Currently, between 200,000–800,000 people of 16 million living in the area, are either native or proficient speakers of Occitan, although the languages more usually spoken in the area are French, Catalan, Spanish and Italian. Since 2006, the Occitan language has been an official language of Catalonia, which includes the Aran Valley where Occitan gained official status in 1990.
Under Roman rule, most of Occitania was known as Aquitania, the earlier conquered territories were known as Provincia Romana (see modern Provence), while the northern provinces of what is now France were called Gallia (Gaul). Under the Later Empire, both Aquitania and Provincia Romana were grouped in the Seven Provinces or Viennensis. So Provence and Gallia Aquitania (or Aquitanica) are the names used since medieval times for Occitania (i.e. Limousin, Auvergne, Languedoc and Gascony). Thus the historic Duchy of Aquitaine must not be confused with the modern French region called Aquitaine: this is the main reason why the term Occitania was revived in the mid-19th century. The names "Occitania" and "Occitan language" (Occitana lingua) appeared in Latin texts from as early as 1242–1254 to 1290 and during the following years of the early 14th century; texts exist in which the area is referred to indirectly as "the country of the Occitan language" (Patria Linguae Occitanae). The name Lenga d'òc was used in Italian (Lingua d'òc) by Dante in the late 13th century. The somewhat uncommon ending of the term Occitania is most probably a portmanteau French clerks coined from òc[ɔk] and Aquitània[ɑkiˈtanjɑ], thus blending the language and the land in just one concept.
The extent of Occitania may vary according to the criteria used:
Based on a geolinguistic definition, Occitania coincides with the current area of Occitan language. The formerly Occitanophone regions are not included. On the other hand one always speaks Occitan in the French Basque Country and in the Països Catalans (the Val d'Aran and the Fenolheda), and internal allophone enclaves (Petite Gavacharie of Poitevin-Saintongeais language, ancient Ligurian enclaves of eastern Provence, the quasi-Ligurian-Occitan enclave of Monaco ...); either taking into account the mass of lands where Occitan is spoken, without taking into account small internal or external enclaves. This last definition of a contiguous and compact territory is currently the most widespread.
Occitanian culture flourished in the High Middle Ages. Many writers, poets, and exponents in the troubadour movement used Occitan as their language of choice, and their works prominently featured courtly love as well as, at times, ideas of religious and social tolerance. According to this definition taken up by historians and anthropologists, the domain is extended north to the Loire including former Occitanophone regions (Aguiaine, Boischaut, Bourbonnais, etc.). Northern Italy and the Països Catalans were also homes of troubadour using the Koiné Occitan literary. In the same way, the Basque Country and Aragon benefited from Occitan stands, old or newer, which notably gave rise to the appearance of an Occitan dialect south of the Pyrenees. We can also note the historical use of an Occitan scripta as official language.
The name Occitanie appeared in the Middle Ages on the basis of a geographical, linguistic and cultural concept, to designate the part of the French royal domain speaking the langue d’oc.
Its current definition is variable. In the most common usage, Occitania designates the territory where the Occitan has remained used until today, within the limits defined between 1876 and the 20th century. If Occitan language and culture are almost always associated with it, we also find references to a common history, an ethnic group, a homeland, to a people or to a nation. The first sociological study in Occitan language to know how the Occitan define themselves was started in 1976. The survey shows that the Occitan reality is defined by language for 95% of people, culture (94%), characterization by a common history (69%), an ethnic group (50%), a nation (20%). Occitania, as defined by the modern Occitan linguistic territory, covers most of the current Southern France, the Alpine valleys of the Western Piedmont, in Italy, Val d'Aran in Spain and Monaco an area of approximately 190,000 km2. It had about fifteen million inhabitants in 1999 with about 20% inhabitants born outside the territory and about 20% of the natives who left. On the other hand, in the absence of a linguistic census, we know only imperfectly the number of speakers of Occitan.
If the preceding notions are generally limited to the modern linguistic boundaries of Occitan, this term can also be used to designate a larger territory. The term "Occitania" becomes commonplace more and more in the vocabulary of scientists. It is used particularly in a historical sense and anthropological by designating a region extending north to the Loire, ignoring contemporary linguistic boundaries. In a book written by experts in medieval history, are included in Occitania of the year 1000 both the provinces of the north (now mainly in Poitou-Charentes) and Catalonia (without the Balearic Islands and the Valencian country) – p. 484. The seven-pointed star, adopted as emblem by the Felibritge symbolized the seven provinces of Occitania, one of which was Catalan. Occitanie is indeed divided by this association into seven maintenances (sections) of which one was that of Catalonia-Roussillon.
Occitania comes from the medieval LatinOccitania. The first part of the name, Occ-, comes from Occitan òc and the expression langue d'oc, in Italian lingua d'oc. It is an appellation promoted by Dante Alighieri of Occitan by the way of saying "oui" in Old Occitan-Catalan; as opposed to the "langue de si" (Italian) and the "langue d'oïl" ("yes" in Old French). The ending -itania is probably an imitation of the name [Aqu] itania (Aquitaine). The term Occitania is a synonym for Languedoc and the Mediterranean coast in the Middle Ages.
The first attestation of the use of Occitanie in French dates from 1556. The first certificate of Occitania in Italy dates 1549. In German, the word Occitania was found in 1572.
All of the Occitan language countries have had various designations throughout history. The word Occitania has been the subject of whimsical etymologies (for example, Languedoc was formerly understood as "land of the Goths" or "language of the Goths"), as well as the rapprochement to the Occitan language exemplified in the names of the regions Languedoc and Occitania, we find in La Minerve Française, a collective work published in Paris in 1818, a history of name-changes of the provinces which reveals the word Occitanie to be a doublet of the word Occident formed in the Lower Empire, giving it the original meaning of "western regions", and not a region where (necessarily) the Occitan language was spoken.
