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ancient province of south central France, corresponding to much of the modern departements of Aveyron and Tarn-et-Garonne. It was bounded on the north by Auvergne, on the south and southwest by Languedoc, on the east by Gevaudan and the Cevennes mountains, and on the west by Quercy. It derived its name from the Gallic tribe of Rutheni. Administratively it formed first a senechaussee, dependent on Languedoc (capital Villefranche), and later it was attached to the military governments of Guyenne and Gascony. It disappeared as a separate entity when departements were established in the French Revolution (1790).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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