Guiraut Riquier, often called the last of the troubadours, spent a decade (1270–1280) at the court of the Spanish king, Alfonso X. Riquier’s Suplicatio, addressed to Alfonso, described a growing inequality in the considerations accorded to the expanding number of untrained classes of public performers. Because Alfonso was also a poet and a recognized authority, Riquier’s Suplicatio (1274, in Occitan) pleads with the troubadour king to establish a clear and definitive hierarchy of all performers. One year later, after much discussion between the troubadour and the king, Riquier is given leave to pen Alfonso’s Declaratio (1275, also in Occitan), the king’s response to the earlier Suplicatio in which defining and describing performers, highest to lowest, is the centerpiece. These poems serve today as literary documents of the slow decline of Occitan art forms in the second half of the thirteenth century.


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pp. 47-63
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