The first masterpieces
of the European literature come from the troubadours
Their language is necessary for the reading of these texts and is needed to penetrate
the rich culture of the troubadours
- a world which would otherwise be as remote to us as it is already to Holywood
film makers. The earliest written manuscript is a fragment of the Boeci, thought
to have been written around the year 1000. Another fragment, the Life of Saint
Fides, was copied at about that time. Then came William IX, Duke of Aquitain and
Count of Poitiers, the first troubadour
(who lived around 1071-1127). Although only about a dozen of his works survive,
Provenšal literature becomes common starting from him.
Because of its roots,
Occitan can be an excellent bridge to those who want to learn Spanish, Catalan,
Italian, French, Portuguese, or Latin.
Some claim that it is easier to shade
one's thoughts in Occitan than in any other European language: Occitan, it is
claimed, has more than 160,000 words (French: about 40,000).