Mapping Medieval Identities in Occitanian Crusade Song


ACLS Fellowship Program


School of Music


This project demonstrates the rich cross-fertilization between the first two Christian Crusades (c. 1095-1150) and two roughly contemporaneous musical-poetic repertories of Occitania (southern France): the sacred, Latin Aquitanian versus and the vernacular troubadour lyric. Emphasizing religious attitudes, local identities, and literal and metaphoric concepts of distance, these songs emerge as a cohesive body of Crusade work, which unites sacred and secular spheres and testifies to how Occitanian people defined their own Crusade roles. Through corrective methodology, this research suggests that melodies correlate with poetic structures and semantic content, together conveying a sense of the Crusade goal's distance or proximity, as viewed through shifting political, religious, and geographical lenses.