Jeux Floraux

Jeux Floraux

Jeux Floraux, Académie des [Fr.,=academy of floral games], one of the oldest known literary societies. It was founded (c.1323) at Toulouse, France, by seven troubadours to uphold the traditions of courtly lyricism. It promulgated (c.1355) a code of poetry known as the laws of love. With the decay of troubadour tradition, its literary contest (established 1324 and held in modern times in Toulouse on May 3) began to change. In place of langue d'oc, French became, after 1539, the sole language of contributions. The society received its present title from Louis XIV in 1694. The group supported romanticism; 19th-century winners of its traditional golden flower included Chateaubriand and Hugo. In 1895, on the urging of Frédéric Mistral, langue d'oc was readmitted on a par with French in its contests.
Académie des Jeux floraux ("Academy of the Floral Games"), or Collège de la gaie science ("College of the Gay Science"), is the most ancient literary institution of the western world. It was founded as the Consistori del Gay Saber with the goal of encouraging Occitan poetry. The best verses were given prizes at the floral games in the form of different flowers, made of gold or silver, such as violets, rose hips, calendula officinalis, amaranths or lilium. The Consistori eventually became gallicised. It was renewed by Louis XIV in 1694 and still exists today.

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