Before the Roman conquest, the territory now occupied by the Department of the Loire, was inhabited by the Segusiens, including Forum, currently Feurs, became the capital. The tradition that César has won a decisive victory over Simon in this region. After the conquest, this region flourished as a Roman colony for several centuries, and was ensconced in Gallia lugdunensis.

Around the 5th century, the province spent a moment in the hands of the Burgundians, and then under Frankish domination. The children of Clovis is shared the paternal Kingdom to 534, and Forez then made part of the Lyon County; It was ravaged by the Saracens in the 8th century; its counties fought against the Arab invasion, managed to repel the looters, increased their power, and one of them, in the 10th century, Charles the bald reigning, declared himself hereditary County. One of his successors, Guillaume III, enlisted in the first Crusade and was killed at the siege of Nicaea, leaving finish in his person the first race of the counts of Forez. Counties of the second race had first to fight against the archbishops of Lyon who claimed rights over certain cities of the region, and one of them, Guy, promoted by the weapons, seized from Lyon that he plundered in 1157; the King and the Pope intervened in the feud, and, through Exchange and agreed price, areas of the drill were fully maintained in the hands of its counties. In the 13th century, postage charters were granted to major cities.

During the 14th century, these valiant Lords struggled all-out against the English invasion, but they could not escape their country to foreign depredations, and same Montbrison was burned by the parties that defeated the campaign; the English followed the road, looters and thieves who apparently then the France; the counties of Forez gathered at their uncle Jacques de Bourbon, count of la Marche, to purge the land of these terrible bandits. A great battle was fought near Brignais, which was fatal to the good cause; the count of Forez was killed; his brother and successor became insane; the drill was then sold to the second son of King John, Louis de France, and landlocked in the domain of the Dukes of Bourbon. Thus ended the second race of the counts of Forez. The third race was, in fact, represented by the family of d ' Urfé, likely of German origin; Indeed, the Dukes of Bourbon could inhabit this country that they were content to visit sometimes; but Guichard of Urte invested by them of the burden of bailiff and administered Forez in their place. When by the death of a Princess of Bourbon in 1521, the County was joined with the Crown of France by his heiress, Louise of Savoy, mother of François Ier, the d ' Urfé retained their position; Despite their wisdom, they could not prevent the drill to be harshly tested during the religious wars of the 16th century; the terrible baron des Adrets, the head of the protestants took Feurs, Montbrison, Montrond, Saint-Bonnet-le-Château, Boen, Saint-Galmier, etc.; in these terrible events joined the plague, famine and the excesses of the Loire. But these evils were to their end, and after a few disorders caused by the League, Forez tasted a tranquility he had more to lose; the d ' Urfé went to Paris, in the 18th century, in a fairly deep darkness.

In 1790, when the France was divided into departments, the Department of the Loire was first included in that of the Rhône; but in 1793 after the siege of this city, the Convention reassigned this Department, and the Loire was then formed from the old drill and a portion of du Lyonnais et du Beaujolais.

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