Monday, November 15, 2010

The South of France

From heresy to beauty products.
France contains at least two nations. While the north was populated by Franks from Germany, the south was a separate entity ruled by Visigoths in the Middle Ages. They were more closely connected laterally with the Catalans than vertically with the Franks. During its independent history, the South, known as Occitania, was a site of resistance to imperial rule.

Their first form of Christianity was Arianism, which taught that God came before Jesus. Around the tenth century, an interest in ‘courtly love’ emerged under the influence of poetry from Andalusia. The word “troubadour” was derived from an Arabic root ta-ra-ba meaning “to be transported with joy and delight”. The literary genre of ‘chanson de geste’ emerged celebrating refinement of taste in contract to the tales of war and heroic deeds prevalent in the north.

At the same time, the religion of the Cathars developed, which denigrated earthly life and adopted values of simplicity and abstinence. In 1208, a Papal legate was assassinated in Saint-Gilles which prompted the Franks in support of Rome to cleanse the South of heresy....


Julygirl said...

Complex but fascinating history of a visually lovely region.

xavier said...

Maria Vidal:

Curious that the Catalans stayed orthodox during the Catar heresy.

I've always regarded the Catar heresey as an immense tradegy:
First, for the heresy that developed and led many Catholics astray as well as the brutality of the Catars
Second, because the hersery allowed the Francens to annex the south with tragic results.


elena maria vidal said...

I agree with you completely, xavier. The success of Catharism depended upon the whether the local ruler tolerated it. Many rulers did because it justified their lifestyle, such as Count Raymond of Toulouse with his harem.

Theresa Bruno said...

Beautiful! Most people don't realize that Northern and Southern France have different traditions. They even spoke a different language. I have never been to France, but hopefully the Southern heritage lives on!

sturgeone said...

Thank you for your blog. I will visit regularly.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, my friends!