THE ORIGIN OF LUNAS
Archaeological discoveries show that Lunas had already been permanently settled by around 3000 BC. But what are the earliest records identifying the village and its origins?
The first known written record is a charter from the abbey of Gelone in 806 AD, during the second year of Charles the Bald’s reign. In this charter, a certain Sigoald gives to Rustan, archbishop of Arles and abbot of Aniane, a field situated in "Lunas", in the "pagus" of Béziers :
"Ego in Die nomen Sigoaldus dono vobis Rustano, Archiepiscopo Arelatensis sedis, sive Abbati de Aniano monasterio, vel ... et in pago Biterrensi in villa Lunatis donon campum unim habentem semodiatam unam,..."
Ten years later, Lunas is mentioned in a charter dated the 5th of June 909, accorded by Charles the Simple, on the advice of Raymond, son of Eudes – Earl of Toulouse, in favour of Regembald, abbot of Psalmodi in the diocese of Nimes and Joncels, which in turn is in the diocese of Béziers. It states :
" situm est in pago Biterrensi, in suburbio castro Lunetense"
Initially it was called "Lunates villa" and then "Terra Lunatensi"; the "castrum" got its name "Lunaz" from 1160 onwards.
Early simple etymology attributes the name to the basic shape of the original village: The houses, clinging to the Redondel rockface, caught between the brooks Nize and St-Georges and the river Gravezon, gave the on-looker the shape of a crescent moon.
However Mr Rives Jr. from Bedarieux, in the 9th February 1851 edition of the "Echo de Lodève, Bédarieux, Clermont et Gignac, " offers a more scientific origin of the word: "The name Lunas is composed of two Celtic words : AR and DUN, meaning "place on a hill" (AR = on, DUN = hill). The name Dunar changed with use to become Lunar, as can be read in a manuscript of 1163, and finally evolved to become the definitive name of Lunas.
Recently (22.6.1974) André Dedet wrote a thesis (linguistic) at the Paul Valéry University in Montpellier about the science of names and micro-science of names in the district of Lunas. He thinks that the syllable "-as" comes from the suffix "ates" (even prior to the Roman occupation), designating the inhabitants of a place. André Dedet suggests that this, originally atonic suffix, later became tonic under Roman influence, and remained in the Occitan language.
With regard to the syllable "lun", he believes that it originates from a pre-indo-European language.
Our theory is conciliatory to both of the above hypotheses :
Later on, the village became
known by several successive names: