CÔTE-D’OR  The Département de la Côte-d’Or (21) is in east central France.

It was formed in 1790 from the northern part of Burgundy, and named after a range of hills. It is one of the principal wine districts of France.

The department was in occupied France, 1940-4. In 1941 the Vichy government placed it and four other departments under the authority of the Regional Prefect at Dijon, its capital, for police and economic matters.

It has been in the Bourgogne region since 1960.

The capital is Dijon. The sub-prefectures for the other arrondissements are or have been Beaune (in the south) and Montbard (northwest). The latter lay between Châtillon-sur-Seine (further north) and Semur-en-Auxois, and became a sub-prefecture when they were abolished in 1926.

The Bishopric is at Dijon, which first became a see in 1731 when the diocese of Langres was divided.

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The northernmost province in the Calabria region in southwest Italy, named from its capital, which is high in the valley of the River Crati, the valley where Robert Guiscard began his career.

In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies the province was called Calabria Citeriore.

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English: View of Cosel in Upper Silesia Deutsc...

English: View of Cosel in Upper Silesia Deutsch: Ansicht von Kosel (Cosel) in Oberschlesien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COSEL  Or, Kosel.  Former Silesian Duchy, named after a town, now KOZLE, part of Kiedzierzyn-Kozle, which is in southern Poland on the River Odra (Oder) above Opole.

After the partition of Upper Silesia in 1281 Cosel was held as a Duchy, together with Beuthen, which lay to the east. In 1355 it passed to the Duchy of Oels and in 1472 to Münsterberg.

In 1475 it was occupied by Hungary until it reverted to the Dukes of Oppeln in 1490. It was acquired by the Habsburgs in 1532, by Prussia in 1740 and by Poland in 1945.

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CORVEY Or, Corvei or Korvei. Imperial Abbey on the River Weser above Hameln in northwestern Germany;  ENE of Paderborn.

It was founded by two cousins of Charlemagne in 816 as a daughter Abbey to that of Corbie in Picardy in northern France. Around the Abbey was a small princely territory on the left bank of the Weser. The Abbot was a member of the Lower Rhenish & Westphalian Imperial Circle. In 1792 the Abbey became a Bishopric.

Its territory was secularised in 1802-3 and, with Fulda and the city of Dortmund, it became a principality for the son of the dispossessed Stadtholder of the Netherlands. Occupied by France in 1806, it was placed in the lands held by Napoleon’s brother Jerome as King of Westphalia in 1807. In 1815 it was acquired by Prussia, and is now in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

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Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Galicia, A C...

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Galicia, A Coruña, Spain which houses the tomb of St. James son of Zebedee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The town and port, called A CORUÑA in Galician, LA CORUÑA in Spanish, and Corunna in English, is the capital of the northwesternmost province (C) of Spain, which is named after it.

The province was formed in 1833 from the northwest of the old province and former Kingdom of Galicia, and now belongs to the autonomous Community of Galicia, created in the era of transition after the death of Franco.

Corunna is illustrious enough, but the most illustrious city in the province is Santiago de Compostela, the seat of an Archbishop, its cathedral the burial place of St James (to the same degree as St Mark’s in Venice is the last resting-place of the evangelist), and a still continuing place of pilgrimage. It is Santiago, and not Corunna, that is the capital of the Galician Community.

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English: Battle of of the Corsicans with the G...

English: Battle of of the Corsicans with the Genoese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Island in the western Mediterranean, north of Sardinia. [For the Département(s) and Region, see CORSE].

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Corsica became part of the Vandal Kingdom, which held the Tunisian coast-lands and many of the islands of the western Mediterranean. The Byzantine Empire overthrew the Vandals in 533 and held Corsica until the Lombard reduction of Byzantine power in central Italy in the second quarter of the 8th century.

The Franks later destroyed the Lombard Kingdom, and in the 9th century the Marquises of Tuscany at times controlled parts of Corsica – Bonifacio, in the south of the island, is named after one of them. The Arabs, who had become established in Sardinia, also held parts of the coastlands of Corsica, which they used as a base for piracy and raiding.  They were not finally expelled until 1014.

In the 11th century, there was much internal strife and in 1078 the Pope, who claimed that Corsica was part of the territory that had been recognised as his, encouraged Pisa, which had already established itself in Sardinia, to take control of the island. One of his successors changed the Papal mind and in 1123 granted the island to Genoa.  Eventually a compromise was reached in 1133 and Genoa held the north, Pisa the south. Pisan power was broken in 1284 when Genoa won a decisive naval victory. The Papacy however was still asserting its claims over the island and in 1297 as part of the reconciliation between the Pope and the King of Aragon after the disputes arising from the expulsion of the Angevin rulers of Sicily in 1282, the Pope granted Corsica to Aragon.

