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Any of the wandering students and clerics in medieval England, France, and Germany remembered for their satirical verses and poems in praise of debauchery and against the church and pope. Renegades of no fixed abode, chiefly interested in riotous living, they described themselves as followers of the legendary Bishop Golias. By a series of decrees (from 1227), the church eventually revoked their clerical privileges. Carmina Burana is a collection of 13th-century Latin goliard poems and songs; some were translated by John Addington Symonds as Wine, Women, and Song (1884), and some were set in a famous cantata by Carl Orff (1937). In the 14th century the term came to mean jongleur, or minstrel.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on goliard, visit Britannica.com.