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


Gascons, the inhabitants of Gascony, southwest France, who are distinguished by some marked characteristics from all the surrounding populations - characteristics due to their mixed Iberian, Romano-Gallic, and Teutonic (Visigothic) descent The substratum of the population is certainly Iberian, as shown by their very name - Gascon and Vascon being the same word as Basque [Basque] - and by such local names as Elimberris, Bigorra, Iluro and other old Iberian settlements, whose meaning is still explicable by the Basque langueige (Elimberris =: "New-town," etc.) Later, but still in prehistoric times, the country was invaded by Celtic (Gaulish) tribes, who merged with the original inhabitants, forming themixed Celtiberian peoples, who retained the primitive Iberian speech still surviving on both slopes of the Western Pyrenees. These Celtiberians were the Aquitani of Ceesar (De Bell. Gall. i. 1.), who after the Roman conquest (29 B.C.) were grouped in nine administrative districts forming the Novent pojjulunia of the Empire. After the Visigothic irruption the Vascons of the Pyrenees again acquired the ascendency, and in the seventh century extended their rule and name to the whole region northwards to the Garonne, which from the remotest times had formed the northern boundary of the Iberian domain. Thus it was that this region took the name of Vascony (Gascony), which it still bears, though since 1790 divided into several administrative departments roughly corresponding to the Noeein populi of the Romans. The Basque language, however, has gradually retreated to the south-western districts of Navarre and Oleron (the ancient Iluro). and the bulk of the people now speak, besides the standard French, a marked dialect of the Langue d'Oc. The Gascons are distinguished by a higher tone of morality, due perhaps to their Iberian blood, than is prevalent in other parts of France. They are a gay, cheerful, and hospitable people, somewhat boisterous in their demonstration of friendship, great talkers and even charlatans, given much to exaggeration and "bounce," so much so that the term "gasconade" has become synonymous with brag, bluster, or bravado. The modern "gasconader" represents the milesgloriosus of Roman comedy.