English translation [LP]
I. Since I do not wish to compose a canso I shall make a
new sirventes which will be about Provence, and I’ll send it to the
French; for if the one who is count and marquis stays away for long, the
Marseillais will not be intimidated into giving him back his rents any time
soon, [owed] both from what he used to receive in the port and from the other
assets of which they are defrauding him.
Italian translation [lb]
I. Dato che non ho voglia di comporre una canzone farò un nuovo
sirventese che parlerà della Provenza, e lo manderò ai Francesi; perché se colui
che è conte e marchese rimane lontano a lungo, i marsigliesi non si sentiranno
spinti dalla paura a restituirgli presto le sue rendite, tanto quelle che
riceveva per il porto quanto quelle degli altri beni dei quali lo stanno
Text: Linda Paterson, Rialto 4.vi.2013.
Ms.: M 244v (bertran de lamanon).
Critical editions: Le troubadour Bertran d’Alamanon, éd. Jean-Jacques Salverda de Grave, Toulouse 1902, p. 33.
Other editions: Gedichte der Troubadours, in provenzalischer Sprache, hsg. Carl August Friedrich Mahn, 4 voll., Berlin 1856-1873, vol. III, p. 227, no. 1060.
Versification: a7’ b7 a7’ b7 a7’ b7 a7’ b7 c7 c7 (Frank 239:2), a = -ensa, -enda, -ansa; b = -es, -ar, -is; c = -ort, -or, -ieu. Five coblas doblas with one of the second pair of stanzas missing, most probably stanza IV to judge by the context and the fact that M has left a space at that point sufficient for its insertion. Stefano Asperti, Bibliografia Elettronica dei Trovatori (www.bedt.it), indicates the model as a canso/dansa of Sordel’s, BdT 437.1, Frank 239:3 (ed. Boni, I), which has the same rhyme-scheme and metrical shape, and some but not all of the same rhymes including the first «a» rhyme. Sordel’s has a refrain, as do the other two under Frank 239: a canso of Guiraut Riquier, BdT 248.65, Frank 239:1 and a religious song of Peire Cardenal with the «c» rhymes feminine.
Rejected readings: 7 tar, 13 rensa, 23 bestenta, 24 so(n) inserted in the margin by a later hand, 25 ll’] ill, 43 qe cel q lamoilherhasa with abbreviation mark above the second «q», 46 per, 50 g | eu with abbreviation mark above the «g», 57 lora(n)sa.
Notes: This sirventes reflects the same events as those referred to by BdT 76.9: see the note to that piece on Rialto. In addition Bertran mentions here (line 18) the possibility of Charles of Anjou losing control of the Gapençais. According to Salverda de Grave (p. 35) this had always been claimed by the counts of Provence, and Raimon Berenguer V had managed to make Marseille, Avignon and Arles acknowledge his authority; even though his influence there had been fairly slight, he had succeeded in extracting some revenues from them. Meanwhile Frederick II, in conflict with Charles’s ally Pope Innocent IV, was manoeuvring to take over for his son Manfred all the land from Pavia to the Alps and, eventually, the kingdom of Arles, though the latter only at a time when the reconstitution of this kingdom would appear useful to the Emperor and Count Amédée of Savoie. The latter had paid him homage in July 1245 and become his keen ally in 1247, when it was agreed that Manfred would marry the Count’s daughter (Paul Fournier, Le Royaume d’Arles et de Vienne (1138-1378), Paris 1891, pp. 174-177). At the same time Frederick was negotiating with the Dauphin of Vienne, Guigues VII, and an official diploma dated June 1247 confirmed Guigues in his acquisitions in the counties of Gap and Embrun. Salverda de Grave suggests that it may be this event that induced Bertran to make his wake-up call. See Jean Louis A. Huillard-Bréholles, Historia diplomatica Frederici secundi, 6 voll., Paris 1852-1861, vol. VI, i, pp. 542-543. There