Toulouse Impressions: words to know before you head to Southwestern France

Basic Terms to know when going to Southwestern France

Albigensian Crusade - a series of formal Crusades, interspersed with continual warfare against the people of the Languedoc which lasted for some forty years. The Crusades are conventionally held to have ended in 1244, though Cathars were still being burned alive into the fourteenth century.  An Inquisition was founded to extirpate the last vestiges of Cathar belief.

Catharism (Cathars, see also Albigensians) - a name given to a Christian religious sect that appeared in the Languedoc region of France in the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Catholic Church regarded the sect as dangerously heretical. Peaceful attempts at Cathars' conversion undertaken by Dominicans were not very successful and the Church called for a crusade, which was carried out by knights from northern France and Germany and was known as the Albigensian Crusade.

Cassoulet - a traditional dish of the Occitan area. This rich slow-cooked stew is made with white beans, duck / goose, and a pork sausage (can also include lamb and pork).

Gascony (Gascogne) - is an area of southwest France that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution. Gascony was historically inhabited by Basque-related people who appear to have spoken a language similar to Basque. The name Gascony comes from the same root as the word Basque (Wasconia). From medieval times until the nineteenth century, the Gascon language was spoken, which is a regional variant of the Occitan Language.

Occitane - is a Romance language spoken in Southern France, the Occitan Valleys of Italy, Monaco, and in Catalonia, Spain, the regions sometimes known informally as Occitania. It is also spoken in the linguistic enclave of Guardia Piemontese (Calabria, Italy). It is an official language in Catalonia (known as Aranese in Val d'Aran). Modern Occitan is the closest relative of Catalan. The languages, as spoken in early medieval times, might be considered variant forms of the same language. The term Proven├žal is often used to refer to Occitan.

No comments: