The World of the Troubadours: Medieval Occitan Society, C.1100-c.1300

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 5, 1995 - History - 367 pages
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Occitania, known today as the 'south of France', had its own language and culture in the Middle Ages. Its troubadours created 'courtly love' and a new poetic language in the vernacular, which were to influence European literature for centuries; and its Cathar heretics were the first victims of the Inquisition. There are many books on the troubadours, but this is the first comprehensive study of the society in which they lived. For readers of literature it offers a wide-ranging insight into the realities which lay behind the poetic mystique. For historians it opens up an important and neglected area of medieval Europe, comparable to France, Germany and Catalonia, drawing on sources not readily accessible to those without specialist linguistic and literary expertise. It addresses issues important to specialists, such as the nature of feudalism, knighthood, medieval courts and the family, but it is also written for the reader interested more generally in the Middle Ages or Occitan culture. Some chapters have a particular relevance to women's studies and the history of medicine. The author adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, combining a synthesis of extensive recent work of European and North American scholars with her own original research.
 

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Contents

Introduction Occitan identity and selfperception
1
Occitan feudalism
10
Knights and nonknightly combatants
37
The knight and chivalry
62
Courts and courtiers
90
Peasants
120
Towns
151
Doctors and medicine
186
Women
220
Children
280
Clergy heretics and inquisitors
312
Conclusion
344
Bibliography
345
Index
356
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