is now Lebanon . The county passed to the princes of Antioch by bequest or inheritance in 1187 .

The county of Toulouse (green) and its vassals (light green) in the 12th century

Peak of power

With his estate around the city of Toulouse, which stretched from Agen along almost the entire Garonne and also encompassed the entire course of the Lot River in the north, and the Languedoc as a fief (with a focus on Avignon ), the Count of Toulouse was in the 11th century of power only behind the kings of France on a par with the dukes of Burgundy and Aquitaine . Towards the end of the century a hereditary hostility developed towards Aquitaine, which developed into a serious threat for Toulouse in the 12th century after Aquitaine was integrated into the powerful family conglomerate of the Plantagenets ( Angevin Empire ).


In the middle of the 12th century the county became a center of the Cathar heretical sect and the counts got involved in the devastating Albigensian Crusade from 1209 to 1229 . They were fought by Simon IV. De Montfort , who wanted to create his own principality in Toulouse. Montfort's rule over Toulouse was established in 1215 at the fourth Lateran Council by a papal fief, but was never accepted by the legitimate count. By 1224 the counts succeeded in driving out the crusaders, but the country was then so economically and militarily weakened that it could no longer oppose the following crusade of King Louis VIII of France in 1226 .

Connection to France

In the Treaty of Meaux-Paris in 1229, Toulouse submitted to the Crown of France. In the same year Joan the Pious , the only heiress of the county, with Alfons of Poitiers , brother of the French King Louis IX. engaged - both were 9 years old at the time. In 1241 the marriage between the two took place; Since the marriage remained childless, after their death (1271) the county fell entirely to the crown by inheritance, but retained special rights until 1779.

The Counts of Toulouse

Seal of the Counts of Toulouse
Surname Reign relationship Remarks
Choir 778-790
William I of Gellone 790-806 Gellones
Beggo I. 806-816 Gerhardiner / Matfriede
Berengar the Wise 816-835 Unruochinger
Bernhard I of Septimania 835-844 Son of Wilhelm von Gellone Gellones
Wilhelm II of Septimania 844-849 Son of his predecessor Gellones
Raimundiner (Toulouse House)
Fredelo 849-852
Raimund I. 852-863 Brother of his predecessor
Humfried of Gothien 863-864 usurper
Bernhard II. 864-872 Son of Raymond I.
Bernhard III. Plantapilosa 872-885 Brother of Wilhelm II. usurper
Odo 885-919 Brother of Bernhard II.
Raymond II. 919-923 Son of his predecessor
Raimund III. Pons 923-960 Son of his predecessor
William III. Taillefer 960-1037 Son of his predecessor
Pons 1037-1061 Son of his predecessor
William IV 1061-1094 Son of his predecessor
Raymond IV of Saint-Gilles 1094-1105 Brother of his predecessor First crusade
Bertrand 1105-1108 Son of his predecessor
Alfons Jordan 1108-1148 Brother of his predecessor
Raimund V. 1148-1194 Son of his predecessor
Raymond VI. 1194-1222 Son of his predecessor Albigensian Crusade
Counter Count: Simon IV. De Montfort
Raymond VII. 1222-1249 Son of his predecessor Albigensian Crusade
Counter Count: Amaury de Montfort
Johanna 1249-1271 Daughter of her predecessor
Alfonso of Poitiers 1249-1271 Husband of Johanna
Association with the Crown Domain

See also