Artois, a former province of northern France, which, with a small portion of Picardy, now forms the department of Pas-de-Calais. It lay principally between Flanders on the X. E. and E. and Picardy on the S. W.; area, about 1,800 sq. m. The land is here almost level, and the soil is exceedingly fertile, owing to the abundance of streams. Artesian wells receive their name from Artois, where they have been common for many years. (See Pas-de-Calais.) Artois was named from the Atrebates, its original inhabitants. After being subject from the 5th to the 9th century to the Franks, it was made in 863 a part of the dowry of Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald, when she married Baldwin of Flanders, but it was restored to France when Isabella of Hainault married Philip Augustus in 1180. Louis IX. made it a county in 1236, under his brother Robert as count. Artois was henceforth governed by Robert's descendants, male and female; but one of the latter marrying a Flemish prince, the county became part of Flanders until the treaties of the.
Pyrenees and of Nimeguen (1659 and 1678), when it was again made part of France. Before his accession to the throne (1824) and after his abdication (1830) Charles X. bore the title of count of Artois.