(18) BERNARD D'AUDIJOS (1634 - 1677)

Bernard D'Audijos was born in 1634 at Coudure a very small village between St. Sever and Samadet in Chalosse South Gascony.  Nobleman but without fortune, he belonged to a famous family, the Foix-Candale.  He served in the French army for ten years and left with the grade of Captain.  He went back home in 1664 he got in opposition with the royal power, represented by the intendant Pellot because of the salt-tax.  This tax was very hated by the whole population.  He took the head of an uprising; it lasted ten years in Chalosse, Bearn and Bigorre, those three districts are Gascon and the Basque region Labour.  The Maquis was organized, the attacks of the salt-tax collectors happened often.  Audijos found shelters and complicity everywhere in the country side, a hilly and rough country, Audijos knew it pretty good, he got sheltes and help.  The salt-tax collectors overwhelmed, did not dare to go anywhere any more, they were scared even in armed groups.  They are seeing Audijos everywhere, all over the south and in the whole South Gascony; when the soldiers came too close, he went to Spain and come back by another mountain crossing.  They sent troops against him, he escaped.  Dragoons squadrons went all over the country side with no luck.  They put a heavy price on his head.  He escaped all the hunts.  He came back in a new place to prepare an ambush or a new raid.  They put infantry soldiers in the towns and villages with no better results, but after a few years the weariness was felt by the men.  Audijos had less and less followers with him.  The intendant Pellot was sent to the Normand Parliament.  The new Intendant de Sieuvre was ready to parley and to negotiate.  The negotiation was made in 1675.   Audijos did submit and gave up, but in exchange he got from the king a commission in the army.  The grade of colonel and the command of a regiment of dragoons, where he could take his followers, they went for a campaign in Sicily under the command of Marshal and Duke of Vivonne.  They fought very bravely, but during some fighting around the city of Messina, Audijos with two dragoons squadrons fell in an ambush and trying to rally his men he was shot to death, it was in the year of 1677 and he was only 43 years old. 

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Gascony is the land of the Gascon people.  Gascony is in the South-West of France and a small district the “Valley of Aran” (Aran in Basque means Valley). In Spain, included in the Catalan Province of Lerida. The Gascony borders in the West are from the “Pointe De Grave.” North of the Medoc to the city of Bayonne is the Atlantic OceanBayonne is a mixed city with Basque and Gascon population and a French administration as everywhere else in France.  The name Bayonne comes from the Basque language meaning the “Good River” “Ibai Ona” in Basque.  In the East the boarder mainly the “Garonne River” (Garona in Gascon: We never use the article in front of Garonne as in old days the people saw this river as a goddess) only in the North in the “Bordelaise District” the boarder goes East to meet the “Perigord” land belonging to “Limousin” in the South in the Pyrenees Mountains, the border is a mid-distance between the “Garonne River” and the “Ariege River” in the East, the other side belonging to Languedoc.  During the French Revolution in the eighteenth century Gascony has been divided into departments as all other places in France.  In 1983 a new division was made in France, they took 4 or 5 departments to make a region, but with no concern to the different peoples of France.

Gascony was by this new division cut in two, the Bordeaux district, the Landes and Bearn were put in a region called “Aquitaine” with Perigord (District of Limousin) and the Agenais region (Region from Languedoc). The other districts of Gascony: Lomagne, Armagnac, Bigorre, Comminges and Couserans were put in “Midi-Pyrenees” with districts from Languedoc, with Toulouse as the main city.

Now we have to know the Gascon people origin.  Before the Roman occupation started in 56, after J.C. conquest made by the Roman General “Crassus” in two campaigns: The Gascons were Basques.  The Roman occupation ended at the beginning of the fifth century.

The problem now is to know from where came the Basque people, and when.  Most of the historians and the Linguists do not agree after so many researchers made on this subject.  A few historians wanted the Basques to be related to the “Berber People” from North Africa.  Others wanted the Basque to be related to “Caucasian people” for the Basque Language is even more complicated.  We can find similitude with Caucasian languages.  But not enough to say the Basque language belongs to the Caucasian family.  We can find likeness with Turkish and Japanese languages.  This is yet to be solved and we are not close to find out the origin of the Basque people and their language during all of the Middle Ages the Basques used the Gascon language to write all the documents.  The first printed book in the Basque language was made in 1545 of a grammar book.

When did the Basque people come here on both sides of the Pyrenees Mountains?  We do not know from where they came and we do not know when they arrived.  We can only say they are one of the oldest people to move in the West of Europe, and to stay in the same land.  They have been for thousands of years; it could be close 10000 years. Nobody can be sure and no one can prove the contrary.

Let’s have a look at the Gascon language. Gascon belongs to the “Occitan” or the “OC” family.  OC means “yes” in English, the C of OC is mute so we say “O” for yes.

The Occitan family have besides Gascon: Auvergnat, Limousin, Languedocian, Provencal and Dauphinois.  In Provence we have to add another language made up of 95% Provencal vocabulary.  This language is called “Choadit” (Pronunciation: Tchooadit).  This is the language of the Jewish community of Provence and of South Languedoc from the first century during the Roman occupation.  They arrived five centuries before the Franks who came between the fifth and tenth centuries and became The French.

The Catalan is very close to the Occitan languages and Aragonese is close to the Gascon, even if The Aragonese kept the « F » in Latin.

The Gascon language started little by little during the Roman occupation and became a real language between the fifth and the sixth century.  Parchments in Gascon were found from the sixth and the eighth century.  During The Middle Ages the Gascons wrote only in Gascon.  They never used Latin like the French and other people.  Many parchments in Gascon from the 12th and until the 15th century were called the “Gascon Rolls” and can be found in the suburb of London, England.  The Gascon followed changes more like an Iberian language and not as a hexagonal one.  The Gascon and the Castilian are the only Latin or Roman languages to have taken « H » aspirated as in English and German for the « F » Latin word.

The Castilian people gave up aspirating the « H » beginning in the 15th century with the exception of the Andalusia’s who still aspire the « H ».  The Basque people aspired the « HA » but like the Castilian they gave up aspiring the « H » beginning in the 15th century.  The Basque from the South were only concerned and the letter “H” disappeared completely from their written form, but in the North the three Basque regions (Labour, Navarre, Soule) have kept aspiring the “H” and of course kept the letter “H” in their written form.

The other languages of Spain besides Castilian, Basque and Gascon.  The Bable called too “Leones” or “Asturian” and used in Portugal by the name of “Mirandes.”  The Aragonese, the Catalan and Galician never aspired the « H ».  The reason was they did not have it.