(from Der Große Brockhaus, 16th Edition, Vol. 2, 1953)



Burgundy, French La Bourgogne, historic landscape of France, named after the Burgundian people.  Its kernel zone is the Saone-depression, surpassed by the Cote d' Or and the mountains of the Charolais.  Of here, High Burgundy outreaches on the Jurassic in the east and the Central Plateau to the Morvan in the west, Low Burgundy in the north into the chalk landscapes of the Parisian basin (Tonnerre, Chablis, Auxerre).  Capital is Dijon.  Burgundy is an important run country between the Rhine-, Seine-, Loire and Rhône-zone with important canals, railroads and streets.  It is a famous region for whine cultivation with the midpoints Dijon, Beaune and Mâcon. 


1)       The East Teuton tribe of the Burgundians, settled 443 by Aetius in the landscape Sapaudia (Savoy) around Geneva (since 461 king's seat Lyon), created an empire in the Rhône area, in which Teutons and Romans stood equally side by side.  King Gundobad initiated to record the Burgundian rights (Germanic people rights).  But already 534 the Burgundians were defeated by the Franconias and Burgundy was integrated into the Frankish empire; as a partial empire of the Merovingian it got repeatedly a certain independence. 

2)       With the decay of the Frankish Empire again two independent Burgundian empires formed.  Count Boso became 879 king of Low Burgundy (Zisjuranic Burgundy, Arelat), margrave Rudolf 888 king of High Burgundy (Transjuranic Burgundy).  Rudolf II (912-937) combined about 934 both states to the empire Burgundy or Arelat whose rulers repeatedly sworn the oath of fealty to the German kings.  The childless Rudolf lIl (993 to 1032) promised the succession to his sister's son, emperor Heinrich II; emperor Konrad II took over the claims of his predecessor on behalf of the German empire, defended them in the battle against the powerful of the country and the nearer relatives of Rudolf, duke Ernst von Swabia and count Odo II of Champagne, and took possession of Burgundy after Rudolf's death in 1032.  At first the connection between Burgundy and the empire remained very loose; only the Stauffer tried to attach the connection firmer.  After their egression Burgundy began to fall gradually to France; at the end of the Middle Ages, the old kingdom Burgundy was French, except Sapaudia, the free count shaft Burgundy, Mömpelgard and the western Switzerland. 

3)       Independent of both Burgundian empires, count Richard of Autun (+ 921), a brother Bosos, had created northwest from high Burgundy the French duchy Burgundy which alone kept the name Bourgogne.  Richard's son Rudolf became 923 king of France; 1032 the duchy (capital of Dijon) fell to a side line of the Kapetinger.  When this expired in 1361, king Jean II from the house Valois 1363 gave the duchy to his youngest son Philipp the Bold, whose new house of Burgundian dukes initiated the glorious days of Burgundy.  Philipp married 1363 the Flemish hereditary daughter Margareta Malana and in this way acquired 1384 Flanders, the Artois and the free count shaft Burgundy belonging to the empire, by purchase 1390 the county Charolais.  During the mental illness of his nephew, the king Karl VI, he was the most influential man in France, however, got in the sharpest opposition to duke Louis of Orléans, the brother of Charles.
He was followed 1404 by his son John the Fearless; he let duke Ludwig murder in 1407, however, became 1419 killed himself during a meeting with the Dauphin (Karl VII) on the bridge over the Yonne at Montereau.  His son and successor Philipp the Good formed an alliance on with the Englishmen, conquered the county Boulogne and acquired big parts of the German Netherlands (1428 Namur by purchase, 1430 Brabant and Limburg by inheritance, 1433 Hainaut, Holland and Zealand by violence); in the peace with France at Arras in 1435 he got the areas of Mâcon, Auxerre and a part of the Picardy with the Somme towns.  To these acquisitions 1443 the German duchy Luxembourg also was added.  In the year 1430 Philipp donated the medals of the gold fleece.  He was followed 1467 his son Charles the Bold, one of the most powerful and most splendid monarchs of Europe; he fell 1477 near Nancy against duke René of Lorraine whose country he had conquered in order to connect his northern and southern states. 
Both heavy defeats against the confederates at Grandson and Murten (1476) had broken its power.  Maximilian I. of Austria married Maria, the hereditary daughter of Charles the Bold.  The fight for the Burgundian inheritance lasted for the following decades and caused the deep enmity of Habsburg and the crown of France.  Philipp the Pretty, son of Maximilian and Maria, started in 1494 to govern independently; he was 1506 followed by his son, the later emperor Charles V., for whom until 1515 his grandfather Maximilian reigned in Burgundy.  The house Habsburg maintained the Burgundian heir besides the Bourgogne, the Picardie and Boulogne, that fell at France.  In the peace of Madrid (1526) it must in return forgot the support highness over Flanders and Artois (Burgundian circle).