The term ‘goliard’ may first have arisen in connexion with Abelard*, though what we identify as the ‘goliardic’ tradition is some centuries older. An alternative, equally unsatisfactory, epithet is ‘wandering scholars’, a translation of vagantes, depicting the clerics whose journeys between ecclesiastical establishments in Europe was responsible for the transmission of Latin verse of various types such as love-songs, hymns and carols, polemical or trivial lyrics, planctus* and liturgical dramas.
Yet many of these suppositious down-at-heel vagrants were in reality established personages such as Philip the Chancellor*; and for all the lascivious, bibulous and amoral attitudes displayed in...
Cite this article
If you have a valid subscription to Dictionary of Hymnology, please log inlog in to view this content. If you require a subscription, please click here.