In its broad linguistic sense, the term ‘‘Langue d’oc’’ referred to the southern third of France, roughly the provinces south of the River Dordogne in which the Occitan language was spoken. Politically, Languedoc referred to the block of provinces in extreme south-central France that in the early thirteenth century were the heartlands of Catharism, a heretical movement that was eradicated during the Albigensian Crusade of the 1210s by crusaders from northern France led by Simon de Montfort. In 1224, Montfort’s descendents ceded their rights in the region to Louis VIII, who thus brought Languedoc under royal authority.
Languedoc suffered severe destruction during the Hundred Years War. Edward, the Black Prince, devastated the region during the Chevauche´e of 1355, and routiers caused serious damage, particularly in Quercy, Rouergue, and the Agenais, in the 1360s and 1370s. The region suffered severe famines in 1335, 1351, and 1374–76, and economic collapse and high taxation precipitated a series of urban revolts across the region between 1378 and 1382. A revolt of the peasantry, known as the rebellion of the Tuchins, was not suppressed until 1384. Nonetheless, in the 1420s, support for the Crown revived along with the economy, and the region provided both men and money for the armies of Charles VII. The last great independent fiefs in the region, the counties of Armagnac and Foix, were incorporated into the Crown in 1589.