In the next century and a half, the local nobility, the autonomous communities and Genoa contended for power, while every so often an Aragonese effort to make good the grant of 1297 added a complication to Corsican politics. The last of these, and one of the most sustained, took place between 1418 and 1432. During the course of an earlier power struggle in the mid-14th century that had been precipitated by one of the Aragonese interventions, the local communities in the centre of the island, where noble power had long been weak, banded together to form the Terra di Commune, a kind of autonomous democratic republic, which managed to survive until the 18th century.

Genoese interests on the island had been represented by a commercial consortium between 1378 and 1407;  then in 1453 the Casa di San Giorgio, a bank, became the principal Genoese political power in the island. The early years of its rule saw its power limited or removed by rivals, such as the Duchy of Milan, which controlled Genoa, 1463-1478. A member of the Genoese family of Campo Fregoso, which had twice held Corsica earlier in the century, tried in 1477 to recover power. The later part of the Bank’s rule saw a French occupation 1553-9. On the whole the Bank as ruler seems to have behaved with a large degree of sensitivity to its own interests and insensitivity to anyone else’s.

The Genoese Republic took the government of the island back in the 1560s, but the vigour had gone out of the Republic and the island stagnated.

French troops had occupied part of the coastline of Corsica during the 1550s, when France was at war with Spain, but withdrew in 1559. During the 18th century Corsican nationalists rebelled against Genoa in the Forty Years’ War (1729-69), and French troops twice intervened in the island, 1738-41 and 1748-53, in support of Genoa. The Corsican nationalists controlled much of the island, 1755-68, under their leader Pascal Paoli. Unable to cope, the Republic of Genoa sold the island to France in 1768, Paoli resisted, but fled the island in 1769, the year in which the most famous of Corsicans and future Emperor of the French was born, a Frenchman by birth, just about.

Corsica continued under military rule until 1786. It formed a gouvernement, but one where, unlike the rest of France, the governor was the active head of the province (even those governors in other provinces who were powerful were usually most influential at Court and were generally absent from their provinces). The intendant in Corsica conversely was weak, most intendants only staying briefly before moving on to better things. Presumably as French rule became secure the normal pattern of French provincial government would have prevailed, and the intendant would have become the principal officer, but the Revolution intervened.

Paoli was recalled in 1790 and in 1792 was given command in the island. He was out of sympathy with Jacobinism, and encouraged the British occupation of the island, 1793-6, dying in exile in Britain in 1807. Britain again occupied the island in 1814 but it was returned to France in 1815. Fascist Italy claimed the island and occupied it in 1942 after the Allied invasion of French North Africa. The island was freed in September 1943.


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Autogenerated image to indicate departement gi...

Autogenerated image to indicate departement given by filename. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Département (20A) in southern and west central Corsica since 1976, capital Ajaccio, in the west of the island.   The Department of Liamone, 1796-1811, was similar in extent.

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CORSE   The French name of CORSICA;

  1. The Département de la Corse (20), 1790-3 and 1811-1976
  2. A  region since 1970, with a unique status from 1991.

The island was divided into the departments of Golo and Liamone in 1793, though the partition was only effective from 1796 because of a temporary British occupation. It was reunited into one department in 1811. Corsica was again divided in 1976, this time into the Departments of Corse-du-Sud (20A) and Haute-Corse (20B).

From 1960, the Department of Corse formed part of the Provence-Côtes d’Azur-Corse region, but in 1970 it became a separate region, and in 1991 was given special status within France as a territorial collectivity, the only one in metropolitan France.

It is a gesture towards autonomy for the island, a remarkable move in a country that has prided itself on its centralised regime. Nevertheless some terrorist activity continued, in pursuit of Corsican independence. Proposals made in 2000 to give further powers to the elected assembly in 2004 led to the resignation of Jean-Pierre Chevènement, the Minster of the Interior, from the Jospin government. He saw such considerable autonomy as a threat to the Republic, one and indivisible.

Ajaccio was the capital of the department, and is the capital of the region.   It is also the seat of the Bishop for Corsica.

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Coat of arms of Corrèze, France drawn by User:...

Coat of arms of Corrèze, France drawn by User:Spedona 30/10/2007 for Blazon Project of French-speaking Wikipedia, with Inkscape. Source: Own work – Blazon: Quarterly, first or two lions passant gules, second chequy or and gules, third bendy of ten or and gules, fourth or three lions azure armed and langued gules (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Département de la Corrèze (19) is in the west of the Massif Central in south central France. The River Corrèze rises in the north and flows southwestwards to join the River Vézère.

It was part of the unoccupied zone of France, 1940-2.   In 1941 the Vichy government placed it under the authority of the Regional Prefect at Limoges for police and economic matterrs.

Before 1790 its territory had belonged to the province of Limousin and since 1960 the department has been part of the region of the same name.

