Guillaume de Poitiers, Duc d'Aquitaine (2744 words)

  • Judith M. Davis (Goshen College )

Hereditary noble, inveterate warrior, sometime crusader, renowned philanderer, and author of at least ten varied and seminal songs, Guillem – Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitiers – looms large on the horizon of the twelfth century. Controversial both in his own era and in modern times, he is nonetheless acknowledged as the first to have practiced the art of the troubadour in the south of France (Occitania or Provence). “Most scholars now agree that he was a complex, innovative poet, who played a key role, if not the central role in the original elaboration of fin'amor [refined or ‘courtly' love]” (Taylor 889).

Guillem's biography or vida says of him: “…

M. Davis, Judith. "Guillaume de Poitiers, Duc d'Aquitaine". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 December 2006
[, accessed 28 April 2017.]

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