Like the Occitan language, Occitania has been designated under various successive names. The terms are not exclusive: one can find authors who use different terms in the same time period. Occitania or Pays d'Oc are the most frequently used terms today. However the term Provence is still used when the Felibritge sing the Copa Santa for example during the annual festival of Estello.
Dioecesis Viennensis (Diocese de Vienne) et Dioecesis Septem Provinciarum (diocesis of the Seven provinces), under Diocletian and Constantine during a division of the Roman Empire, Gaul is divided into dioceses and that of Vienne has its border on the Loire river, bypasses the Central Massif and passes the Rhône between Lyon and Vienne. This is the beginning of the bipartition between Occitan language and langue d'oil.
Kingdom of Aquitaine: in 781, Charlemagne creates a new kingdom of Aquitaine and names his son Louis the Pious to his head. This new state included the Aquitaine properly speaking (region between Garonne and Loire and the central Massif) as well as the Vasconia. In 806, Charlemagne shares his empire. Louis the Pious receives in addition to Aquitaine the Marca Hispanica, Septimania and Provence.
Proensa/Proença (old Occitan forms of Provence) and Prouvènço/Provença (Occitan modern forms of Provence), from the Latin Provincia which originally designated the Roman Province is used from the 11th century: all countries of Occitan language (also called Provençal language) of the south of the Loire. The term Provence is still used in its general sense by the Felibritgists.
Lingua Occitana (Occitan language) or Pars occitana (Part of oc) to designate the new royal territories conquered south of the Loire. Occitania was created in Latin by the Capetian administration with the combination of the particle 'Oc/òc' [ɔk] (yes, in Occitan) and of the 'Aquitania/Aquitània ' [ɑkitanjɑ] (Aquitaine). Appeared in the 13th century, this term served, after the annexation of almost all the countries of the South by France, to designate only the Languedoc.
Respublica Occitania (Occitania Republic) during the 14th century.
Romania (Roumanío), in reference to the medieval usage of calling Occitan the roman.
Homeland of the Occitan language (Latin patria linguae occitanae), in the official texts of the Kingdom of France from the 14th century.
Provinces of the Union or United Provinces of the South: in February 1573 the huguenots and the moderate Catholics create a federal republic where each province enjoys a great autonomy vis-a-vis the central power.
Occitanie (in the sense of all the Occitan languages): in 1732 in the collection of Capetian laws of Shake Secousse, in 1878, in the Treasure of the Felibritge, in 1911 in the Statutes of the Felibritge; in 1927, Estieu and Salvat founded the College of Occitania.
Midi: is a vague geographical notion indicating in a rather imprecise way the regions of Occitan dialects of Southern France.
Southern France: is another vague geographical name indicating in a rather imprecise way the regions of Occitan dialects of Southern France.
Estate of Oc: neologism appeared at the end of the 20th century among supporters of several Occitan languages.
The term "Occitania" now covers a linguistic region. This meaning was used in medieval times attested since 1290. On 29 May 1308, during the Council of Poitiers, it appears that the king of France was declared to reign over two nations: one of lingua gallica and the other of lingua occitana. This partition between Occitan language and langue d'oïl in the Gallo-Roman space is very ancient since it started with Romanisation itself. In 1381, the King Charles VI of France considered that his kingdom comprised two parts: the country of langue d'oc, or Occitania, and the oil-language country or Ouytanie "Quas in nostro Regno occupare solebar tam in linguae Occitanae quam Ouytanae".
"Occitania" remained in force in the administration until the French Revolution of 1789. It was taken up again in the 19th century by the literary association of Felibritge then it is again claimed since the 20th century, especially since the end of the 1960s. According to Frédéric Mistral's dictionary "Treasury of Felibritge", the term Occitania is sometimes used by scholars to describe Southern France in general but mainly for the former province of Languedoc.
Historiography of the Occitania concept
The langue d'oc is a territorialized language, that is to say, spoken mainly on a territory whose boundaries can be described. This part attempts to describe the origins of the Occitanie concept, the different names that this territory has taken and the creation of the modern concept of Occitania.
A unique object of study: d'oc culture
The speakers of the Occitan language do not use a single meaning of their language because Occitan is not a monolithic language with for example a single dictionary where each speaker finds exactly their vocabulary, but a juxtaposition of dialects. Also, many studies have focused on the differences between Provençal, Languedoc, etc. We must also remember the many common features of the Occitan cultural space, which are generally considered partisans.
The consciousness of a common culture
Robert Lafont develops this idea in the introduction of the "History and Anthology of Occitan Literature". The reference to troubadours is essential. This socio-linguistic argument is modulated according to the authors but it is accepted by all the current scholarship, including the authors who speak of "domain d'oc", since by definition, their study of the d'oc domain rests on the consciousness of the existence of a common culture.
The different speakers of the language share many common traits (tonic accentuation, close vocabulary, frequent use of the subjunctive, etc.) that allow mutual understanding. For Occitanists, this intercomprehension means that Occitan is one language; for others, it means that these languages are very close but all agree that the speakers in this defined space understand each other.
Common social characteristics
The social characteristics of Occitania are not eternal and intangible because factors of endogenous mutations and European influences, especially of Northern France, can blur these social peculiarities.
The best studied example is that of Roman Law which is better maintained in the Occitan Early Middle Ages society than in Northern France thanks to the promulgations of Visigoth and Burgundians laws. From the mid-11th century, the teaching of the Corpus Juris Civilis taken shortly after Bologna in the universities of Toulouse, Montpellier, Avignon, Perpignan... will promote a massive renaissance of Roman Law in Occitania.
With regard to education: Pierre Goubert and Daniel Roche write, to explain the low literacy in Occitania in the 18th century, that there exists in these territories a confidence maintained in the old vulgar languages. The relations to education are today completely reversed between Northern and Southern France thanks to the anthropological imprint of the family strain.
