Thomàs Périz de Fozes (or Thomas Periz in original orthography) was an Aragonese troubadour of the knightly class, who has left two poems in the Occitan language. His mother tongue was evidently Aragonese. His Occitan is the literary koiné of the classical era of the troubadours (1160–1220) and was apparently learned: it is in general grammatically and rhythmically perfect asides from a few errors of declension caused by his greater familiarity with Aragonese.
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain. It should not be confused with the larger Crown of Aragon, that also included other territories — the Principality of Catalonia, the Kingdom of Valencia, the Kingdom of Majorca, and other possessions that are now part of France, Italy, and Greece — that were also under the rule of the King of Aragon, but were administered separately from the Kingdom of Aragon.
A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages (1100–1350). Since the word troubadour is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz.
A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church, especially in a military capacity.
Thomàs is mentioned among the barons of Aragon in a sirventes of Joan de Castellnou, which is sufficient to show that he was considered an exemplar of the practice of courtly love between the years 1339 and 1343. In 1339 he was a counsellor of Peter IV of Aragon, who named him administrator of the Val d'Aran and castellan of Castell-lleons. Through his brother, Artal de Fozes, who married Esclaramonda, daughter of Sancho, an illegitimate brother of King James III of Majorca, Thomàs was related by marriage to the younger branch of the royal House of Barcelona. His brother's second wife (1371) and widow, Sibil•la de Fortià, was a mistress and then wife (1377) of Peter IV.
The sirventes or serventes, sometimes translated as "service song", was a genre of Old Occitan lyric poetry practiced by the troubadours.
Joan de Castellnou was a troubadour of the Consistori del Gay Saber active in Toulouse. He left behind five or six cansos, three vers, a dansa, a conselh, and a sirventes. His most famous works are non-lyric, however: a grammar (compendi) called Las flors del gay saber, estier dichas las Leys d'amors and a glossary (glosari) on the Doctrinal (1324) of his predecessor, Raimon de Cornet.
Courtly love was a medieval European literary conception of love that emphasized nobility and chivalry. Medieval literature is filled with examples of knights setting out on adventures and performing various deeds or services for ladies because of their "courtly love". This kind of love is originally a literary fiction created for the entertainment of the nobility, but as time passed, these ideas about love changed and attracted a larger audience. In the high Middle Ages, a "game of love" developed around these ideas as a set of social practices. "Loving nobly" was considered to be an enriching and improving practice.
Thomàs tried to use his influence at court for the benefit of his relatives when, early in 1342, he composed a poem, Trop me desplay can vey falir, petitioning the king for clemency towards James III, whom Peter desired to depose. He admits to the pride and infidelity of James, who had refused to swear fealty to Peter, but urges that he should not lose everything for a moment's folly. Finally, he draws on the magnanimity of Peter's paternal and maternal lineages, which earned his father, Alfonso IV, the epithet "the Benign", in a direct appeal to the king to spare his vassal. In the end, James III died at the Battle of Llucmajor in 1349.
Alfonso IV, called the Kind was the King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona from 1327 to his death. His reign saw the incorporation of the County of Urgell, Duchy of Athens, and Duchy of Neopatria into the Crown of Aragon.
The Battle of Llucmajor occurred in 1349 when Peter IV of Aragon's forces defeated and killed his cousin James III of Majorca in the town of Llucmajor on the Balearic Islands, resulting in the end of the independent Kingdom of Majorca.
Thomàs' second poem, Si col vassayl can servex longamen, is a canso addressed to a Na Resplendens (Resplendent Lady) mentioned in the second tornada of his earlier poem. This senhal (code name) refers to an unknown lady of high rank. The main theme of the poem is the poet's need to "seize the day" ( carpe diem ):
The canso or canson or canzo was a song style used by the troubadours; it was, by far, the most common genre used, especially by early troubadours; only in the second half of the 13th century would its dominance be challenged by a growing number of poets writing coblas esparsas.
