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Friday, July 22, 2011

Lenga d'oc

Languages often define the culture, the people, the nation. Those who spoke, and speak today, the Occitan language I see as an open, liberal, generous, and free people. As such, they have had to be crushed with some regularity. The crushings may have made them a bit less open in recent centuries.

The language had little Germanic or Celtic influence, but was highly Romanized. What it was that was Romanized I don't know. I don't know if there was ever a significant Moorish influence. I am willing to be taught or informed by you. Discourse may take place in the 'comment' section below.

These days the southwest of France may be the place to find the most speakers of Occitan. It is similar to Catalan. A Spaniard tends to be a sort of conservative. Still liberal tending Occitan speakers tend to be more than tolerant of them.

There is a very enjoyable novel by George W. Cronyn entitled The Fool of Venus. That novel can inform one a bit about the manner of the the people who spoke this language in the Middle Ages. They welcomed troubadours. It may be because of them that we know the word 'troubadour. Love Courts were held there. "Make love not war."

Occitan languages have long been spoken in Italy, Spain, and Monaco. In France you may have heard it called Provencal. I believe that the language may be traced back from pre-Roman to pre-historic times.

The land of Languedoc has known Burgundians, Cathars, and Albigensi and may have provide garden space in which Gnosticism could flower.

Now, tell me, what might all this have to do with limestone caves beneath the ruggedly beautiful plateaus, deep river canyons, and jagged ridges of the scenic Department of Aude where the commune Rennes-le-chateau is found?

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