Catharism was the name given to a Christian religious sect that appeared in the Languedoc region of what is now southern France and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Cathars saw matter as intrinsically evil. They denied that Jesus could become incarnate and still be the son of God and thus, the Catholic Church regarded the sect as dangerously heretical. Faced with what they saw as a rapidly spreading cancer, the Church called for a crusade, which was carried out by knights from Northern France and Germany and was known as the Albigensian Crusade. This campaign, and the inquisition that followed it, eradicated the Cathars completely. It also had the effect of weakening the semi- independent southern principalities in the area, ultimately bringing them under direct control of the King of France. Occitania, once a crossroads of many cultures, was one of the victims of the Albigensian Crusade. Occitania s refined culture culminated in the troubadour tradition, which subsequently spread to Italy, Spain and Greece. Related movements sprang up throughout Europe: the Minnesingers in Germany, trovadorismo in Galicia and Portugal and the trouvères in northern France. On this album, Jordi Savall not only explores the classical period of the troubadour school from around the turn of the 13th century, but also provides us with a comprehensive historical and artistic background of this Golden Age. It is time we remembered this forgotten kingdom where much of what we call Western culture was incubated.