Culture and Society in Medieval Occitania: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Culture and Society in Medieval Occitania

1st Edition

By Linda Paterson


342 pages

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Hardback: 9781409423980
pub: 2011-01-28
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Medieval Occitania, a geographical and linguistic area often referred to as 'the South of France', 'the South', 'the Midi', or more loosely 'Provence', was politically diverse but culturally coherent. It was here that the troubadours created Courtly Love and a new poetic language, which together were to affect the whole course of European literature and sensibilities. The essays made readily accessible in this collection reflect the author's many-sided interests in the troubadours and the society from which they sprang: the historical and cultural place of the women forming the ostensible objects of their desire, veneration, or anxieties; the extent to which French notions of chivalry penetrated the South; the nature and meaning of various elements of court culture; the precocious development of medical science in this region; its complex responses to the Crusades; and the question of Occitan identity. Mostly complementing her major publications (The World of the Troubadours, collaborative editions of the songs of the troubadour Marcabru, of the epic fragment the Canso d'Antioca, and of the medieval Occitan tensos and partimens), they provide either more detailed material than found its way into those works, or developments from them. 'Occitan literature and the Holy Land' anticipates a new project on responses to the Crusades in Occitan and Old French lyrics.


'This is an elegant and stylish volume, which brings together some of the most interesting of the articles of a leading British scholar, whose work continues apace.' Medium Aevum 'The great merit of the volume under review is to collect a large number of [Paterson's] conference papers, published in congress acts, and bring them together where these important contributions to the discipline may be more easily found.' Mediaevistik

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Part I Identity: Was there an Occitan identity in the Middle Ages? Part II Women: Marriage, Property, Love and Sin: L'épouse et la formation du lien conjugal selon la littérature occitane du XIe au XIIIe s.: mutations d'une institution et condition féminine; Women, property and the rise of Courtly Love; L'obscénité du clerc: le troubadour Marcabru et la sculpture ecclésiastique as XIIe siècle en Aquitaine et dans l'Espagne du nord; Marcabru et le lignage de Caïn: Bel m’es cant son li frug madur (PC 293.13). Part III Knights and 'Chivalry': Literary Evidence: The concept of knighthood in the 12th-century Occitan lyric; La Chanson de la Croisade albigeoise: mythes chevaleresques et réalités militaires; The Occitan squire in the 12th and 13th centuries; A propos de la datation de Raimon d'Anjou.Part IV Court Culture: Tournaments and knightly sports in 12th- and 13th-century Occitania; Great court festivals in the South of France and Catalonia in the 12th and 13th centuries; Les tensons et partimens; Jeux poétiques et communication des valeurs: le tensos et partimens des troubadours; Insultes, amour et une trobairitz: la tenso de Raimbaut de Vaqueiras et Albert Malaspina; Writing the present: Boniface II of Montferrat and Frederick II Hohenstaufen. Part V Medicine: La médecine en Occitanie avant 1250; Military surgery: knights, sergeants and Raimon of Avignon's version of the Chirurgia of Roger of Salerno (1180-1209). Part VI Troubadours and the Crusades: Occitan literature and the Holy Land; Legal agreements in the Occitan Canso d'Antioca; Syria, Poitou and the reconquista (or: tales of the undead): who was the Count in Marcabru's Vers del lavador?; Addenda; Index.

About the Author

Linda Paterson is Professor Emerita in the Department of French Studies, University of Warwick, UK

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General
HISTORY / Medieval