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Troubadours, trouvères and the Crusades


Introduction to the project

The crusades have left a profound and disturbing legacy in inter-cultural and inter-faith relations nationally and worldwide. They continue to be of compelling interest and relevance to students, scholars and the wider public, with crusading rhetoric alive in the global political discourse transmitted daily in the media. The songs of the troubadours and trouvères include scores of original sources that bring to life medieval, up-to-the-minute responses to the crusades.

A four-year Anglo-Italian project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK, will allow academic researchers and teachers, school-teachers, students, and any interested member of the general public to access and exploit the original source material represented by these medieval songs (see background and texts), in the light of a number of research questions:

  • What did the secular public in the Middle Ages think of the crusades?
  • How far did they accept, influence, participate in, resist or challenge the Church’s crusading propaganda?
  • How far were they inspired by the idea of holy war?
  • How were their attitudes affected by the Albigensian crusade, launched against troubadour lands in the South?
  • How did they face the repeated failures of crusading efforts as time went on?
  • What light do the songs shed on particular crusades, and what do they add to our knowledge of them?
  • What regional differences do they reflect?
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