The crusades have left a profound and disturbing legacy in inter-cultural and inter-faith relations nationally and worldwide. They continue to be of compelling interest and relevance to students, scholars and the wider public, with crusading rhetoric alive in the global political discourse transmitted daily in the media. The songs of the troubadours and trouvères include scores of original sources that bring to life medieval, up-to-the-minute responses to the crusades. Ecclesiastical sources written in Latin provide official versions of the preaching, organisation and events of the medieval crusading movement. Vernacular lyrics, on the other hand, offer a precious secular perspective. The lyric poet-musicians of medieval France, composing in Occitan and Old French, present a rich diversity of immediate responses on the part of a secular public, in France, Occitania, Italy, the Iberian Peninsula, Syria and Greece.
- A great many existing editions are defective and are scattered in old journals and other disparate publications that are difficult, especially for non-specialists, to access.
- The texts found in medieval manuscripts are in Old French or medieval Occitan.
- Explanations and translations accompanying them in modern editions are largely out of date.
- These explanations and translations are written in a variety of modern languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan) that only a few experts or unusually versatile linguists can be expected to understand.
- The project is making some 200 texts freely accessible and downloadable online in high-quality editions.
- Some texts are accompanied by professional readings and musical performances.
- All the texts are being translated into both English and Italian.
- All texts will be accompanied by information, where this can be deduced, about their dating and the historical circumstances of their composition.
- A book in English linked to the online texts will place them in their historical and cultural context.
- A new critical edition, with full critical apparatus, of all of the Old French texts will be published in book form by the Italian publisher Viella.
Users can search the whole site, or just the texts and their accompanying translations and notes, through the search buttons on the Home and Texts pages. For instructions on how to search in troubadour texts see the Texts page.
A chronological index of the texts can be found here.