Autun

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Autun
Autun Vue d'ensemble 2.jpg
Autun Hotel de ville 3.jpg
Autun Cathedrale St. Lazare 8.jpg
Autun Ecole militaire.png
From top down, left to right: panoramic view, city hall, Autun Cathedral and lycée militaire
Blason autun.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Autun
France location map-Regions and departements-2016.svg
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Autun
Bourgogne-Franche-Comte region location map.svg
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Autun
Coordinates: 46°57′06″N4°17′58″E / 46.9517°N 4.2994°E / 46.9517; 4.2994 Coordinates: 46°57′06″N4°17′58″E / 46.9517°N 4.2994°E / 46.9517; 4.2994
Country France
Region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Department Saône-et-Loire
Arrondissement Autun
Canton Autun-1, Autun-2
Intercommunality Communauté de communes du Grand Autunois Morvan
Government
  Mayor (2017–2020) Vincent Chauvet (REM)
Area
1
61.52 km2 (23.75 sq mi)
Population
 (2016-01-01) [1]
14,728
  Density240/km2 (620/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
710014 /71400
Elevation280–642 m (919–2,106 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Autun (French pronunciation:  [otœ̃] ) is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department, France. Located in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, it was founded during the Principate era of the early Roman Empire by Emperor Augustus as Augustodunum to give a Roman capital to the Gallic people Aedui, who had Bibracte as their political centre. In Roman times the city may have been home to 30,000 to 100,000 people, according to different estimates. [2] Nowadays, Autun has a population of about 15,000.

The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain. The United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.

Saône-et-Loire Department of France

Saône-et-Loire is a French department, named after the Saône and the Loire rivers between which it lies.

In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, and five are overseas departments, which are also classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; the last two have no autonomy, and are used for the organisation of police, fire departments, and sometimes, elections.

Contents

Early history

Augustodunum was founded during the reign of the first Roman emperor, Augustus, after whom it was named. It was the civitas "tribal capital" of the Aedui, Continental Celts who had been allies and "brothers" (fratres) of Rome since before Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars. Augustodunum was a planned foundation replacing the original oppidum Bibracte, located some 25 km (16 mi) away. Several elements of Roman architecture such as walls, gates, and a Roman theater are still visible in the town.

Roman emperor ruler of the Roman Empire

The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific. Early Emperors also used the title princeps. Emperors frequently amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus, consul and pontifex maximus.

Augustus First emperor of the Roman Empire

Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader who was the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.

<i>Civitas</i> Roman civil law

In the history of Rome, the Latin term civitas, according to Cicero in the time of the late Roman Republic, was the social body of the cives, or citizens, united by law. It is the law that binds them together, giving them responsibilities (munera) on the one hand and rights of citizenship on the other. The agreement (concilium) has a life of its own, creating a res publica or "public entity", into which individuals are born or accepted, and from which they die or are ejected. The civitas is not just the collective body of all the citizens, it is the contract binding them all together, because each of them is a civis.

Roman theater Theatre romain Autun.JPG
Roman theater

In AD 356, a force of Alemanni brought the siege of Autun. The disrepair of the walls left the city in danger of falling. Autun was saved by the arrival of the Emperor Julian in one of his early military successes. In Late Antiquity, Autun became famous for its schools of rhetoric. A world map based on the Geography of Ptolemy was famous for its size and was displayed in the portico of one of the schools. It may have survived until early modern times. [3]

Alemanni ancient and early-medieval confederation of Germanic tribes on the upper Rhein river

The Alemanni were a confederation of Germanic tribes on the Upper Rhine River. First mentioned by Cassius Dio in the context of the campaign of Caracalla of 213, the Alemanni captured the Agri Decumates in 260, and later expanded into present-day Alsace, and northern Switzerland, leading to the establishment of the Old High German language in those regions, by the eighth century named Alamannia.

The Siege of Autun was a conflict fought between the Roman Empire and the invading barbarian tribe of Alemans, who were ravaging Gaul, in A.D. 356. The Romans successfully defended the city, and the barbarians retreated on the approach of reinforcements.

Julian (emperor) Roman Emperor, philosopher and writer

Julian, also known as Julian the Apostate, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363, as well as a notable philosopher and author in Greek.

