Summary: The Troubadours and the Literature of Knighthood


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Essay #: 052331
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Summary: The Troubadours and the Literature of Knighthood
The Troubadours were poets mainly of southern France and, to a lesser degree, northern Italy and Spain, who flourished in the twelfth century. They were members of the knightly class who produced sophisticated verse on the theme of chivalrous love at a time when Western civilization was progressing at a considerable pace.
Their poems were intended to be sung and so were, in effect, “songs”. The etymology of “Troubadour” is “to find” (
 in French), which is to say that Troubadours were finders, or composers, of songs.
The poems were written in 
, the dialect of southern France, technically known as langue 
. Unlike earlier medieval Latin poetry, which was...
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.....ights him. The influence of Perceval is present in the anonymous 
, a didactic poem from the late twelfth century, and in The Book of the Order of Chivalry by the Spanish poet Raymond Lull.
Starting in the thirteenth century, “Round Tables” were established in England and elsewhere in Europe, as well as in the Holy Land. These consisted of feasts and tournaments similar to those held at Camelot. Later, in 1344, Edward III emulated Arthur by founding the Order of the Garter. It remains the oldest and most important order of knighthood in England.
, F. (1984). The Troubadours and the Literature of Knighthood. In The Knight in History
 (chapter 4: pp. 47-80). New York: Harper & Row (HarperCollins)