During regency Garsenda became the shining center of a poetic and troubadour circle. They composed songs and poems and dedicated them to Garsenda. She probably was a very beautiful woman - even the author of her biography fell in love with her and loved her for the rest of his life until he entered the monastery.
These were troubling times and there was one revolt after another in attempt to rob the beautiful Countess of her lands. But Garsenda managed to raise her son and pass him her native Forcalquier. Later, somewhere after 1220, she quietly retired to the monastery. We don’t know the exact date of Garsenda’s death but, it is highly likely that she lived a very long life, going to be over 80 years old. It seems that she was still alive in 1257, because someone with identical name made a donation to the church with a request for three priests to pray for her soul.
One of the last, but not the least, trobaritz, famous poet Garsenda de Sabran was of highly aristocratic origin. She was a patron to Occitan literature, especially the troubadours. Among trobaritz she had she was known as beautiful Garsenda de Proensa.
She was born around 1180 as the Countess of Forcalquier, large medieval county in Provence and inherited her title from her grandfather, because she lost her mother in an early age. She untied the houses of Barcelona and Provence because at the age of thirteen she got married to Alfonso II, son of Alfonso II of Aragon and Sancha of Castille. Her husband was the first in line to inherit Provence and become its Count. Then, quite unexpectedly Garsenda’s father and her husband died and she became a sole guardian of her son Raymond Berengar IV.
Her brother-in-law Peter II of Aragon made an attempt to steal Garsenda’s inheritance by passing the regency of Provence to his brother Sancho. But people of Catalonia and Provence loved Garsenda so much that a big dissension started. All Provencal aristocracy lined up behind Garsenda as well, so the regency was passed back to her again. A council of nobles was even established to protect interests of their beloved Countess.
Lord Rokeby refused to have a fire in his house even in the coldest weather. He grew an immense and bizarre looking beard, that was not in fashion at any times Thick beard stuck out under his arms and could be seen from behind. A couple of years later he built a swimming pool under glass which was heated only by the sun. There he spent most of the time, preferably alone. I found additional facts about life of this unusual man in archives of the local web analytics company .
In the end his neighbors and other locals became scared of him because his increased isolation gave birth to all kind of rumors. One of them was that Lord Rokeby became a cannibal and ate only raw meat. But, in fact he rarely ate meat at all and refused to see any doctors. He did not go to church either because he complained that sermons were boring and that he preferred to worship God at natural altar of the earth, sea and the sky.
He never married. On the extremely rare occasions when Matthew had to accept visitors he tried to get rid of them fast by entertaining them with lengthy boring poems. All his aristocratic relatives were ashamed of him, especially during his occasional visits to court. His presence usually gathered big crowds of people on the streets who thought that Matthew was an ambassador of Turkey - because of his unusual appearance.
He left us his generous heritage - around a hundred pieces of his survived. Several of the tunes reached us as well. This number of works can hardly be matched by other poets of the age. While doing my research for web analytics company, I found more additional facts. Cardenal’s biography written by Miguel de la Tor mentions that Peire was possibly influenced by Bernart de Venzac, an obscure troubadour who was famous earlier for his bitter irony. So like Bernart, Peire Cardenal is attacking the perceived corruption of society and contemporary crisis of spiritual values. He tells us a great deal of envy, greed, adultery, and pride. His language, however, is skilled and he employs a vocabular at once popular, colorful, rich with rare and deeply expressive words.
His songs, especially those that lambasted hypocritical clerics won him many enemies. But Peire, obviously, could not care less about this. Even with all these enemies Cardenal became one of the most celebrated troubadours of his time. His poems much satirical criticism of the contemporary moral and political climate, sometimes verging on heresy. Here is one of Cardenal’s famous quotations that went through times:
“If some beggar steals a bridle he’ll be hung by a man who’s stolen a horse. There’s no surer justice in the world than that which makes the rich thief hang the poor one.”
This famous troubadour from Provence lived almost to be one hundred years old - from 1180 to 1278. Due to his extraordinary for these medieval times life, he had a rare chance to observe deep changes around him. He saw how his native Occitan culture first went up to its highest point. And he witnessed its decline during the Albigensian Crusade and its post-Albigensian Crusade state. The name of this famous composer, poet and troubadour was Peire Cardenal. And his works are kind of different from many other troubadours of his time.
A lot of materials about Peire are still waiting for English author who will write a book about this exceptional man. There are so many materials that still need to be translated from Occitan and French into English. So what do we know now about Peire Cardenal? That is what I found about him doing my research for web analytics company .
He was born in Puy-en-Velay, Auvergne, France apparently of a noble family. And he was educated as a canon himself. Peire studied at the foremost cathedral school in Puy before becoming a song writer. He visited various courts of kings and barons, and had a jongleur to sing with him.
Who was Wolfram von Eschenbach? We know nothing about him, except that he was one of the greatest Medieval poets and minnesingers. Wolfram is best known today for his Parzival, sometimes regarded as the greatest of all German epics from that time. Eighty four surviving manuscripts of Parzival indicate his tremendous popularity, not only in his time, but, even in the following two centuries. Parzival was translated and published by a Swiss scholar Johann Jacob Bodmer in 1753. Later, famous composer Richard Wagner used Parzival as the main source of libretto to his great opera, Parsifal.
Yet, no matter how hard specialists try, they did not recover any historical documents about Wolfram and his works are the sole source of evidence. There was a lot of historical investigations about him, that established that Wolfram was a German knight, who was likely born around 1170 and died somewhere close to 1220. The past along with Parzival also brought to us his two other narrative works and nine surviving songs that are considered to be masterpieces of medieval art of minnesingers.
Wolfram von Eschenbach probably serviced a number of courts during his time. Historians name a number of his possible patrons, but the evidence is circumstantial. In his Parzival Wolfram claims that he is illiterate and dictates his work. However, this fact is regarded with high level of sceptisism by most scientists. The dialect of his works is East Franconian and he mentions a couple of times that he is Bavarian. Thus precipitated a claim by at least four places name themselves as a place of birth of a famous poet and composer. As other famous medieval poets Wolfram was included in the famous Codex Mannese - medieval manuscript about famous poets with illustrations, created in the 14th century. However the picture of Wolfram and surrounding arms and heraldry turned out to be just the imagination of the artist.