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Lyonnais (Traditional province, France)

Last modified: 2005-06-17 by ivan sache
Keywords: lyonnais | lion (white) | fleur-de-lys: 3 (yellow) | lyon | forez | dolphin |
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[Flag of Lyonnais]by Arnaud Leroy

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History of Lyonnais

A legend says that the Celtic city of Lugdunum (today, Lyon) was founded by two brothers, Momoros and Atepomaros. They settled at the confluency of the Saône and Rhône rivers where they decided to build a city. A flock of crows landed beside them, which was of course of good omen, and they decided to call the city the crow hill, Lugdunum. A more probable etymology relates Lugdunum to the Gaul god Lug.

In 43 BP, Munacus Plantius established a Roman colony in Lugdunum. A few years later, Agrippa was assigned by Emperor August (emperor from 27 BP to 14) the administrative organization of Gaul, and chose Lugdunum as its capital city in 27 BP. Five Roman ways radiated from Lugdunum to Aquitaine (south-west), the valley of Rhine (north-east), Arles (south) and Italy (south-east). Auguste often stayed in Lyon. Emperor Claude was born in Lyon in 10.

In 280, Emperor Probus (emperor from 276 to 282) suppressed the monopoly on wine commerce, which had been granted to Lugdunum. The administrative reform proclaimed by Emperor Diocletian (emperor from 284 to 305) in 293 made of Lugdunum the capital city of the Provincia Lugdunensis.

In the Vth century, Lyonnais was the center of the Kingdom of Burgundy, whose capital city was Vienne, located 30 km south of Lyon.

The province of Lyonnais was formed in 1531 by merging several feudal states, most of them having been confiscated to the Constable of Bourbon after he had betrayed King François I. Those states were Lyonnais sensu stricto, Beaujolais, Forez and Franc-Lyonnais. After the confiscation, Lyonnais was used by the last Valois as an apanage and eventually incorporated to the royal domain by Louis XIII.

Ivan Sache, 11 May 2003

Flag of Lyonnais

The banner of arms of Lyonnais is the banner of arms of the city of Lyon. The heraldists who recreated the provincial arms in the XXth century most probably chose the easiest solution to represent Lyonnais, equating the province and its capital city. The coat of arms is blazoned as (GASO):

De gueules au lion à la queue contournée d'argent, au chef cousu d'azur chargé de trois fleurs de lys d'or.

in English (Brian Timms):

Gules a lion rampant argent armed and langued azure a chief of the third three fleurs de lis or.

In the XIIIth century, the merchants' guilds revolted against the power of the Archbishop-Count of Lyon. They used on their banners a lion to express their own strength. In 1320, King of France Philippe V le Long forced Archbishop Pierre de Savoie to free Lyon, which was later directly administrated by the king of France, therefore the chief of France on the coat of arms.

Ivan Sache, 11 May 2003

Pays of Forez

[Flag of Forez]by Jaume Ollé

The County of Forez (pagus forensis, 967) formed within the Kingdom of Burgundy, and was ruled by three successive dynasties. The first house of Forez ended in 1107, the second house led by the Dauphin of Viennois ended in 1371 and was succeded by the Bourbons. The County of Forez incorporated in 1265 the County of Beaujolais (pagus bellojocensis).

Ivan Sache, 11 May 2003

The pays of Forez has for coat of arms a red field with a yellow dolphin.

Jaume Ollé, 4 January 1999

Forez corresponds to a large part of the department of Loire. The coat of arms of Forez has been proposed as coat of arms of the departement.

Pascal Vagnat, 4 January 1999