[Northkeep] FWD: [Bards] So, what's a Goliard, really?

an angel in black ink angelinblackink at yahoo.com
Sun Jun 8 02:14:43 PDT 2008

((Xue: I didn't use the wikipedia definition, I used our SCA version's definition.  Please forgive me for any confusion.  Oh and thank you for the links, i had only a few of them and am still perusing them to be sure I didn't miss anything in my studies. ^_^))
  "From: an angel in black ink <angelinblackink at yahoo.com>
Subject: [Bards] War & Goliards

>I would first like to state that the Goliards were European performers and
>writers who,  were dissatisfied with the Church.  They performed and wrote
>Latin satire to goad the  individuals they targeted into rethinking their
>motives and actions and scorned the  incorrect actions that the target had
>committed. " 

Mneh, among many other things, they did some of that, I suppose, yeah...Oh!
I see you've used the Wikipedia definition.  DAN-GER, WILL RO-BIN-SON!
Wikipedia is notoriously unreliable due to its open structure: anyon can
edit an entry, whether they know anything about the subject or not.  Though
I see this definition "incorporates text" from the Encyclopedia Britannica,
I'd say it's rather restrictive and oddly biased in favor of the clerical
aspect of Goliardism.  Technically many of the Goliards *were* clergy,
because in many cases University students were "sworn in" as lay brothers.
Why, I'm not sure: something bureaucratic I suppose.  But that doesn't mean
they were reformist priests, as the definition implies. 

>This is a documented movement

Yeah but...they weren't a troupe of dedicated satirists sworn to improve

Which, if that's the way you want to interpret them in the SCA, is great: go
for it!  Ansteorra's College of Bards was nothing like the Welsh Bardic
College (either of today or of the period).  But it was fun anyway.

Here's some info that I found online--which you should take with a grain of
salt, because I found it online.  Still, I think you'll find these entries
converge on a meaning of "goliard" somewhat different from what Wikipedia
puts forward:

Merriam-Webster online

": a wandering student of the 12th or 13th century given to the writing of
satiric Latin verse and to convivial living and minstrelsy"



"a wandering scholar in medieval Europe; famed for intemperance and riotous
behavior and the composition of satirical and ribald Latin songs."


A pretty good overview from About.com...hmm, check Melissa Snell's "About"
page. I wonder: is their Medieval authority an Ansteorran?


Look here's an SCA College of St. Golias, in the Outlands apparently:


(Lotsa good link in the above)

Anyway...good luck with your endeavor: I hope the above links give you some
ideas about where to go with it.



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