From a demographic point of view, the influence of the family was still felt in 2007 because of the small number of families with many children.
In politics, many debates have also taken place around the expression Red Southern coined by Maurice Agulhon to find out if the "pays d'oc" was more "republic" than the northern half of France. Emmanuel Todd analyzing the regions that voted for Jean-Luc Mélenchon, calling himself a "Republican" in the 2012 presidential elections, declares that "what is obvious is his general inscription in the Occitan family[...] that loves vertical structures, the state or the church."
Finally, for André Armengaud, these common social characteristics make it possible to write a historical synthesis. But since 1979, no other "History of Occitan" has been undertaken.
If the term Occitania appeared in French from the mid-16th century, then in 1732 in a collection of laws of the ancien régime, it only becomes current at 19th century. Thus, the duke of Angoulême conspired with a view to the establishment of a Kingdom of Occitania or of a Vice-Royalty of Occitania at the time of the Restoration. The term was popularized by the publications of Raynouard and Rochegude, and known in its contemporary sense by the English historian Sharon Turner.
Definition of Occitania by the historian Sharon Turner
It appeared in the Treasury of Felibritge and in the statutes of this organization in 1911. In the Interwar period, a Felibritgan school, the Escòla Occitana was created in 1919 in the Toulousean Languedoc. The Institute of Occitan Studies was born in 1930. These initiatives (as well as others) remain closely linked, notably because of the dual membership of their main animators at Felibritge.
After the Second World War, the creation of the Institute of Occitan Studies was presided over by a resistant (at a time when the Felibritge like the SEO were tainted by lawsuits of collaboration), but above all its action in terms of linguistic reform, particularly its desire to adapt the classical norm to Provençal, marked a break with a large fraction of the FelibritgeFrançois Fontan created the first overtly Occitan nationalist party in 1959.
In France, Occitania has been confronted with a problem of recognition of Occitan since 1992; the French is the only "language of the Republic". In 1994, it was made compulsory in the public space (places of commerce and work, public transport, etc.) and in the administration (laws, regulations, documents, judgments, etc.).
In 2015, with the prospect of creating a large region gathering "Midi-Pyrénées" and "Languedoc-Roussillon", the name "Occitanie" came at the head of an online survey organized by the regional press (23% of the 200,000 voting, in front of "Occitanie-Pays catalan" 20%). Note, however, a variable support rate depending on the geographical origin of the voters. As part of the territorial reform, a consultation on the name of the region, organized by the Regional Council Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées took place in spring 2016 to give a name to the new region regrouping Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc-Roussillon. Occitanie came first (44.90% of the vote), with 91,598 voters. Second was Languedoc-Pyrenees with 17.81% of the votes, then Pyrenees-Mediterranean (15.31%), Occitanie-Catalan Country (12.15%) and finally Languedoc (10.01%). This new region was renamed Occitanie (with the subtitle Pyrenees-Mediterranean), according to the vote of the regional councillors on June 24 of 2016, and after final validation by the Government of France and Conseil d'État.
The practice of Occitan is not the same uniformly throughout the territory. In addition, there is a linguistic transition area in the north called Croissant where the terms of d'oil and Occitan interfere strongly (see Croissant). Instead, some territories are not generally considered to be part of Occitania according to the modern definition:
Several zones were dissocialized more or less precociously such as the Poitou, then the Charentes, the Gabay Country and the Petite Gavacherie (replacement by d'oil speakers after the Hundred Years' War), intermediate areas with the Franco-Provençal language in the Rhône-Alpes, the lower valleys of the Alps competed with the Piedmontese and Ligurian (Italy).
Although originally occitan, the Països Catalans are generally excluded from Occitania since 1934 because they claimed their national difference. Catalans claiming that their language is a language by development.
In several regions of the world we meet historical speakers of Occitan. These areas are not considered Occitan, with the exception of Guardia Piemontese which is a linguistic enclave in southern Italy.
The zone of the royasc speech is generally excluded from Occitan despite the requests of its speakers who allowed to classify it as Occitan in Italy. This allows its speakers to benefit from the effects of the 482/1999 law on historical minorities, from which North-Italian dialects are excluded. In the past, and particularly shortly after the cession of Brigue and Tende to France, in 1947, was defended the more or less exclusive attribution of the royasc and the brigasc to the system of vivaro-alpine dialects, while more recently, linguists specialized in the field recognize the prevalence of Ligurian phonetic, lexical and morphologic traits (Werner Forner, Jean-Philippe Dalbera and Giulia Petracco Sicardi The Brigasc is a variant of the Royasc with addition of Occitan traits.
Written texts in Occitan appeared in the 10th century: it was first used in legal texts, and then in literary, scientific, and religious texts. Spoken dialects of Occitan are many centuries older and appeared as soon as the 8th century, at least, as revealed through toponyms and Occitanized words left in Latin manuscripts.
"Speak French Be Clean," written across the wall of a Southern French school
Occitania was often politically united during the Early Middle Ages, under the Visigothic Kingdom and several Merovingian and Carolingian sovereigns. In the year 805 in Thionville, Charlemagne declared the partition of his empire into three autonomous territories along linguistic and cultural boundaries: what is now modern Occitania was to be formed from the reunion of a broader Provence and Aquitaine. Instead, however, at the 9th century division of the Frankish Empire, Occitania was split into different counties, duchies and kingdoms, bishops and abbots. Since then, the country has never been politically united, although Occitania remained intact through a common culture. Nonetheless, Occitania suffered a tangle of varying loyalties to nominal sovereigns: from the 9th to the 13th centuries, the dukes of Aquitaine, the counts of Foix, the counts of Toulouse and the Counts of Barcelona competed for control over the various pays of Occitania.
Occitan literature flourished during this time period: in the 12th and 13th centuries, the troubadours invented courtly love (fin'amor), and the Lenga d'Òc spread throughout European cultivated circles; the terms Lenga d'Òc, Occitan, and Occitania first appeared at the end of the 13th century.
