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Rouergue (rōĕrgˈ) [key], region of S France, in the S Massif Central, coextensive with the present Aveyron dept. Rodez, the historic capital, and Millau are the chief towns. One of the most mountainous areas of France, it is traversed by the Aveyron, Tarn, and other rivers, which form many deep gorges. Sheep are raised in great quantity and furnish milk for the Roquefort cheese industry. The county of Rouergue (or Rodez) and the viscounty of Millau were formed in the feudal period as dependencies of the counts of Toulouse. They passed to the French crown in 1271 but were ceded to England by the Treaty of Brétigny (1360); they reverted to France in 1368. The lands passed eventually to the Bourbon family and were inherited in 1607 by Henry IV, who united them with the royal domain.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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