Janus Temple Temple Janus angle.jpg
Janus Temple

In 532 the Merovingian kings Childebert I and Clothar I in battle of Autun defeated the Burgundians led by king Godomar and took over the country of Burgundy.

Merovingian dynasty dynasty

The Merovingian dynasty was the ruling family of the Franks from the middle of the 5th century until 751. They first appear as "Kings of the Franks" in the Roman army of northern Gaul. By 509 they had united all the Franks and northern Gaulish Romans under their rule. They conquered most of Gaul, defeating the Visigoths (507) and the Burgundians (534), and also extended their rule into Raetia (537). In Germania, the Alemanni, Bavarii and Saxons accepted their lordship. The Merovingian realm was the largest and most powerful of the states of western Europe following the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Childebert I Frankish King

Childebert I was a Frankish King of the Merovingian dynasty, as third of the four sons of Clovis I who shared the kingdom of the Franks upon their father's death in 511. He was one of the sons of Saint Clotilda, born at Reims. He reigned as King of Paris from 511 to 558 and Orléans from 524 to 558.

The Battle of Autun is said to have been fought in 532 CE when the Merovingian kings Childebert I and Clothar I decisively defeated the Burgundians led by king Godomar.

In 725, the Umayyad general Anbasa ibn Suhaym Al-Kalbi (عنبسة بن سحيم الكلبي) marched up the Saône valley to Autun. On 22 August 725 he captured the town after defeating forces led by the local bishop, Émilien of Nantes, who was slain during the course of the battle.

Umayyad Caliphate Second caliphate

The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, hailing from Mecca. The third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, was a member of the Umayyad clan. The family established dynastic, hereditary rule with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of Syria, who became the sixth Caliph after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661. After Mu'awiyah's death in 680, conflicts over the succession resulted in a Second Civil War and power eventually fell into the hands of Marwan I from another branch of the clan. Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, and Damascus was their capital.

Émilien of Nantes was a French religious leader who was canonized by the church as a martyr for dying in a fight against the Saracens in Burgundy in 725 AD. No written records earlier than the 16th century survive, and there are no records of a Bishop Émilien of Nantes. The legend probably has its roots in a real clash with the Saracens, who were present in the region at the time, but has been considerably embroidered.

Autun marks the easternmost extent of the Umayyad campaign in Europe. However, the position was never retained, and Anbasa died soon after. The Umayyads are known to have raided the lower Rhone during the next decade, but Uzès was their northernmost stronghold and possibly Marseille the easternmost coastal stronghold. In 880, Count Richard of Autun was made the first duke of Burgundy.

Uzès Commune in Occitanie, France

Uzès is a small town and a commune in the Gard department in southern France.

Marseille Second-largest city of France and prefecture of Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur

Marseille is the second-largest city of France. The main city of the historical province of Provence, it is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It is located on the Mediterranean coast near the mouth of the Rhône. The city covers an area of 241 km2 (93 sq mi) and had a population of 852,516 in 2012. Its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,173 km2 (1,225 sq mi) is the third-largest in France after Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,831,500 as of 2010.

Richard, Duke of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy

Richard, Duke of Burgundy (858–921), also known as Richard of Autun or Richard the Justiciar, was Count of Autun from 880 and the first Margrave and Duke of Burgundy. He eventually attained suzerainty over all the counties of Burgundy save Mâcon and by 890 he was referred to as dux (duke) and by 900 as marchio (margrave). By 918 he was being called dux Burgundionem or dux Burgundiae, which probably signified less the existence of a unified Burgundian dukedom than feudal suzerainty over a multiplicity of counties in a specific region.

Modern times

Historical population
YearPop.±%
17937,792    
18069,400+20.6%
18219,744+3.7%
18319,936+2.0%
184111,637+17.1%
185111,997+3.1%
186111,897−0.8%
187211,684−1.8%
188114,049+20.2%
189115,187+8.1%
190115,764+3.8%
191115,498−1.7%
192113,856−10.6%
193114,045+1.4%
194614,438+2.8%
195414,399−0.3%
196215,305+6.3%
196818,398+20.2%
197521,556+17.2%
198220,587−4.5%
199017,906−13.0%
199916,419−8.3%
200614,806−9.8%
201214,124−4.6%
201413,955−1.2%

In 1788, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord became bishop of Autun. He was elected member of the clergy for the Estates-General of 1789.

