Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Burgundy (Fr. Bourgogne), the name given to the district occupied in the fifth century by the Burgundi or Burgundiones, a Teutonic race that pushed forward from the banks of the Oder and Vistula to those of the Aar and Rhone, where they established the first kingdom of Burgundy, the limits of which embraced parts of Switzerland as far as Geneva, a portion of Alsace, the basin of the Rhone up to its junction with the Durance, and much of the country between the Rhone and the Loire. After a dynasty of eight kings, Gundimar being the last, this territory was incorporated in the Frankish empire (534). After varied fortunes it was erected by Charlemagne into a duchy, which went to his natural son Hugues. At the break-up of Charlemagne's possessions the southern half was split up into two kingdoms, viz. Cis-Juran or Lower Burgundy (the second kingdom of Burgundy), and Trans-Juran or Upper Burgundy, the Jura forming the boundary between the two. These were ultimately united to form the kingdom of Arles, which in 1033 passed into the German empire. Meanwhile the duchy, comprising most of what was afterwards known as Burgundy, remained loyal to Charles the Bold, and was held by several Carlovingian nominees until in 1363 John gave it to his son, Philip the Bold, as a reward for his courage at Poitiers. Thus was founded the famous line of the Dukes of Burgundy, who in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries overshadowed the French crown in magnificence and power. Jean sans Peur, Philip the Good, and Charles the Bold extended their territories so as to embrace Hainault, Holland, Brabant, etc., and to encroach westward upon France. The marriage of Mary, heiress of Charles the Bold, with the Archduke Maximilian, led to the union of the Franche Comte and the Dutch and Belgian districts with the empire as the "Circle of Burgundy," but the ancient duchy of Burgundy still remained a fief of the French king, and was presently constituted a province with these definite boundaries: on the N. Champagne, on the E. Franche Comte and Bresse, on the S. Lyonnais and Dauphine, and on the W. Bourbonnais and Nivernais. It was divided into eight districts - Auxerrois, La Montagne, Auxais, Dijonnois, Autunois, Chalonnois, Charolois, and Maconnois. Its parliament, instituted by Louis XI. in 1476, was celebrated, and met at Dijon, as did also later on a separate assembly of states-general, over which the military governor presided, the Bishop of Autun being at the head of the clergy, and the mayor of Dijon leading the third estate. The revolution put an end to the political privileges of the province, and left nothing but the name.