Sites & cities that bear the name of Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone


Today in : France
First trace of activity : ca. 5th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Maguelon, Villeneuve-lès-Maguelonne, Villeneuve-Angoulême, Vilanòva de Magalona

Description : Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone (Occitan: Vilanòva de Magalona) is a commune in the Hérault department in the Occitanie region in southern France. Maguelone (or Maguelon) was one of the "seven cities" that may have been the origin of the name for the region called Septimania. Septimania was the western region of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, which passed under the control of the Visigothic kingdom in 462, when Septimania was ceded to Theodoric II, king of the Visigoths. The seven cities were today's Elne, Agde, Narbonne, Lodève, Béziers, Nîmes and Maguelone. In the aftermath of the Battle of Vouille (507), Maguelone managed to remain out of Frankish sway, and was part of the Visigothic kingdom. At first the stronghold of a Visigothic noble, on high ground protected by coastal lagoons, Maguelone became the seat of a bishop. When the early history of Maguelone was compiled in 1583 by Abbé Gariel (Histoire des évêques de Maguelonne) he provided the see with an apostolic origin, as is de rigueur for any long-established bishopric of Late Antiquity throughout the three Gauls. The first historical bishop of Maguelonne assisted at the Council of Narbonne in 589; doubtless the Christian community was far older. In the 8th century (circa 725) the Umayyad forces conquered the area, but the stronghold was destroyed by Charles Martel in his 737 campaign across Septimania, almost depopulating the region. The Gallo-Roman and Gothic nobility allied with the Andalusian military kept the position until 752, when Pepin the Short tipped the scale in favour of the Franks, who conquered Septimania. The diocese was removed to Substantion, but Bishop Arnaud (1030–1060) returned it, rebuilt the destroyed sanctuary and constructed a bridge to link Maguelone to the "new district" of Villeneuve. The powerful and compact Romanesque Maguelone Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Peter, was constructed.

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