DAUPHIN, di'fln, Fr. do-fifi, the title of the eldest son of the Ding France. Dauphin was originally a title held by several of the feudal lords of France and is believed to have originated from the dolphins (Fr. dauphin) worn on their helmets or used as a family crest. In 1349 Humbert II, dauphin of Viennois, being childless, transferred his estate, called the Dauphiny (le Dauphine), in the south of France, to Philip of Valois, on condition that the eldest son of the King of France should in future be styled the dauphin and govern this territory. The dauphin, however, retained only the title, the estates having been united with the crown lands. On the death of the dauphin his eldest son inherited this title; if he had no son his eldest brother succeeded him. If the king had no son, as was the case in the reign of Louis XVIII, the title of dauphin was not be stowed on any one; for it was never given to the next prince of the blood and presumptive heir, even if he were the Icing's brother. The wife of the dauphin was called dauphiness (dauphine). The Delphin classics (q.v.) were
editions made for the use of the dauphin (in usum delphini).
DAUPHINg, cleifen-i', one of the ancient provinces of France. It was divided into Upper and Lower Dauphine. It comprised the depart ments of the Isere, the Hautes-Alpes and part of the Drome. The capital of the whole was Grenoble. The province constituted a.sort of triangle, bounded north by Bresse and Savoie, east by Piedmont, south by Provence and west by the Rhone. After the fall of the Roman Empire, it passed into the control of the Franks and eventually became part of the new Bur gundian kingdom of Arles. From 1032 until the middle of the 14th century it was in the possession of Germany. It was bequeathed to France by the lords of the kingdom and for the next century was governed as a separate prov ince by the eldest son of the King of France, when it was finally made part of the kingdom of France. The Huguenots made this place their stronghold during the civil wars.