Its capital is Tulle. The sub-prefectures for the other arrondissements are Brive-la-Gaillarde (in the southwest) and Ussel (northeast). The latter was abolished in 1926 but restored in 1943. The Bishopric for the department has been at Tulle, except between 1802 and 1822 when it was merged in that of Limoges.

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Lordship in the Po plain in northern Italy, northwest of Modena.

Members of the family served as podestàs in several Italian cities in the 13th century and were at times lords of Parma and Guastalla in the 14th century.

Manfredo I became a Count in 1452. His descendant, Count Sico, was elevated to the rank of Prince of the Empire in 1616 but deposed by the Emperor Ferdinand II in 1631.

Correggio was sold to Modena in 1635.

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English: Map of Venetian fortress and city of ...

English: Map of Venetian fortress and city of Koroni/Coron in Messenia, Greece (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Town in the east of the southwestern peninsula in the Peloponnese in southern Greece, held by Venice, 1206-1500 and 1685-1715.

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The southwesternmost county in England;  most of its boundary with Devon lies along the River Tamar, which rises very near the north coast and flows to Plymouth Sound and the English Channel. Cornwall lay in that part of the island that long remained separate from England, West Wales the English called it. Its placenames are quite different from most of England, being mainly Celtic.

The Dumnonii were the Celtic people living in Devon and Cornwall in Roman times.  The name of Devon comes from them, while Cornwall derives the first syllable of its name from the Cornovii, a Celtic people in the upper Severn valley, who it is believed provided rulers for Cornwall in the 5th century. The -wall ending was provided by the English;  it comes from the same word as Wales and indicates that the people there speak a language we (the English) don’t understand.

Devon and Cornwall were far from the main places of early English settlement and must have been insulated from them by the Dorset heathlands and the waters of the Somerset levels, but the gradual advance of the English brought Devon within their lands by 800.   The reign of Egbert in Wessex (802-39) saw Cornish power broken, and a century later, c.930, Athelstan either crushed a revolt in a Cornwall that had already been added to England or finally ended Cornish independence.

The Cornish language, closely related to Breton (there had been considerable emigration from the southwest peninsula to Brittany) and to Welsh, survived as the majority language into the 16th century but then declined until it disappeared early in the 19th century.   There are attempts to revive the language at the present time.

Since the Norman era, when the Conqueror’s half-brother, Robert of Mortain, held considerable land in Cornwall, the county has had strong royal links.   Its mineral deposits had made it economically important from ancient times, and it was also strategically important because while it was remote by land from the centres of English power it was accessible, despite the occasional fury of the ocean, to other lands across the sea.

Cornwall provided the title for the first English Duke, Edward, the eldest son of King Edward III, in 1337, when the future Black Prince was still a child.  By the terms of its creation the Dukedom is heritable by the Heir Apparent to the throne, provided he is the son of the Sovereign. (What this means at the present time is that Prince William will succeed to the Dukedom when his father succeeds to the Crown, but if his father dies before the Queen, Prince William will never be Duke of Cornwall because he will never be the Sovereign’s son).

This royal link made Cornwall well represented in Parliament.   In 1821 it had 44 MPs:  two for the county and 42 for boroughs.   In that year Grampound lost its two members for corruption;  more were disenfranchised by the Reform Act of 1832.

As far as the Church was concerned Cornwall was for long subordinate to Devon’s Bishop.   There was a Bishop with his see at St German’s from before 870, but in 1027 the Bishop of Crediton (Exeter from 1050) added Cornwall to his diocese. It was not until 1877 that a separate diocese of Truro was created.

The county’s borders have changed little.  In earlier years Devon crossed the Tamar in three places.

  1. Edgcumbe on the Cornish side of Plymouth Sound was in Devon until 1844.
  2. Devon also used to intrude into Cornwall  for several miles north of the River Ottery, a right-bank tributary of the Tamar, north of Launceston:  the border was straightened out in 1966 in this respect.
  3. The third, on the upper reaches of the river, has survived, so that Devon included the village of Bridgerule and extends to the upper right bank of a stream that reaches the sea at Bude.

Cornwall itself extends over the Tamar to the southwest of the small Devon town of Holsworthy.

The administrative links between the Isles of Scilly and Cornwall, never tight, have diminished since 1972.

No Cornish town was big enough to become a county borough under the 1888 Act; nor after a century of decline of old industries and of aging population, the result of Cornwall becoming a haven for the retired, was there anywhere remotely big enough to be a unitary authority in the 1990s.

Romantic revival of language, economic decline and the fall away of loyalty to major parties has led to a renewal of Cornish nationalism, but the flood-tide is probably years away.   In the 1997 General Election Mebyon Kernow contested four of the five Cornish seats, and won just 1906 votes.

