Historical records and literary texts do not apply these terms consistently, and the Latin, French, and English terms do not seem to correspond perfectly, so that distinguishing a minstrel from a harper, a joculator
, a disour, a jongleur, or a histrio is not always possible, though each of these terms refer to different types of performance.
I must open a parenthesis here and mention that according to OED, the term "buffoon" means a ridiculous but amusing person, and it comes from the French bouffon, which derives from the Latin buffo, meaning "clown." The term used almost interchangeably with words such as scurra (Latin word from which the English language has the word scurrilous), histrio, or joculator
. In time, the word came to have the same meaning as mimus and histrio, scurra, and joculator
(Ogilvy, 1963, p.
Golet, unseen here today, was a faithful enough joculator
reds to help foil an assassination attempt on the duke's life.
Thus an ecclesiastical setting provides the background in a late twelfth-century poem for the relation of the life of St Maurice.(26) Thomas de Chobham, in his Summa of about 1216, writes approvingly of those jongleurs ('ioculatores') who sing of the deeds of princes and the lives of saints ('qui cantant gesta principum et vitas sanctorum').(27) But these narratives are a different species; a joculator
provided stories of more than one kind: chanson de geste, hagiography and romance.
jongleur French, from Old French, alteration (influenced by jangleorchatterer, braggart) of juglere buffoon, minstrel, from Latin joculator