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the troubadoures’ rose

The troubadoures took the rose as their symbol, perhaps because its name (in French as in English) is an anagram of Eros, the god of erotic love. The great rose windows of the Gothic cathedrals always face west − traditionally the direction sacred to female deities − and are never far from a shrine to the Black Madonna (‘My Lady’). And these enigmatic statues are pagan goddesses in another dress, an embodiment of the old celebration of female sexuality.

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