From the 13th to the 17th centuries, the kings of France gradually conquered Occitania. By the end of the 15th century, the nobility and bourgeoisie had started learning French, while the peasantry generally continued to speak Occitan; this process began from the 13th century in the two northernmost regions, northern Limousin and Bourbonnais. In 1539, Francis I issued the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts that imposed the use of French in administration. But despite measures such as this, a strong feeling of national identity against the French occupiers remained as Jean Racine wrote on a trip to Uzès in 1662: "What they call France here is the land beyond the Loire, which to them is a foreign country."
In 1789, the revolutionary committees tried to re-establish the autonomy of the "Midi" regions, using the Occitan language; however, Jacobin power prevented its realization.
The 19th century witnessed a strong revival of the Occitan literature, exemplified by the writer Frédéric Mistral, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1904. But from 1881 onwards, children who spoke Occitan at school were punished in accordance with ministerJules Ferry's recommendations; this led to a deprecation of the language known as la vergonha (the shaming). In 1914, fourteen million inhabitants in the region spoke Occitan, but French overtook Occitan in prominence during the 20th century. The situation got worse with the media excluding the use of the langue d'oc. In spite of this decline, however, the Occitan language is still alive and gaining fresh impetus.
Around the 14th century, some "Provençal" settlements were founded by Valdenses in Southern Italy: the Capitanata area, Basilicate, and Calabria. Most of them were destroyed by the Inquisition during the 16th century, but the Guardia Piemontese managed to keep its language and occitan identity until nowadays.
At the end of the 17th century, Valdenses flying persecution in the Occitan valleys settled in Baden, Hessen, and Wurtemberg (nowadays Germany). The use of Occitan language vanished during the 20th century, but some Occitan placenames are still in use.
In the 19th century, Occitans settled in America. Some Valdense colonies have retained their use of the language into the present day, such as those in Uruguay and in the United States.
Federacion dels Ensenhaires de Lenga e Cultura d'Òc (FELCO), set of teachers and parents of students related to the teaching of Occitan in the public sector.
Parlaren mistral movement in Provence.
Academy of arts, letters and sciences of Languedoc
Marpoc Law 1901 association: Occitan course, Occitan summer university, an Occitan café, colloquiums, conferences, shows and concerts, painting and publishing exhibitions of the "Mar e Mont" collection.
Òc-Bi, an association of parents of schoolchildren for public bilingual education.
Centre de Formacion Professionala d'Occitània-Miègjorn-Pirenèus, a professional organization dedicated to the transmission of the Occitan language and culture to adults.
Collègi d'Occitania founded in 1927, teaching the Occitan language and culture.
Centre Interregional de Desvolopament de l'Occitan, collaborative digital media library around Occitan culture and language.
COMDT - Occitan Center for Traditional Music and Dance: a resource center for Occitan culture of oral tradition, transmission and dissemination of traditional music and dance.
Collectiu Dètz, audiovisual professionals around the Occitan language and culture.
CORDAE/La Talvera, Occitan center for research, documentation and ethnographic animation.
Institut Occitan Aquitània, Regional Operator for the Occitan language and culture.
In Italy, the main movements are:
Associazione Culturale Occitano - Guardiola
Coumboscuro Cèntre Prouvençal
Espaci Occitan, an association of public administration of the Occitan alpine territory whose objective is the linguistic, cultural and tourist promotion of the Italian Occitan valleys.
Movimento Autonomista Occitano
Renaissença Occitana, cultural association that publishes the history and local language magazine La Rafanhaudaa.
Institut d'Estudis Araneses-Acadèmia Aranesa de la Lenga Occitana (IEA)
Some associations adhering to Felibritge and Parlaren claim a Provençal language distinct from Occitan.
Other associations claim distinct "languages d'oc", even if, paradoxically, some of them are grouped together in an Alliance of Oc languages:
Association advocating a distinct Auvergne identity: Cercle Terre d'Auvergne.
Association advocating a distinct Béarnaise and Gascon language: Institut Béarnais et Gascon.
Association advocating a distinct Cevenol language: Lou Clu en Ceveno.
Associations advocating a distinct Provençal language: the Unioun Prouvençalo and its equivalent for Italy Unioun Prouvençalo Transaupino, the Collectif Prouvènço and its Italian equivalent Consulta provenzale.
Some associations have no affiliation with other oc countries:
Association advocating a distinct Niçoise language: Acadèmia Nissarda.
Associations advocating a distinct Provençal language: the Astrado Prouvençalo.
On the other hand, some groups claim an Occitan-Roman identity including the Catalan Countries (France-Spain).
Groups actively participating in Eurocongress 2000: Occitan-Catalan Federation, Occitan-Catalan Fundation, Occitan-Catalan Circle of Twinning, Euroccat Association, Espaci Occitan Association.
Other groups: Oc Valéncia Centre Internacional de Recerca i Documentació Científica.
Paratge: laboratory of political ideas. Its main section is in the Occitan Valleys (Italy). Its Provençal section is called Para(t)age Mar, Ròse e Monts.
Movimento Autonomista Occitano (MAO): branch of the Party of the Occitan Nation in the Italian Occitan Piedmont. Only their newspaper Ousitanio Vivo continues to appear.
There are currently no Occitan political movements in Monaco.
Former political movements include:
Anaram Au Patac: far left, participated in the CRÒC
Occitan Comitat d'Estudis e d'Accion (COEA): Leftist autonomist. It was created in 1965.
Comitats d'Accion Occitana (CAO): Left.
Corrent Revolucionari Occitan (CRÒC): separatist linked to the far left revolutionary.
Entau País: leftist autonomist established in Gascony.
Farem tot petar
Communist Anarchist Federation of Occitan (FACO): independentist, libertarian communist.