The High School plays an important role in the history of the city and even France since Napoleon, who gave it its current name and whose brothers Joseph and Lucien studied there. This school continues to operate today. The decorated wrought iron gates were erected in 1772; the subjects taught in the school are indicated by various representations of objects along the top of these grids.

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, the leader of the Army of the Vosges, Giuseppe Garibaldi, [4] chose the city as his headquarters.

Sights

The city boasts two ancient Roman gates (Porte Saint-André and Porte d'Arroux) and other ruins dating to the time of Augustus. One of the most impressive remains is that of the ancient theatre, which was one of the largest in the western part of the empire with a 17,000 seat capacity. To the northwest of the city is the so-called Temple of Janus, only two walls (faces) of which remain. To the southeast is the mysterious Pierre de Couhard, a rock pyramid of uncertain function which may date to Roman times.

Couhard Pyramid Autun Pyramide de Couhard.jpg
Couhard Pyramid

The Autun Cathedral, also known as Saint Lazare's Cathedral, dates from the early twelfth century and is a major example of Romanesque architecture. It was formerly the chapel of the Dukes of Burgundy; their palace was the actual episcopal residence. The cathedral was originally built as a pilgrimage church for the veneration of the relic Saint Lazarus, mentioned in the Gospels, and considered the first bishop of Marseille, and who, always according to tradition, arrived in Provence with Mary Magdalen.

Saint-Andre gate Autun porte Saint-Andre.JPG
Saint-André gate
Arroux gate Autun Porte Arroux PA00113093 06 JPM.JPG
Arroux gate

Autun's 12th-century bishop, Étienne de Bâgé, probably built the church in response to the construction of Ste. Madeleine at nearby Vézelay, home to the French cult of Mary Magdalene. St. Lazare was only later elevated to the rank of cathedral, replacing the former cathedral dedicated to St. Nazaire. [5]

The Autun Cathedral is famous for its architectural sculpture, particularly the tympanum of The Last Judgment above the west portal, surviving fragments from the lost portal of the north transept, and the capitals in the nave and choir. All of these are traditionally considered the work of Gislebertus, whose name is on the west tympanum. It is uncertain whether Gislebertus is the name of the sculptor or of a patron. If Gislebertus is in fact the artist, he is one of very few medieval artists whose name is known.

Other notable connections

Tourism

Autun remparts (defensive walls from the Roman Era) Autun remparts.jpg
Autun remparts (defensive walls from the Roman Era)
Tour des Ursulines near the Autun Cathedral Kathedrale in Autun01.jpg
Tour des Ursulines near the Autun Cathedral

Autun's best known museum is the Musée Rolin. It houses historical artistic collections.

Near Autun, tourists can also see:

Sister cities

Autun has sister city relationships with the following municipalities.

CityCountryYear
Stevenage United Kingdom1975
Ingelheim am Rhein Germany
Kawagoe Japan2002 [7]
Arévalo Spain2005

See also

Related Research Articles

The Aedui, Haedui, or Hedui were a Gallic people of Gallia Lugdunensis, who inhabited the country between the Arar (Saône) and Liger (Loire), in today's France. Their territory thus included the greater part of the modern departments of Saône-et-Loire, Côte-d'Or and Nièvre.

Year 725 (DCCXXV) was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 725 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

58 BC Year

Year 58 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Piso and Gabinius. The denomination 58 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Burgundy Region of France

Burgundy is a historical territory and a former administrative region of France. It takes its name from the Burgundians, an East Germanic people who moved westwards beyond the Rhine during the late Roman period.

Vézelay Abbey Benedictine and Cluniac monastery in Vézelay, France

Vézelay Abbey is a Benedictine and Cluniac monastery in Vézelay in the Yonne department in northern Burgundy, France. The Benedictine abbey church, now the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, with its complicated program of imagery in sculpted capitals and portals, is one of the outstanding masterpieces of Burgundian Romanesque art and architecture. Sacked by the Huguenots in 1569, the building suffered neglect in the 17th and the 18th centuries and some further damage during the period of the French Revolution.

Chalon-sur-Saône Subprefecture and commune in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Chalon-sur-Saône is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in eastern France.