In Old Occitan literature, a tornada refers to a final, shorter stanza that appears in lyric poetry and serves a variety of purposes within several poetic forms. The word tornada derives from the Old Occitan in which it is the feminine form of tornat, a past participle of the verb tornar. It is derived from the Latin verb tornare.
Carpe diem is a Latin aphorism, usually translated "seize the day", taken from book 1 of the Roman poet Horace's work Odes.
Peter III of Aragon, known as Peter the Great, was King of Aragon, King of Valencia, and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death; this union of kingdoms was called the Crown of Aragon. At the invitation of some rebels, he conquered the Kingdom of Sicily and became King of Sicily in 1282, pressing the claim of his wife, Constance, uniting the kingdom to the crown. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.
Alfonso II, called the Chaste or the Troubadour, was the King of Aragon and, as Alfons I, the Count of Barcelona from 1164 until his death. The eldest son of Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona and Queen Petronilla of Aragon, he was the first King of Aragon who was also Count of Barcelona. He was also Count of Provence, which he conquered from Douce II, from 1166 until 1173, when he ceded it to his brother, Ramon Berenguer III. His reign has been characterised by nationalistic and nostalgic Catalan historians, as l'engrandiment occitànic or "the Pyrenean unity": a great scheme to unite various lands on both sides of the Pyrenees under the rule of the House of Barcelona.
James II, called the Just, was the King of Aragon and Valencia and Count of Barcelona from 1291 to 1327. He was also the King of Sicily from 1285 to 1295 and the King of Majorca from 1291 to 1298. From 1297 he was nominally the King of Sardinia and Corsica, but he only acquired the island of Sardinia by conquest in 1324. His full title for the last three decades of his reign was "James, by the grace of God, king of Aragon, Valencia, Sardinia and Corsica, and count of Barcelona".
James III, known as James the Rash, was King of Majorca from 1324 to 1344. He was the son of Ferdinand of Majorca and Isabella of Sabran.
Sancho, also spelled Sanç or Sanche, was a Catalano-Aragonese nobleman and statesman, the youngest son of Queen Petronilla of Aragon and Count Raymond Berengar IV of Barcelona. He was at different times the count of Cerdanya (c.1175–89), Provence (1181–85), Gévaudan, Rodez and Carlat (1183–85), and Roussillon (1208–12). He served as the regent of Provence from 1209 until 1218 during the minority of Count Raymond Berengar IV, and as regent of Aragon from 1214 until 1218, during the minority of King James I.
Pere Salvatge or Peire/Peyre Salvagge was a Catalan troubadour of the late thirteenth century. He is most notable as a constant attendant at the court of Peter III and Alfonso III of Aragon. He may be the same person as the Peironet who composed poems with Peter III.
Bernart de Rovenac, Rovenhac, or Roenach was a Languedocian troubadour. Four of his sirventes have been preserved. The attitude ubiquitous in his poetry is perhaps best expressed by these lines: Aital guerra m'agrada mas que platz, / non tals treguas ont om si'enganatz.
Raimon de Cornet was a fourteenth-century Toulousain priest, friar, grammarian, poet, and troubadour. He was a prolific author of verse; more than forty of his poems survive, most in Occitan but two in Latin. He also wrote letters, a didactic poem, a grammar, and some treatises on computation. He was the "last of the troubadours" and represented l'esprit le plus brillant of the "Toulousain School". He appears in contemporary documents with the titles En and Frare.
The Consistoride Barcelona was a literary academy founded in Barcelona by John the Hunter, King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona, in 1393 in imitation of the Consistori del Gay Saber founded at Toulouse seventy years earlier (1323). The poetry produced by and for the Consistori was heavily influenced by the troubadours. The Consistori's chief purpose was to promote "correct" styles and themes and discourage vices (vicis) by awarding prizes in competition to poets who adhered to the "rules" of poetic composition. The names of few poets laureate have come down to us and despite some excellent descriptions of the Consistori's activities, associated persons and poems are obscure.