Hartèra, movement of the revolutionary youth of Occitania: extreme left.
Lucha Occitana: group of intellectuals, students and agricultural unionists, ideologically left revolutionary, autonomist and socialist.
Movement Socialista e Autonomista Occitan.
Partit Provençau: autonomist.
Pòble d'Òc: independentist and libertarian.
The movement Volèm Viure al País (VVAP): socialist movement composed of different self-managing local groups. It no longer exists but the slogan that it has in fact taken up is often used. It was dissolved in 1987 to make room for the Occitan Party.
There are 14 to 16 million inhabitants in Occitania today. According to the 1999 census, there are 610,000 native speakers and another million people with some exposure to the language. Native speakers of Occitan are to be found mostly in the older generations. The Institut d'Estudis Occitans (IEO) has been modernizing the Occitan language since 1945, and the Conselh de la Lenga Occitana (CLO) since 1996. Nowadays Occitan is used in the most modern musical and literary styles such as rock 'n roll, folk rock (Lou Dalfin), rap (Fabulous Trobadors), reggae (Massilia Sound System) and heavy metal, detective stories or science-fiction. It is represented on the internet. Association schools (Calandretas) teach children in Occitan.
The Occitan political movement for self-government has existed since the beginning of the 20th century and particularly since post-war years (Partit Occitan, Partit de la Nacion Occitana, Anaram Au Patac, Iniciativa Per Occitània, Paratge, Bastir! etc.). The movement remains negligible in electoral and political terms. Nevertheless, Regional Elections in 2010 allowed the Partit Occitan to enter the Regional councils of Aquitaine, Auvergne, Midi-Pyrénées, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
The Occitan language is only recognized as official, protected and promoted in the Val d'Aran (in Spain); in Italy it has the status of a protected language; and in France it only has acceptance in the educational network but without legal recognition.
The Fédération des langues régionales pour l'enseignement public calculated the number of students in the Occitan language in October 2005 at 4,326.
According to a 2002 report by the French Ministry of Culture (Report to Parliament on the use of the French language, 2003), in public schools, collèges and lycées and private schools: in the academic year 2001–02, 67,549 students had enrolled in classes of or in Occitan.
The troubadour school first marked the emergence of a distinct Occitan culture during the High Middle Ages. The troubadours were highly appreciated for their refined lyricism and influenced many other similar "schools" throughout Europe. Troubadourism (the later shorthand) remained a tradition for centuries and its members were mainly from the aristocracy; the movement was epitomized by William IX, Duke of Aquitaine and Bertran de Born.
Occitan literature experienced a rebirth during the Baroque period, mainly in Gascony through the Béarnese dialect. Indeed, Béarnese was the mother-tongue Henry IV of France, whose designation sparked a relative enthusiasm for Béarnese literature with the publication of works by Pey de Garros and Arnaud de Salette. Toulouse was also an important place for this renaissença, especially through the poems of Pèire Godolin. Nonetheless, Occitan literature following the death of Henry IV went into a significant period of decline, as witnessed by the fact that local poets, such as Clément Marot, began to write in French.
L'Acadèmia dels Jòcs Florals (The Academy of the Floral Games), held every year in Toulouse, is considered one of the oldest literary institution in the Western world (founded in 1323). Its main purpose is to promote Occitan poetry.
In 1945 the cultural association L'Institut d'Estudis Occitans (The Institute of Occitan Studies) was created by a group of Occitan and French writers, including Jean Cassou, Tristan Tzara and Renat Nelli. Its purpose is to maintain and develop the language and influence of Occitania, mainly through the promotion of local literature and poetry.
Romantic composer Gabriel Fauré was born in Pamiers, Ariège in the Pyrenees region of France. Déodat de Séverac, another Romantic music composer, was also born in the region, and, following his schooling in Paris, he returned to Occitania to compose; he sought to incorporate the music indigenous to the area into his compositions.
Occitan cuisine is considered Mediterranean, but has some specific features that separate it from Catalan cuisine or Italian cuisine. Indeed, because of the size of Occitania and the great diversity of landscapes- from the mountaineering of the Pyrenees and the Alps, rivers and lakes, and finally the Mediterranean and Atlantic coast – it can be considered as a highly varied cuisine. Compared to other Mediterranean cuisines, Occitan gastronomy significantly uses basic elements and flavors, such as meat, fish and vegetables, along with the frequent usage of olive oil; elements from Atlantic coast cuisine are also common, such as cheeses, pastes, creams, butters and other high-calorie foods. Well-renowned meals common on the Mediterranean coast include ratatolha (the equivalent of Catalan samfaina), alhòli, bolhabaissa (similar to Italian Brodetto alla Vastese), pan golçat (bread with olive oil), and salads with mainly olives, rice, corn and wine. Another significant aspect that distinguishes Occitan cuisine from that of its Mediterranean neighbors is the abundant amount of aromatic herbs; some of them are typically Mediterranean, like parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano or again basil.
^"The ancient language of the South France, was called, la langue d'oc, from the sound of its affirmative particle. From this circumstance, the country has been called Occitanie, and a specific portion of it, Languedoc. The French have lately formed a new adjective, Occitanique, to comprize all the dialects derived from the ancient tongue." in Sharon Turner, The history of England (during the middle ages), London, Longman, Hurst, &c. 1814. Read on GoogleBooks
^Fabrice BERNISSAN (2012). "Combien l'occitan compte de locuteurs en 2012 ?", Revue de Linguistique Romane, 76 (12/2011-07/2012), pp. 467-512
^« De fait, le nombre des locuteurs de l’occitan a pu être estimé par l’INED dans un premier temps à 526 000 personnes, puis à 789 000, » ("In fact, the number of occitan speakers was estimated by the French Demographics Institute at 526,000 people, then 789,000") Philippe Martel, "Qui parle occitan ?" in Langues et citéArchived 2012-03-16 at the Wayback Machine n°10, December 2007.
