The family of Riquet, or Riqueti, originally of the little town of Digne, won wealth as merchants at Marseilles, and in 1570 Jean Riqueti bought the château and seigniory of Mirabeau, which had belonged to the great Provencal family of Barras.
- Marseilles, Frjus, Digne, Gap, Nice, Ajaccio.
It soon becomes the boundary for a while between the departments of the HautesAlpes and of the Basses-Alpes, and receives successively the considerable Ubaye river, flowing from near the foot of Monte Viso past Barcelonnette (left), and then the small stream of the Luye (right), on which, a few miles above, is Gap. It enters the Basses-Alpes shortly before reaching Sisteron, where it is joined (right) by the wild torrent of the Busch, flowing from the desolate region of the Devoluy, and receives the Bleone (left) (on which Digne, the capital of the department, is situated) and the Asse (left), before quitting the department of the Basses-Alpes just as it is reinforced (left) by the Verdon, flowing from the lower summits of the Maritime Alps past Castellane.
Around the hermit of Hyeres, Hugh of Digne, was formed a group of Franciscans who expected from the advent of the third age the triumph of their ascetic ideas.
GUILLAUME D ESTOUTEVILLE' (1403-1483), French ecclesiastic, was bishop of Angers, of Digne, of Porto and Santa Rufina, of Ostia and Velletri, archbishop of Rouen, prior of Saint Martin des Champs, abbot of Mont St Michel, of St Ouen at Rouen, and of Montebourg.
The department is divided into five arrondissements (Digne, Barcelonnette, Castellane, Forcalquier, and Sisteron), 30 cantons and 250 communes.
It forms the bishopric of Digne, formerly in the ecclesiastical province of Embrun, but since 1802 in that of Aix-en-Provence.
Its chief towns are Digne, Barcelonnette, Castellane, Forcalquier, and Sisteron.
It is poorly supplied with railways (total length 1091 m.), the main line from Grenoble to Avignon running through it from Sisteron to Manosque, and sending off two short branch lines to Digne (14 m.) and to Forcalquier (9 m.).
Feraud, Histoire, ge'ographie et statistique du Departe- ment des Basses-Alpes (Digne, 1861).
GASSENDI 1 [[[Gassend], Pierre]] (1592-1655), French philosopher, scientist and mathematician, was born of poor parents at Champtercier, near Digne, in Provence, on the 2 2nd of January 1592.
In 1612 he was called to the college of Digne to lecture on theology.
Bronze statue of him was erected by subscription at Digne in 1852.