Old Occitan

Old Occitan
Old Occitan, Old Provençal
romans, proensals, occitan ancian
Spoken in
Language family
Official status
Regulated by No official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-2 pro
ISO 639-3 pro

Old Occitan (Modern Occitan: occitan ancian, Catalan: occità antic), also called Old Provençal, was the earliest form of the Occitan languages, as attested in writings dating from the eighth through the fourteenth centuries.[1][2] Old Occitan generally includes Early and Old Occitan. Middle Occitan is sometimes included in Old Occitan, sometimes in Modern Occitan.[3] As the term occitanus appeared around the year 1300,[4] Old Occitan is referred to as "Romance" (Occitan: romans) or "Provençal" (Occitan: proensals) in medieval texts.



Among the earliest records of Occitan are the Tomida femina, the Boecis, and the Cançó de Santa Fe. The Catalan language diverged from Old Occitan between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries.[5] Early texts in the Catalan dialect are the Homilies d'Organyà and the Greuges de Guitard Isarn. Old Occitan, the language used by the troubadours, was the first Romance language with a literary corpus and had an enormous influence on the development of lyric poetry in other European languages. The interpunct was a feature of the language, and survives today in Catalan.


Gallo-Romance (Occitan precursor)

Pro Deo amur et pro Christian poblo et nostro commun salvament, d'ist di in avant, in quant Deus savir et podir me dunat, si salvarai eo cist meon fradre Karlo et in ajudha et in cadhuna cosa, si cum om per dreit son fradre salvar dist, in o quid il me altresi fazet, et ab Ludher nul plaid numquam prindrai, qui, meon vol, cist meon fradre Karle in damno sit.

For the love of God and for the Christian people and our common salvation, from this day onwards, so much as God gives me wisdom and power, I shall accordingly protect this brother of mine Charles, both in aid and in anything else, as one ought to protect one's brother, so that he may do the same for me, and I shall never willingly agree to a covenant from Lothar that would harm this brother of mine Charles.

Old Occitan

  • From Bertran de Born's Ab joi mou lo vers e·l comens (ca. 1200, translated by James H. Donalson):

Bela Domna·l vostre cors gens
E·lh vostre bel olh m'an conquis,
E·l doutz esgartz e lo clars vis,
E·l vostre bels essenhamens,
Que, can be m'en pren esmansa,
De beutat no·us trob egansa:
La genser etz c'om posc'e·l mon chauzir,
O no·i vei clar dels olhs ab que·us remir.

O pretty lady, all your grace
and eyes of beauty conquered me,
sweet glance and brightness of your face
and all your nature has to tell
so if I make an appraisal
I find no one like in beauty:
most pleasing to be found in all the world
or else the eyes I see you with have dimmed.

See also

Further reading

  • Nathaniel B. Smith, Thomas Goddard Bergin, An Old Provençal primer, Garland, 1984, ISBN 0824090306
  • Paden, William D. 1998. An Introduction to Old Occitan. Modern Language Association of America. ISBN 0 87352 293 1.
  • Povl Skårup, Morphologie élémentaire de l'ancien occitan, Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997, ISBN 8772894288
  • Romieu, Maurice; Bianchi, André (2002) (in Occitan and French). Iniciacion a l'occitan ancian / Initiation à l'ancien occitan. Pessac: Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux. ISBN 2-86781-275-5. 


  1. ^ Rebecca Posner, The Romance Languages, Cambridge University Press, 1996, ISBN 0521281393
  2. ^ Frank M. Chambers, An Introduction to Old Provençal Versification. Diane, 1985 ISBN 0871691671
  3. ^ "The Early Occitan period is generally considered to extend from ca. 800 to 1000, Old Occitan from 1000 to 1350, and Middle Occitan from 1350 to 1550" in William W. Kibler, Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, Routledge, 1995, ISBN 0824044444
  4. ^ Smith and Bergin, Old Provençal Primer, p. 2
  5. ^ Riquer, Martí de, Història de la Literatura Catalana, vol. 1. Barcelona: Edicions Ariel, 1964

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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