^Jean-Pierre Juge (2001) Petit précis – Chronologie occitane – Histoire & civilisation, p. 14.
^Joseph Anglade, Grammaire de l'ancien provençal ou ancienne langue d'oc, 1921, Part I, Chapter 1, p. 9: Le mot Langue d'Oc a d'abord désigné le pays où se parlait cette langue; c'était une expression géographique. Le pays de langue d'oc s'appelait en Latin Occitania (formé sans doute sur Aquitania) ("The words Langue d'Oc first designated the country where the language was spoken: it was a geographical expression. The land of the langue d'oc was called Occitania in Latin (probably coined from Aquitania").
^Frederic Mistral, Lo Tresor dóu Felibrige (1878–1886), vol. II, p. 1171: "Les textes abondent qui montrent l'origine française ou ecclésiastique des expressions lingua occitana et Occitania. Le pape Innocent IV (1242–1254), un des premiers parle de Occitania dans ses lettres; les commissaires de Philippe le Bel qui rédigèrent l'arrêt sanè des coûtumes de Toulouse se déclarent Ad partes linguae occitanae pro reformatione patriae designati et stipulent que leur règlement est valable in tota lingua occitaniae."
^Robèrt LAFONT (1986) "La nominacion indirècta dels païses", Revue des langues romanes nº2, tome XC, pp. 161–171.
^Bodo MÜLLER. "Langue d'Oc, Languedoc, Occitan", in: Verba et Vocabula, Festschrift Ernst Gamillscheg, München 1968, pp. 323-342.
Occitania is everywhere where one has, in France, "the accent of the South", to the except for the department of Pyrénées-Orientales, which is Catalan, Corsica and the Basque Country.
The Occitanophones are distributed in about thirty departments located south of a line that goes from the estuary of the Gironde to the Alps. It passes northern Libourne, eastern Angouleme, northern Confolens (Charente), Bellac (Haute-Vienne), northern Limoges, between Gueret and Aubusson (Creuse), between Vichy (Allier) and Riom (Puy-de-Dome). In the Saint-Etienne basin, Firminy is grazed on the south by the line that reaches the great Alps by cutting the Dauphiné in two. Grenoble is bordering on Occitania, which begins in La Mure. Finally, from La Mure to Besançon, and from Saint-Étienne to Friborg in Switzerland, there is an intermediate zone between Oc and Oïl; the Franco-Provençal area.
Thus, Occitan is spoken in ten historical provinces: Guyenne, Gascony, County Foix, Béarn, Limousin, Auvergne, Languedoc, Provence, Dauphiné (south) and Nice. We must add the Val d'Aran, in the Spanish Pyrenees, and the Vaud valleys of Piedmont, in the Italian Alps.
— Jean-Pierre Richardot (1929-), Les Bacheliers de Montsêgur, "The World of Education," September 1976
Thus the great points of the ideal of medieval Occitan civilization were: "paratge" or feelings of equality, religious and racial tolerance, courtly love, Romanesque art and the emergence of class consciousness.
— Joan-Pere Pujol
, Théorie de l’aliénation et émancipation ethnique. Suivi de: Pour en finir avec le Mammouth, Circle Alfons Mias, 2014, ISBN1470961687
^"Le pouvoir royal et la lingua de hoc, alias Occitania"Archived 2015-04-12 at the Wayback Machine : "It is the irruption of the Capetian power far south of its original domain which causes the manufacture of the name of the countries which it integrates henceforth with this field. We can not call them "County of Toulouse", or "Viscount of Albi, Béziers, Carcassonne", since there are more viscounts since the late Montfort, nor counts after the death of Alphonse in 1271. However, we must find a clear designation, which is done at the end of 13th century. This will be the part of the royal domain where we speak a language that is not that of the other party, there in the north: the Langue d'oc, in latin Occitania. This can include, at random conquests, other areas where the same language is spoken ..."
^ ab"Histoire d'Occitanie" under the direction of André Armengaud and Robert Lafont. Paris: Hachette, 1979 ISBN2-01-006039-3
^ abRober Lafont (2003). Petita istòria europèa d'Occitània, Canet: El Trabucaire ISBN2-912966-73-6
^Début des recherches sur les frontières linguistiques avec notamment Charles de Tourtoulon and Octavien Bringuier, Study on the geographical limit of the langue d'oc and langue d'oïl (with a map), 1876, Paris: Imprimerie nationale [reed. 2004, Masseret-Meuzac: Institute of Occitan Studies of Lemosin/Lo Chamin de Sent Jaume].
Lou Felibrige es establi pèr garda longo-mai à la nacioun óucitano sa lengo, sis us, soun gàubi e tout ço que coustituïs soun eime naciounau.
(The Felibrige is established to preserve the language, the traditions, the characters and all that constitutes the national spirit of the Occitan Nation.)
— Coll. Estatut dóu Felibritge (Statutes of the Félibrige adopted in 1911)
All the characteristics of a nation, other than the language, are found in Occitania and we can see here also how much the language is the synthetic index of the nation. The Occitan originality is well marked compared to the neighboring ethnic groups, and this in all points of view: racial (racial compound where blood O is more frequent than in France, than in Italy or in Catalonia, less predominant in Euskadi), origin of the population (Ligures, Iberians and Gauls, strong Latin contingent, weak Visigoth input); ethnopsychological; political (Aquitaine uprisings under the Carolingians, National State of the Counts of Toulouse, union of all "the people of our language" against the French invasion, then constant peasant uprisings in all provinces, independent states during the wars of religion: Marseille, Montauban and especially Béarn, Cévennes' War, Girondins autonomism, finally since the 19th century, constant opposition vote giving majorities called "left" or ensuring the success of what appeared momentarily as the more protesting (Poujadism, Mitterrand), cultural (from the civilization of the troubadours, called by Engels a pre-Renaissance to Mistral and our contemporary literature), finally (and some will say above all) demographic, economic and social: underdevelopment and relative regression with neighboring ethnic groups (Italy, Catalonia, Euskadi and especially France), formerly known as escape of capital and now non-use or plunder of our resources by France, numerical predominance of the class of small-owners.
