Thoughts on Medieval Occitan

Listening to this mix of Troubadour music, I can’t help but notice that the language I’m hearing, though considered a dialect of medieval French, is much closer to Spanish.

Compare the phrase for “good companion” evidenced in the song “Reis Glorios.”

In Occitan, the phrase used is “Bel companion” which is closer to “handsome/beautiful companion” if translated literally.

In modern French, it’s “bon copain.”

In modern spanish, it’s “Buen compañero”

Interestingly, by the way, I have some ties to Spain.  My father was in the Air Force, and I spent my formative years exploring castles, art museums, and Roman ruins in the heart of Spain, in and around Madrid, Segovia, and Toledo.  I’m still not sure if my love of antiquity came from past lives, or if I seem to remember past lives because of a learned love of antiquity.  What I do know was that where a lot of kids would be bored, I was eager to explore the castles and churches of central Spain with my family and always managed to enjoy myself at an age when most kids can’t wait to get home in time for Sesame Street.

I hadn’t really thought about how the language and setting might have influenced me, whether by cryptomnesia and suggestion or by giving me some wiggle room for anamnesis.

I went back to Spain in 2000; I didn’t spend much time in Madrid but rather spent most of my time in and around Barcelona, where they speak Catalan which sounds more like Portuguese than Occitan.

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