"It is in the south of France and at a very early period that we must look for the origin of the system of Courtly Love. Gathered about several small courts, there existed, as early as the eleventh century, a brilliant society, in which woman held the supreme place, and in which, under her influence, vast importance was attached to social etiquette and decorum. Definite rules governed the sexes in all their relations, and especially in matters of love. It was to this society that the troubadours belonged, and it was love, chiefly that was the inspiration of their songs. In the troubadours, therefore, we find the earliest expression of the ideas of courtly love." (Dodd, Courtly Love in Chaucer and Gower, p.1) Since the earliest expressions of courtly love ideas are found in the lyrics of the troubadours, it is necessary to know something about them and their relation to the Courts of Love of the time in order to have a thorough knowledge of the system.