^Occitans sens o saber ?; Maria Clara Viguièr; Vent Terral, 1979, Documents, Paperback 190 p -Sociological Essay-
^There is also a variant of Occitan Monegasque aboriginal (district of the Port à la Condamine and Saint Roman) -called patois- which is called Moneguier. (René ANFOSSO, speaker of Moneguier p. 51 in REVEST Laurenç Nissa e Occitània per Garibaldi. Garibaldian anthology of Oc, publisher Serre, Nice, 212 p.).
^"15% of the population of Monaco speaks Niçard variety of Provençal, which strongly French influences from the Monegasque territory. In fact, people speaking Niçard are mainly people over 50, but Provencal increases its status as a literary language (translated from: "A further 15% of the population of Monaco speaks the Niçard variety of Provençal, which greatly influences the French of the Monegasque region. In fact, the Niçard speaking community is comprised of over 50 years of age, Provençal is increasingly gaining status as a literary language)) "Monaco: "Language Situation", in Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics (Second Edition))), 2006, p. 230 Archived 2012-05-12 at the Wayback Machine.
^"About 20% of the current population is born outside the territory (from 30 to 35% in Provence, less than 20% in the western territory). This immigration occurred mainly between 1975 and 1993. The languages spoken by the newcomers are mainly French and then the languages of immigration (Arabic, Berber, etc.). In The Euromosaic-Occitan study in France.
^"About 20% of the population born in the territory left for work elsewhere, especially between 1963 and 1975. The most important causes are: the lack of employment opportunities, the industrial crisis and the mechanization of the work of the agricultural sector. European Commission> Languages> Euromosaic – Occitan in France
^Michel Zimmermann (1992), Southern societies around the year 1000, directory of sources and documents commented, Paris: CNRS editions, ISBN2222047153
^Robert Sabatier (1977), Histoire de la poésie française du XIXè –, Volume 2 (in French), Albin Michel, ISBN2226222782
^J. Stefanini, The meaning of the term "Occitanique" at Fabre d'Olivetds International Congress. of lang. and litt. of Southern France, Aix-en-Provence, 1961, p. 209
^"It fires me in Narbonne, Aiguesmortess, Nymes & Besiers, colony & nille of great name, inhabited by IADIS soldiers the seventh legion of Rome, including the country man may seem auoir prins his name, then Easting Appointee Septimanie, and to present Ocitane & Languedo instead that the nõmoit Gotthicane, depending on whether we have dictated deuant." Two links of Paul Aemyle of the history of France, traduicts of Latin in French, by Simon de Monthiers, In Paris, From the printing press of Michel de Vascosan, leaving in the Rue S.Iaques, with the sign of the fountain. MD LVI (1556) p. 92. Read onlineArchived 2017-12-28 at the Wayback Machine
^See also, later, "Arade, genti-homme de ceste Prouince Occitanie...", in Les récits historiques ou histoires divertissantes, entremeslées de plusieurs agreables rencontres & belles reparties. Par Iean-Pierre Camus, Evesque de Belley. In Paris, at Gervais Clousier, at the Palace, on the steps of the Saincte Chapelle. MDCXLIVen linhaArchived 2014-09-03 at the Wayback Machine.
^Egli tutto pien d'ira Carlo attacò il fuoco, e spianò Narbona, Agate, Nemauso, e Biterra nobile Colonia de' Settumani, onde pare che hauesse tutta quella contrada il nome, che alhora si chiamava Settimania, & hora (come s'è gia detto) in uece di Gotticana, è chiamata Ocitania." Historia delle cose di Francia, raccolte fedelmente da Paolo Emilio da Verona, e recata hora a punto dalla Latina in questa nostra lingua Volgare, Venezia: Michele Tramezzino; 1549. online (images 144-145) and also.Archived 2016-02-28 at the Wayback Machine
^Alain Viaut quotes the Languedocian dictionary of the Abbé de Sauvages (1785): Hence it follows that not only the Provençal, but all Gascon idioms of the southern provinces are within the purview of our dictionary. Alain Viaut, "Practices and representations of Occitan in Aquitaine", in Variable territoriale et promotion des langues minoritaires, MSHA, 2007, p. 146 online.
^"OCCITANIA (Geog. Anc.) Is the name that some authors of the Middle Ages gave to the province of Languedoc but this name was common to all the people who said yes, that is to say, to the inhabitants of Gascony, Provence, Dauphine, and Languedoc, whose modern name was formed.".
^ abArticle Óucitanìo (in Mistralian norm, for Occitània in classical norm) in: Frédéric Mistral (1879 - 1886) Lou Tresor dóu Felibrige, Provençal-French Dictionary, Aix-en-Provence: Remondet-Aubin [reed. 1979, Aix-en-Provence: Edisud, 2 vols.] [Available online at http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k7486fArchived 2017-09-18 at the Wayback Machine]. See also the statutes of Felibritge adopted in 1911, article 11: Tóuti li Felibre majourau o manteneire soun coumparti dins de seicioun terrenalo dicho mantenènço e courrespoundènto, tant que se pòu, is anciano prouvinço de l'Óucitanìo o i grand dialèite de La Lengo d'O "All major felibritgists or maintainers are divided into territorial sections known as maintenances and corresponding, as far as possible, to the former provinces of Occitania or the great dialects of the Occitan language."
^Pierre Pasquini, Le pays des parlers perdus, preface by Robert Lafont, Montpellier, Presses du Languedoc, 1994, see page 160 for more clarification.
