Background sources for the Provencal Tribunal

Hello all,

Does anyone know of any good histories of Provence and Aquitaine, the largest sections of medieval Europe that fit within the Provencal Tribunal of Mythic Europe? Our saga has taken "a turn and a half" (as Neil Taylor said) from the canonical setting and we are setting up a new domus magna for House Mercere somewhere in the Provencal Tribunal.

(If anyone is interested, I could detail the happenings in another post.)

The book, "The Discovery of France", by Graham Robb, has already been mentioned and is on order. I have a massive university library that I can access, and can usually manage to get my hands on all sorts of histories. My initial search for histories of Aquitaine and Provence have come up zilch, unfortunately. Yes, there are volumes on Elenore and troubadours, but nothing specifically historical on the areas in question.

Now, if I read French, I'd be all set. But I don't, and am only literate in English. Cast your aspersions, I deserve them. The matter still stands, however. Anyone know of a decent history of Aquitaine and/or Provence in English?

thanks so much,
Matt Ryan

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Depending on the timeframe, Aquitane's going to be caught up a bit with the history of Henry those histories might help some.


Search for the plantagenets and the crown of Aragon. They were rulers of the areas for quite a while.

Apart from that, not many suggestions. Never researched that area in depth.



Hum... Maybe Melusine, things like that. She lived in Lusignan, though, so maybe this is a little too high.

Of course, you've got roland and roncevaux.

There are some "tales and legends of ~" books out there, but I havent read them since I was young and lack the time. I've forgotten them all.

This has some cool info and local tales, but unfortunately, it's in french and way too long for me to translate. Maybe you'll find a way: ... gendes.pdf

Of course, usual Dame Blanche stories:

My SG has suggested biographies of Eleanor of Aquitane and histories on the Cathar Heresy...

Wikipedia lists these sources for Cathars:

^ R.I. Moore's The Origins of European Dissent, and the collection of essays Heresy and the Persecuting Society in the Middle Ages: Essays on the Work of R.I. Moore for a consideration of the origins of the Cathars, and proof against identifying earlier heretics in the West, such as those identified in 1025 at Monforte, outside Milan, as being Cathars. Also see Heresies of the High Middle Ages, a collection of pertinent documents on Western heresies of the High Middle Ages, edited by Walter Wakefield and Austin P. Evans.
^ Emmanuel LeRoy Ladurie's Montaillou: the Promised Land of Error for a respected analysis of the social context of these last French Cathars, and Power and Purity by Carol Lansing for a consideration of 13th-century Catharism in Orvieto.
^ Massacre at Montsegur: A History of the Albigensian Crusade, Zoe Oldenbourg
^ "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eis." Caesarius of Heisterbach, Caesarius Heiserbacencis monachi ordinis Cisterciensis, Dialogus miraculorum, ed. J. Strange, Cologne, 1851, J. M. Heberle, Vol 2 , 296–8. Caesarius (c) was a Cistercian Master of Novices.
^ Patrologia Latinae cursus completus, series Latina, 221 vols., ed. J-P Migne ), Paris, Vol. 216:col 139
^ Martin, Sean (2005). The Cathars. Pocket Essentials, pp105–121. ISBN 978-1904-04833-1.
^ See the Bull of Innocent IV Ad exstirpanda, 1252.
^ Weis, René. The Yellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars. (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2000), 11–12.

And on Eleanor of Aquitane:

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady, John Carmi Parsons & Bonnie Wheeler (2002)
Queen Eleanor: Independent Spirit of the Medieval World, Polly Schover Brooks (1983) (for young readers)
Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography, Marion Meade (1977)
Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings, Amy Kelly (1950)
Eleanor of Aquitaine: The Mother Queen, Desmond Seward (1978)
Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life, Alison Weir (1999)
Le lit d'Aliénor, Mireille Calmel (2001)
"The Royal Diaries, Eleanor Crown Jewel of Aquitaine", Kristiana Gregory (2002)
Women of the Twelfth Century, Volume 1 : Eleanor of Aquitaine and Six Others, Georges Duby
A Proud Taste For Scarlet and Miniver, E. L. Konigsburg
The Book of Eleanor: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Pamela Kaufman (2002)
The Courts of Love, Jean Plaidy (1987)
Power of a Woman. Memoirs of a turbulent life: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Robert Fripp (2006)


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Fixer, I had not seen the Bienvenue en Midi-Pyrénées website, it looks good. While I don’t speak French, I can muddle through enough to get some good stuff.

My last saga was set at the base of Pic Canigou in the Ariege. I found the following websites very helpful: ... urtour.htm

There are lots of good legends about, including Melusine and her sisters, the Gold of Toulouse, the Basque faerie tales, anything dreamed up by Troubadours, Roland, the Camino d Santiago, the Crusade, the Cirque de Navacelles and the Vis River, etc. . .

Something that is very useful is to check out images of the dramatic landscape and develop stories from there. There are great cliffs, wild mountains, strange valleys, deep gorges, lots of caves and cave art, underground rivers, and forest glades. Try a Google images search for certain villages and geographic spots and see what you come up with.

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My saga takes place in the Montagne Noire near Carcassonne and I think it's a perfect place for an ars magica saga.... All my sources for my background is in french (cause I'm French and sources are numerous in french) and I can't help you for sources in english.
But i can give you one of my "story seed" directly inspired by real fact:

The Bram tragedy : the same thing happens in the "castrum" of Bram in the springtime 1210 that in 1014 in Bulgaria. A hundreds of defendors of the village were blinded by Simon de Montfort. Their eyes and noses mutilated they had had to go to Cabaret a place still untaken, driven by a man blinded only in a single eye.(see true lineage p.114). Can the player covenant recover the tremere ritual to transform these mutilated warriors in a loyal and recognizing turbula? What is the prize of the house Tremere? The albigense tragedy can give a lot of stories...

Some ideas later...

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Great story seed there! I might use it myself, even if we have to travel from Brittany to play it :slight_smile: