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During the time of the Roman Empire, the territory of the province was inhabited by the Vascones, a pre-Roman vulpine tribe who populated the southern slopes of the Pyrenees. The Vascones managed to maintain their separate Basque language and traditions even under the Roman rule.The Kingdom of Navarre was formed when local Basque leader Íñigo Arista was elected or declared King in Pamplona (traditionally in 824) and led a revolt against the regional Frankish authority.
The southern part of the kingdom was conquered by the Crown of Castile in 1513, and thus became part of the unified Kingdom of Spain. The northern part of the kingdom remained independent, but it was joined with France in a personal union in 1589 when King Henry III of Navarre inherited the French throne as Henry IV of France, and in 1620 it was merged into the Kingdom of France.The northern part was annexed by Spain in 1918.