^Frédéric Mistral, Oucitanìo article, The Treasure of the Felibritge, 1878.
^Robèrt Lafont (1986) Indirect nominacion dels païses, Revue des langues romaines number 2, volume XC, pp. 161-171.
^André Dupuy, Marcel Carrieres and André Nouvel, Histoire de l'Occitanie, Publisher Connaissance de l'Occitanie, Montpellier, 1976 p. 58.
^Robert Lafont, "The Classical Age", Volume I of the "History and Anthology of the Occitan literature", Montpellier, Presses du Languedoc, 1997.
^"Faced with these excesses, fear outweighs explicit convictions -as evidenced by the isolation of Voyer d'Argenson when he denounces them in the House- and the central government is struggling to react:
the prefects appointed by the government only arrive in his departments at the end of July, and suffer from the competition of the commissioners who have been appointed by the Duke of Angouleme. The latter is also recalled to Paris by Louis XVIII, who cancels all the nominations to which his nephew had proceeded and published, on September 1st, a "proclamation on the excesses of the South". Written by Pasquier, this text condemns the "odious enterprise" described as "an attack against us and against France". The royal intervention puts an end to the troubles -except in Nîmes, where they continue until November- strongly reminding that no one can substitute for the authority of the king. But it aroused the anger of the leaders of exalted southern royalism (the Marquis of Villeneuve, the Abbé de Chièze, the Baron of Calvière) who, having failed to establish a Viceroyalty of Occitania, had hoped to take advantage circumstances to restore the institutions of the Ancien Régime to the benefit of the local nobility. Bertand GOUJON. Post-Revolutionary Monarchies. 1814-1848. Paris: The Threshold. 2012. ISBN978-2-02-109445-9. Read on Google Books
^Survey for the new name of the large region regrouping "Midi-Pyrénées" and "Languedoc-Roussillon" 
^Notably Carles de Tortolon, & Octavien Bringuier, Étude sur la limite géographique de la langue d’oc et de la langue d’oïl (avec une carte), 1876, Paris: Imprimerie Nationale [reed. 2004, Masseret-Meuzac: Institute of Occitan Estudis of Lemosin/Lo Chamin of Sent Jaume].
^Date when Catalan intellectuals solemnly proclaimed that contemporary Catalan was a distinct language of Occitan in the manifesto Desviacions in llengua i concepts of pàtriaManifest, maig del 1934Archived 2010-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
^"In fact, the community of Brigue has its most distant origins in the emigrations of the 12th century after the conquest of Languedoc and Provence by the "barons of the North", conquest followed by religious persecutions (note 10). Thus, their language is a Provençal speech with an old Ligurian substratum in which words from French were mixed. (Note 10) Traces of Provençal civilization can be found in some Alpine valleys of Piedmont [...] In Liguria we can find smaller traces in Lower Roya (Olivetta San Michele, Airole, Libri) and in the Alps. Rochetta Nervina, Pigna and Triora. Guido Lucarno, "The peace treaty of 1947 between Italy and France. Consequences on the Border and on the Development of the Roya Valley", p. 121 in André-Louis Sanguin, Mare Nostrum : dynamiques et mutations géopolitiques de la Méditerranée, Paris : L'Harmattan, 2000.
^Werner Forner, "Smoke and fire. About attempts to delimit the Occitan south-east area. First part: From 1850 to 1950", in P. Fabre (ed.), Mixes dedicated to the memory of Prof. Paul Roux, La Farlède (Var Association for the Teaching of Provençal), 1995, pp. 155–180.
^Werner Forner, "About the ligurian intemelian. The coast, the hinterland", in Works of the Linguistic Circle of Nice, 7-8 (1985–1986), Werner Forner, Areallinguistik I: Ligurian, in Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik (LRL), IV, Tübingen 1988, pp. 453-469.; Werner Forner, «Linguistic Geography and Reconstruction, in the example of the Ligurian Intemelian», in Proceedings of the I International Symposium on Ancient Provençal, Ancient French and the Ancient Ligurian, Nice, September 1986 ("Bulletin of the Center for Romanticism and Late Latinity"), Nice 1989, pp. 125-140., Werner Forner, «Fra Costa Azurra e Riviera: be li ngue in contatto", in V. Orioles, Fiorenzo Toso (ed.), Circolazioni linguistiche e culturali nello spazio mediterraneo. Miscellanea di studi, Recco 2008, pp. 65-90.
^Jean-Philippe Dalbera, Les parlers des Alpes-Maritimes. Étude comparative. Essai de reconstruction.. London 1994, publication of the International Association of Occitan Studies.
^Giulia Petracco Sicardi, E. Azaretti, "Studi linguistici sull'anfizona Liguria-Provenza", In Dizionario Etimologico Storico Ligure, Alessandria 1989, at pp. 11-62., di Giulia Petracco Sicardi,"Contribute alla definizione dell'anfizona Liguria-Provenza".
^"The Brigasc has an Occitan component that denies the belief of some people that this speech would be part of the Ligurian dialects." The feeling of belonging to the Occitan culture is sufficiently shared by the locals "on the A Vaštéra site[permanent dead link].
^Jean-Pierre JUGE (2001) Petit précis – Chronologie occitane – Histoire & civilisation, p. 19.
^Frederic Mistral, Lou Tresor dóu Felibrige ou Dictionnaire provençal-français embrassant les divers dialectes de la langue d'oc moderne (1878–1886), vol. I, p. 1182: "Le poète Racine écrivait d'Uzès en 1662: «Nous appelons ici «la France» tout le pays qui est au-delà de la Loire. Celui-ci passe comme une province étrangère.»"
^Joseph Anglade, Grammaire de l'ancien provençal ou ancienne langue d'oc, 1921: La Langue d'Oc est parlée actuellement par douze ou quatorze millions de Français ("Occitan is now spoken by twelve or fourteen million French citizens").