Bibracte oppidum

Bibracte, a Gaulish oppidum or fortified city, was the capital of the Aedui and one of the most important hillforts in Gaul. It was situated near modern Autun in Burgundy, France. The material culture of the Aedui corresponded to the Late Iron Age La Tène culture.

Gislebertus French sculptor

Gislebertus, Giselbertus or Ghiselbertus, sometimes "of Autun", was a French Romanesque sculptor, whose decoration of the Cathedral of Saint Lazare at Autun, France – consisting of numerous doorways, tympanums and capitals – represents some of the most original work of the period.

Sequani

Sequani, in ancient geography, were a Gallic people who occupied the upper river basin of the Arar (Saône), the valley of the Doubs and the Jura Mountains, their territory corresponding to Franche-Comté and part of Burgundy.

Saisy Commune in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Saisy is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Autun diocese of the Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Autun (–Chalon-sur-Saône–Mâcon–Cluny), more simply known as the Diocese of Autun, is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. The diocese comprises the entire Department of Saone et Loire, in the Region of Bourgogne.

Autun Cathedral cathedral located in Saône-et-Loire, in France

The Cathedral of Saint Lazarus of Autun, commonly known as Autun Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Autun and a national monument of France. Famous for its Cluniac inspiration and its Romanesque sculptures by Gislebertus it is a highlight in Romanesque art in Burgundy and it is the seat of the Bishop of Autun. The Bishop of Autun set forth the construction of St. Lazarus Cathedral as a result of the large movement of pilgrims travelling to Vezelay as they progressed on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.

Nicolas Rolin chancellor of Burgundy

Nicolas Rolin (1376–1462) was a leading figure in the history of Burgundy and France, becoming chancellor to Philip the Good.

Mâcon Cathedral former cathedral in Mâcon, France

Mâcon Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in Mâcon, Burgundy, France. The cathedral is in the Byzantine architectural tradition.

Ancient Diocese of Chalon-sur-Saône diocese

The former French Catholic diocese of Chalon-sur-Saône existed until the French Revolution. After the Concordat of 1801, it was suppressed, and its territory went to the diocese of Autun. Its see was Chalon Cathedral.

Musée Rolin museum in Autun, France

The Musée Rolin is an art museum in Autun, Burgundy, France.

The Siege of Augustodunum Haeduorum is a conflict that took place in 269 AD, Augustodunum being modern-day Autun in Burgundy, eastern France. Victorinus had been declared emperor by the troops located at Augusta Treverorum in the fall of 269. However, only the provinces of Gaul, Germania and Britain recognised him.

Abbey of St Martin, Autun abbey located in Saône-et-Loire, in France

The Abbey of St. Martin is a former Benedictine monastery in Autun, Saône-et-Loire, France, to the northeast of the city just outside the city walls, on the right bank of the Arroux and to the north of the Roman road from Autun to Langres, Beaune and Besançon.

Jean VI Rolin or Rollin, often referred to as Jean II Rolin to differentiate him from his father Jean Rolin or Rollin in the succession of the offices of Bishop of Autun, abbot of the Abbey of St. Martin, Autun, and prior of the Abbey of Saint-Marcel-lès-Chalon, was a French bishop.

Abbey of St. John the Great, Autun

Saint-Jean-le-Grand abbey of Autun, in Autun, Saône-et-Loire, France, is an abbey of Benedictine nuns, possibly founded by Queen Brunhilda and Bishop Syagrius of Autun. According to Gregory of Tours, it already existed in 589.

References

  1. "Populations légales 2016". INSEE . Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. Xavier de Planhol; Paul Claval (17 March 1994). An Historical Geography of France. Cambridge University Press. p. 47. ISBN   978-0-521-32208-9.
  3. John Brian Harley, David Woodward, The History of Cartography Vol I p. 290.
  4. Howard, Michael. The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France, 1870-1871. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1962. p.254
  5. Linda Seidel, Legends in limestone: Lazarus, Gislebertus, and the Cathedral of Autun (University of Chicago Press, 1999), p. 35 online.
  6. Laherrère, Jean (2005). "Review on oil shale data" (PDF). Hubbert Peak. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  7. フランス共和国ブルゴーニュ州 オータン市 (in Japanese). Japan: Kawagoe International Center. 2003. Archived from the original on 2008-04-26. Retrieved 29 November 2014.

Further reading