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In the book "Massacre at Montsegur" Zoé Oldenbourg mentioned the term "Parage" that was used in that time in the area:

It was the honour of the Occitan nobilty, so humiliated by these Northern Frenchmen, that the King and his knights were going to defend: the freedom of their brothers-in-arms, and the cause of la courtoisie — or Parage, as it was known in the langued'oc. The meaning of this word (like that of so many others) has over the centuries been weakened and narrowed down to a remarkable extent ; at this time it evoked the very highest moral values current in secular society. The greatest compliment that the most impassioned lover could pay his lady was to say that she was courtoise; and when, in the Chanson, William of Tudela's continuator puts speeches into his knights' mouths, they are constantly invoking Parage, as they would some divinity.

although the quote contains an explanation of the term, I would like to read more about what it actually mean to the people at that time. To what extent do we have evidence of people celebrating or proud of the parage in literature and maybe symbolism of that time.

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    Is this link any use to you? Quelle est la signification du mot « Paratge » ? It quotes a dozen definitions and a half-dozen examples. – ChrisW Feb 29 at 12:27
  • @ChrisW, thanks for the link. unfortunately, I can't understand the text, however it is relevant and helpful. now I realize it is written originally paratge. and I can see from that link that this word indeed happens to be in the Chanson. – d_e Feb 29 at 18:07
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I would like to read more about what it actually mean to the people at that time.

This link may be useful to you:

Quelle est la signification du mot « Paratge » ?

It quotes a dozen definitions of the word, and a half-dozen examples, and five paragraphs of introduction.

According to the introduction it's used to mean "noble birth", "moral virtue", and "noble spirit".

thanks for the link. unfortunately, I can't understand the text

Chrome's "Translate to English" translates the modern French portions of the page pretty well. The quotations from Old French are translated into modern French (which is just as well, I find them a bit harder to understand than Chaucer iow a bit too hard).

To what extent do we have evidence of people celebrating or proud of the parage in literature and maybe symbolism of that time.

To answer your question

La Concordance de l'Occitan médiéval5 permet d'effectuer des recherches lexicales dans l'ensemble du corpus des textes littéraires en ancien occitan (corpus des Troubadours, corpus des textes narratifs en vers). La COM relève plus de 200 occurrences du terme paratge dans le corpus littéraire en ancien occitan (par comparaison « prètz » a plus de 2'300 occurrences sur le même corpus, larguesa ou dreitura, une centaine). À noter que le terme paratge apparaît 48 fois dans la seule Canso de la Crozada.

... and per Translate ...

The Concordance of the medieval Occitan 5 makes it possible to carry out lexical searches throughout the corpus of literary texts in Old Occitan (corpus of Troubadours, corpus of narrative texts in verse). The COM notes more than 200 occurrences of the term paratge in the literary corpus in ancient Occitan (by comparison " prètz " has more than 2,300 occurrences on the same corpus, larguesa or dreitura , one hundred). Note that the term paratge appears 48 times in the Canso de la Crozada alone .

IOW it appears 200 times in the corpus -- compare that with 100 times for larguesa (which I assume means "generosity") and dreitura (which it says means "loyalty").


Another reference was this wiktionary entry: https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/parage

  • One of the examples, described as old-fashioned and quoting from a 19th century letter, somewhat matches the meaning given above but probably extended

    «Ce contrebandier […] a encore cinq filles très jolies […] qui nous ont fait les honneurs de leur maison avec une grâce parfaite, mieux vraiment que n’eussent fait beaucoup de personnes de meilleur parage »

    ... my translation ...

    This smuggler still has five very pretty girls/daughters, who did us the honours of their house with a perfect grace, better really than would have done many people of higher birth/extraction

  • A comment below this answer suggested this definition might be interesting:

    Nom 1) (XIe siècle) Le TLFi[1] le donne pour dérivé de pair avec le suffixe -age, au sens juridique, c’est le même mot que pariage, paréage, paraige.

    From the 11th century and not necessarily Occitan-specific, it refers to an agreement where two lords jointly rule a domain -- "coregency" in English, perhaps compare with the English noun "peer".

  • This definition ...

    (Nom 2) (XVIe siècle) De l’ancien occitan parage ou de l’ancien gascon paratge, le latin paragium (→ voir pariage) est attesté au sens de « région » en 1439 dans un texte latin concernant la région de Bordeaux.

    ... claims that in the 16th century the Latin word paragium was used to mean "region" (of Bordeaux), "from the old Occitan 'parage' or from the old Gascon 'paratge'".

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