Auvergnats - History and Cultural Relations

Because of its location on a high plateau, with a mountainous terrain, many parts of the Auvergne remained isolated, Marginal, and poor until the twentieth century. It was inhabited early in history, and there is evidence of heavy population during the Neolithic period. The Gergovie Plateau, near Clermont-Ferrand, was the site of the famous victory by the Arverne (and now French) folk hero Vercingetorix over Julius Caesar in 52 B.C. , although the region was later conquered by the Romans. The region's history has been marked by its location as a transitional zone between northern and southern France and by the contrasts between the important political and religious center of Clermont-Ferrand and a countryside inhabited largely by peasants. Auvergnats are among many Regional groups in the pluralist society of France. There is an intense regional consciousness among Auvergnats, but there have not been militant regional movements in the Auvergne as in other parts of France. The Auvergnats in Paris have their own newspaper, L ' Auvergnat de Paris, which attests to the strength of social ties among urban migrants from the region.

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