This chapter examines texts depicting aristocratic attempts to define and protect a separate polity outside of kingdoms. This geographical form of opposition to sovereigns, found in Aspremont, Girart de Roussillon (the twelfth-century epic poem, the hagiographical narrative and later Burgundian verse and prose rewritings), and the Chanson de la Croisade Albigeoise, which argue for the independence of Occitania and Burgundy, is often missed by modern scholars whose ideas are shaped by present-day nations. Yet it proves vital for understanding the regionalist politics of medieval Europe, with local governmental structures persisting in opposition to the drive to create kingdoms and empires.
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