The nation states of Western Europe might seem eternal. In fact they are artificial creations that just happened to live long enough to become entrenched.
Great read, felt quite informative. I can't shake the sense that everything on wikipedia is naive historiography in the truest sense of the term, but this story about Occitania seems fun.
> The first written account of the future language of Gaul is from 842 when the Oaths of Strasbourg were written down. This oath was supposed to be taken by the Frankish soldiers and it therefore needed to be notated in the language these soldiers were actually speaking and could understand.
I don't think this is right; weren't the Oaths spoken by the Frankish knights in Vulgar Latin for the sake of the Gaulish soldiers' understanding?
(Yes, "Vulgar Latin." If the term was good enough for H.P. Lovecraft, it should be good enough for any Anglophone linguist. What French linguists have to say about it is their own affair)
Also Anders I don't know if you like retro games, but you might like Locomalito - he's a Spanyard who uses a lot of historical themes. He has a free game called l'Abbaye des Morts based on the Albigensian Crusade: https://locomalito.com/abbaye_des_morts.php The younger Pie children play it a lot.
Fascinating history, and I thank you for writing it.
One question bugs me about the geography, though: there are mountains (The Pyrenees) right through the middle of the Catalan-Occitan region. Why didn't the mountains do more to split up the language?
Today in 'losing battles has consequences', the good lord bless you for this fascinating write up
"King Peter moved north in 2013 to assist Toulouse which was being harassed by the crusaders. At Muret, a small town 25 km south of Toulouse, he made contact with the crusader army. The severely outnumbered crusaders made an immediate attack and in one of the most famous battles of the High Middle Ages not only routed the Aragonese army but also killed king Peter."