As you may recall, I like writing poetry; and the sonnet is my format of choice, for many reasons. But I’d never understood why, before yesterday. That’s when I learned that sonnets may have evolved from the musical poetry of the troubadour. A-ha.
According to this thesis, troubadour poetry is a reflection of Cathar religious doctrine. While the theory is supported by the traditional and near-universal account of the decline of the troubadours coinciding with the suppression of Catharism during the Albigensian Crusade (first half of the 13th century), support for it has come in waves. The explicitly Catholic meaning of many early troubadour works also works against the theory.
It’s obvious, isn’t it? If your beliefs are under threat, you would need to find a way to share those beliefs with others, and what better way than in the form of entertainment. As we all know, and especially in the South of France, words can have several meanings. “Explicitly Catholic meaning” is the trick to hiding your ideas under the guise of something else, under the very gaze of the Inquisition. After all, who wants to be burned for spreading a heresy?
William IX – Duke of Aquitaine (October 22, 1071 – February 10, 1127)
William’s greatest legacy to history was not as a warrior but as a troubadour—a lyric poet employing the Romance vernacular language called Provençal or Occitan.Wikipedia
So, watch this space…