FOIX, an old French family, which took the title of count from the district of F. (now the departMent of Ariege), in the s. of France. The first who bore the title was Roger, comte de F., who flourished in the middle of the 11th century. Raymond, comte de F., figures as one of the knights who accompanied king Philippe Auguste to Palestine; afterwards, being accused of heresy, his estates were seized by cointe de Montfort. He died in 1223. Several members of the family subsequently distinguished themselves in the wars against England. Gaston III., comte born 1331, and called, on account of the beauty of his person, nimbus, was noted for his knightly love of splendor and military prowess. For his services to the king, he was made governor of Languedoc and Gascony. When only 18, he married Agnes, daughter of Philip III., i king of Navarre. In 1358, during the insurrection known as the Jacquerie (q.v.), be delivered the royal family from the power of the rebels. When Charles VI. wished to deprive him of the government of Languedoc, lie maintained his position by force of arms, and defeated the due de Berri in the plain of Revel. Ile was inordinately attached to the chase, and is said to have kept 1600 dogs. He also wrote a work on the subject, entitled Miroir.de Pilaus des deduitz de la Chasse des Bestes sauvalges et des Oyscaulx de Proye, which went through several editions in the 16th and 17th centuries, and whose bombastic style (faire du Phebus) became a byword. Froissart owed some of the choicest incidents in his history to having lived for some time in the castle of Orthes, Gaston's principal residence. After his death, in 1391, the estates and title
went to a collateral branch of the family. Gaston IV., mime de F., rendered good service to the king in the wars. against England. In 1455, his father-in-law, John II., king of Navarre, named him his successor. In addition to this, Charles VII. created him a peer of France, and ceded to him his claims upon Roussillon and Cerdagne. He died in 1472, when the family possessions were again divided. The last, his grandson, Gaston de F. was probably the most heroic member of the family. Son of Jean de F., comte d'Estampes, and Marie d'Orleans, sister of Louis XII. of France, he was born in 1489, and in 1507 received from his uncle, the French king, the title of due de Nemours. In the Italian wars carried on by Louis, Gaston displayed the most bril liant and precocious genius. He twice overthrew the Swiss, at Como and Milan; chased pope Julius II. from Bologna; seized Brescia out of the hands of the Venetians; and, to crown a series of splendid triumphs, which obtained for him the title of the Thunderbolt of Italy, won the great battle of Ravenna over the Spaniards, 11th April, 1512, in which, however, he fell, at the early age ofvtwenty-three. On his death, the estates and title of the house of F. went to Henri, king of Navarre, whose daughter, Jeanne d'Albret, married Antoine de Bourbon, due de Vendome, and became the mother of the great Henri Quatre, who thus attached the county of F. to the French crown.