Lorenç Mallol was a Catalan poet of the fourteenth century, the first Petrarchan of his country and one of the last troubadours. His two surviving pieces are composed in Old Occitan. His first name is also spelled Laurenç in modern Occitan and Llorenç in modern Catalan.
Peironet or Peyronet was a Catalan troubadour and jongleur. "Peironet" is a diminutive of the Occitan name "Peire", meaning Peter. He might be the same person as Pere Salvatge.
Lo Bord del rei d'Arago, literally "The Bastard of the King of Aragon", is the name assigned to the composer of three coblas in an Occitan chansonnier. Lo Bord wrote two peticions and one remissio to Rostanh Berenguier de Marselha, who also wrote a fourth peticion of his own to Lo bord, but without a surviving response. This poem without a response, Pos de sa mar man cavalier del Temple, contains internal clues permitting it to be dated to between 1291 and 1310. All these coblas were edited and published by Paul Meyer in Les derniers troubadours de la Provence.
The Cançoneret de Ripoll, now manuscript 129 of Ripoll in the Arxiu de la Corona d'Aragó, is a short Catalan-Occitan chansonnier produced in the mid-fourteenth century but after 1346, when Peter IV of Aragon held a poetry competition which is mentioned in the chansonnier. Influenced by Cerverí de Girona, the chansonnier and its ideology serve as transition in the history of Catalan literature between the dominance of the troubadours and the new developments of Ausiàs March.
Floral Games were any of a series of historically related poetry contests with floral prizes. In Occitan, their original language, and Catalan they are known as Jocs florals. In French they became the Jeux floraux, and in Basque Lore jokoak. The original contests may have been inspired by the Roman Floralia held in honour of Flora.
Guillem de Masdovelles was a Catalan soldier, courtier, politician, and poet. His family came from the Penedès, but he was active in Barcelona, where he became a civic leader. His fifteen poems are preserved alongside the work of his nephew, Joan Berenguer, in a chansonnier compiled by Joan around 1470, the Cançoner dels Masdovelles. Guillem exchanged some poetry with his nephew, who also translated some of Guillem's Occitan pieces into the Catalan language. Guillem also participated in at least three public poetry contests.
Johan Blanch was an Occitan troubadour who composed a canso for a joc floral at the Consistori del Gay Saber. According to the rubric of the fourteenth-century chansonnier that preserves it, he was a Catalan whose poem "won the violet", top prize. His canso is elegant and pleading.
Melchior de Gualbes was a Catalan knight, politician, and author of three short poems. His poetry is preserved in the Cançoner Vega-Aguiló, in a section badly damaged by humidity. Only the use of ultraviolet radiation has made possible full readings of all his pieces.
Luys d'Averçó or Luis de Aversó (c.1350–1412x15) was a Catalan politician, naval financier, and man of letters. His magnum opus, the Torcimany, is one of the most important medieval Catalan-language grammars to modern historians. His name is spelled Lluís d'Averçó or d'Aversó in modern orthography.
Peyre de Rius (fl.1344–86) was an Occitan troubadour from Foix. He wrote under the patronage of Gaston Phoebus, Count of Foix, and Peter the Ceremonious, King of Aragon. He is one of the few troubadours known by name who lived for a time at Peter's court in Barcelona. His name in standardised Occitan is Peire or Pèire, in Catalan it is Pere, and in modern French Pierre.
Martí de Riquer i Morera, 8th Count of Casa Dávalos was a Spanish–Catalan literary historian and Romance philologist, a recognised international authority in the field. His writing career lasted from 1934 to 2004. He was also a nobleman and Grandee of Spain.
The Cançoner Gil is an Occitan chansonnier produced in Catalonia in the middle of the 14th century. In the systematic nomenclature of Occitanists, it is typically named MS Sg, but as Z in the reassignment of letter names by François Zufferey. It is numbered MS 146 in the Biblioteca de Catalunya in Barcelona where it now resides.