Skip to main content


Soissons (swäsôN´), city (1990 pop. 32,144), Aisne dept., N France, on the Aisne River. It is an agricultural and industrial center. Soissons was an old Roman town and early episcopal see. Its strategic location has made it the scene of many battles throughout history. Clovis I defeated the Roman legions at Soissons in 486, and the city was the capital of several Merovingian kings (5th–7th cent.). Pepin the Short dethroned Childeric III there in 751; and Robert I, grandfather of Hugh Capet (see Capetians), was killed in battle at Soissons in 923. Throughout the 19th and 20th cent. the city was the scene of warfare, culminating in the German invasion of 1940. Part of the Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes (where Thomas à Becket lived for several years) survives, as does the nearby Abbey of St. Médard, a burial place of Merovingian kings. The Gothic Cathedral of Saint-Gervais and Saint-Protais (12th–13th cent.) has stained-glass windows by Rubens.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Soissons." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 22 Jul. 2018 <>.

"Soissons." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (July 22, 2018).

"Soissons." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 22, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.