The Duchy of Cornwall consists of the estates and properties of the Duke (as Duke).  Not all Cornwall belongs to the Duchy (the original grant to the Black Prince was of 17 manors) and the lands of the Duchy are not confined to Cornwall. There are properties in Devon and 21 other counties.   The lands and properties are an appanage that has survived:  they are properties that are specifically allocated to the heir apparent, provided he is the son of the Sovereign, to give him his income.

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Drapeau de la province de Cornouaille Bretagne

Drapeau de la province de Cornouaille Bretagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Southwestern Brittany, its name the result of the the immigration of British into Armorica in the 5th and 6th centuries from, inter alia, Cornwall.

A County emerged in the region, and also a Bishopric with its seat at Quimper, the capital of Cournouaille.

Alan Barbetotte, who re-established a Duchy in Brittany in 936 after Viking depredations, came from Cornouaille. His line failed to establish itself, though Alan’s great-granddaughter married a Count of Cornouaille. Their son married the heiress of the Counts of Rennes, who had been Dukes of Brittany in the meantime, and he and his male descendants were Dukes of Brittany, 1066-1166. The later Dukes descended from their heiress, Constance, who died in 1201.

The Bishopric of Quimper still survives, with the Department of Finistère as its diocese.

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CORK    Chorcaigh.

  1. City in the south of Ireland, which stands where the River Lee meets the long Cork Harbour;
  2. The county of which the city is capital.

The city and the harbour were held by the Northmen from the 9th to the 12th centuries.

The county of Cork was formed in the 13th century when most of Munster was under Norman control, perhaps even in the 12th century. Irish control however returned as Anglo-Norman power retreated in the 14th century. The Kings of Desmond (southern Munster) sometimes used Cork as a capital and so their Kingdom is sometimes called Cork. Cork was under English control again (sometimes more, sometimes less) by the late middle ages.

The county occupies a considerable territory in southwestern Ireland, its coast stretching from the estuary of the river Kenmare in the west to Youghal Harbour in the east. The River Lee drains the south of the county, the Blackwater the north, while in the far north are the headwaters of rivers that flow to the Shannon. Cork is easily the largest county, not only in the Republic but in the entire island of Ireland, and easily ranks second in the Republic in population, only Co. Dublin having more.

Ecclesiastically the county was divided between the dioceses of Cork, Cloyne (in the north and east), and Ross (along much of the coast). Cork and Cloyne united in 1429 and in the Church of Ireland usually remained so, Ross also being merged with Cork in 1583. In the Roman Catholic Church, Cloyne separated from Cork in 1747, but at the same time Ross united with Cloyne. They separated again in 1850.

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English: The Canal cutting through the Isthmus...

English: The Canal cutting through the Isthmus of Corinth, Greece (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nome (department) in the northeast Peloponnese, between the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf, in the Peloponnese Region, and named after the city on the isthmus between the two Gulfs. Before 1899 and during part of the inter-war period it was joined with Argolis to the south to form one nome.

At the time that the Crusaders seized Constantinople in 1204 a Greek warlord, Leo Sgouros, had brought the northeastern Peloponnese, the isthmus of Corinth and much of Attica under his control. As the Crusaders came south in 1204 and 1205 they occupied these Sgouros lands, except for three cities and their fortresses, including Corinth, where Sgouros was besieged.  In 1208, presumably realising that the glory days would not return, he rode his horse over the precipice on which the citadel of Corinth stood. The citadel surrendered in 1210.

The city belonged to the Principality of Achaea, itself subject to the Angevin Kings of Naples from 1278. In 1358 Niccolo Acciajuoli, who belonged to a Florentine family who were the bankers for the Principality and himself long involved in the Principality’s affairs, was appointed governor of Corinth.

For the Angevin administrators it was a cheap way of getting the defences repaired. Various other members of the family descended on Corinth, among them Nerio, who bought up the lands on the coast between Corinth and Patras. After Niccolo’s death, c.1365, his son mortgaged his Corinth properties to Nerio, who continued to build up the lands he held as a virtually independent lordship. He had the money to pay mercenaries. In 1385 he added most of the Duchy of Athens to his lands, Athens itself falling to him in 1388.

When he died in 1394 his territories split up.   He left Corinth to his second daughter and her husband, Carlo Tocco, whose family held Cephalonia and had interests on the mainland. Theodore Paleologus, the Despot of the Morea and husband of Nerio’s elder daughter, had quarrelled with Nerio, and so had lost his expected inheritance in Corinth.

He gained it by fighting in 1396. Theodore however was overstretched. The Ottoman Turks had already been active in Central Greece and the Peloponnese and the Sultan was overlord of, among others, Theodore. Nerio had submitted to the Sultan in the last year of his life. Theodore tried to interest Venice in an alliance, but failed so he turned to the Knights Hospitaller, who took control of Corinth in 1400, or earlier. In 1404 they withdrew and Corinth reverted to Theodore’s Morea. In 1458 the city fell to the Turks after a siege.

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