has been a certain muddle about the date and source for this. Salverda de Grave notes that Richard Sternfeld in his Karl von Anjou als Graf der Provence (1245-1265), Berlin 1888, p. 138, records this to have taken place in 1245, though elsewhere he places it in 1247 (p. 38, and Das Verhältnis des Arelats zu Kaiser und Reich vom Tode Friedrichs i. bis zum Interregnum, Berlin 1881, p. 140). Fournier, p. 177, gives the date as 1249, and Martin Aurell, La Vielle et l’épée. Troubadours et politique en Provence au XIIIe siècle, Paris 1989, pp. 158 and 318, n. 9, gives the source as Huillard-Bréholles vol. X. Bertran’s piece shows the acute concern felt by Charles’s supporters on the ground at the threat posed by the rapprochement between the Emperor and Count Guigues, and the immediate cause for this may have been not only this agreement over the Gapençais but also the marriage agreement between Béatrice of Savoie and Manfred. – Line 6: Salverda de Grave notes that although the pope had conferred the title «marquis of Provence» on Raimon VII of Toulouse in 1234, Beatrice was called «marquise and countess» and Charles also called himself comes & marchio Provinciae. – Lines 13-18: Mahn and Salverda de Grave read rensa and the latter corrects to renda; but the correction violates the rhyme, as the latter acknowledges. I have found no other example of perdre sa tensa, but rensa seems impossible and the sense is highly appropriate in the context. – Salverda de Grave translates «car il ne touche pas ses revenus d’Avignon, quoique son père ait conquis cette ville, ni – il me semble – tout ce que le valeureux comte touchait d’Arles, & il perd du côté d’Aups, au delà de la Durance, le comté du pays de Gap». This conveys the gist, but does not reflect the complex syntax, since the direct object of conqes, unless one admits it to be unstated, must be tot so qe·l pros coms y pres. For the use of the preterite to convey habitual action see Frede Jensen, Syntaxe de l’ancien occitan, Tübingen 1994, § 547. – Salverda de Grave notes that Louis took possession of Avignon in 1226 (v. 13, not 14), that there is a hiatus in 15 (he refers to poem III, 23 of his edition), and that 16 is probably an allusion to the events of 1239, when Raimon Berenguer V took over the city of Arles (see Sternfeld, Karl von Anjou, p. 34). – Line 20: Salverda de Grave wonders whether to emend. For an analogous example of the mix of sg. and pl. see Guilhem Anelier de Tolosa, La Guerra de Navarra: Nafarroako Gudua, ed. Maurice Berthe, Ricardo Cerbide, Xabier Kintana and Julián Santalo, 2 voll., Pamplona 1995, vol. II, 4804, e perpreso la orta e los camps e·ls vinners. – Line 23: Salverda de Grave gives «bestenta, peut-être bestenda» in the variants, though confusingly in the note, «bestensa ne convient pas pour la rime, qui exige bestenda». The «t» looks clear to me. – Line 24: Salverda de Grave corrects son to sos. – Line 25: literally «he will need to reach out his hand». Salverda de Grave corrects to lh’ er. – Line 27: Salverda de Grave «& à enlever, à donner et à prendre». Bertran is urging Charles to exploit his seigneurial powers. Compare Niermeyer, tollere, 2 ‘to exact, levy’, tolta ‘arbitrary exaction’. He will no doubt need to make payments or gifts to hire mercenaries or enlist the service of new vassals or other allies. – Line 29: Salverda de Grave translates onor as ‘fief’; the term is less specific, meaning ‘lands, estate’, but Bertran is also playing on the secondary idea of ‘honour’, reflected in 28 and 30. – Line 30: Salverda de Grave reads desonor. The graphy desenor is found repeatedly in Jaufre, (1922, 4987, 7575, 7677, 7680), Girart de Roussillon, 6199, and BdT 461.234, 14 (see COM). – Lines 41-44: scholars agree that the reference in 43-44 is to the marriage of Charles to Beatrice, daughter of Raimon Berenguer V, which had taken place on 31 January 1246 (see Sordello, Le poesie, ed. Marco Boni, Bologna 1954, p. LXXVII). Despite the lack of the preceding stanza, stanza V shows that those who came to arrange the marriage with Béatrice of Provence are, or will be, very disappointed at Charles’s coindansa (43-44), and that he is suffering losses in the region (45-46) because he is not defending his rights (49-50). – In his note to 44 Salverda de Grave writes «M. Jeanroy propose de lire Fero, ·s n’iran, & dans ma traduction j’ai admis cette conjecture». Since anar can have the same sense of ‘to go away’ as the reflexive, this is unnecessary. But in any case, since the marriage took place a year ago, in 1246, n’iran probably doesn’t mean ‘they will go away from there’, but rather ‘will go around because of it’. Given feron and caps clis in 44, the subject pronoun in 43 must be plural, hence my emendation cil. – Salverda de Grave is foxed by 41-42, translating «Celui qui le mit en ce pays,. . ., pour son malheur, sa société, car ceux qui firent le mariage se sauveront d’ici la tête basse». The idea of «placing / putting his “société” here» appears meaningless. I take sa coindansa (or, indifferently, s’acoindansa) to refer to the welcome or reception given to the count in the region, and interpret ms. mes çai as mesçai (= mescai, meschai). For (a)coindansa PD gives the translations ‘acointance, commerce, conduite, amitié?’; see also acoindar ‘accueillir’, mal acoindan ‘insociable’ (s.v. acoindar), and various examples on COM such as: qar sol li bel acuillimen, / e·il onrat fag e·il dig plazen / de nostra domn’ e·il prezen / d’amorosa coindansa, / e la doussa semblansa, / val tot can autra terra ren (BdT 167.19, 19-24, Les Poèmes de Gaucelm Faidit, ed. Jean Mouzat, Paris 1965, 56, p. 474); que hom non somona / mas sels que an aondansa / de vin e d’anona, / e c’om non aia coindansa / ab paubra persona, / et aia mais de bobansa / aquel que meins dona (BdT 335.25, 26-32, Peire Cardenal, Poésies complètes du troubadour Peire Cardenal (1180-1278), éd. René Lavaud, Toulouse 1957, XVII, p. 80); mas un conort ai d’Amor a sazos, / c’ab tal poder mi mostra sa coindanssa / qu’anc plus no·m pot donar de malestanssa (BdT 155.11, 28-30, Le poesie di Folchetto di Marsiglia, ed. Paolo Squillacioti, Pisa 1999, XIII, p. 316); E sol d’aitan degra me be onrar / D’acuillimen e de gen acoindar / Qant ieu li soi denant ni·l qer mercei (BdT 461.111, 13-15, ed. Adolf Kolsen, «25 bisher unedierte provenzalische Anonyma», Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, 38, 1917, pp. 281-310, on pp. 281-282). – The historical context was one of great hostility to the French as soon as Charles’s candidacy for the county of Provence was known in 1245, with this antipathy increasing in the early years of his reign, in Arles as well as the two other great communes, Avignon and Marseille (see Salverda de Grave, pp. 28-29, his commentary to III on pp. 21-24, and Florian Mazel, La Noblesse et l’Eglise en Provence, fin Xe – début XIVe siècle. L’exemple des familles d’Agoult-Simiane, de Baux et de Marseille, Paris 2002, pp. 411-413). Those who arranged Charles’s marriage must have been disappointed at how poorly his claim to Provence was received. – The context suggests that vi is third rather than first person. – Line 46: rather than ‘neighbours’, which suggests a more or less equal relationship, I have taken vesis to have the sense given by SW, VIII, 732, 3 ‘Bürger, Bewohner, Einwohner’ (also LR, V, 538). – Lines 52-54: Salverda de Grave translates «je suis certain & convaincu que l’autre parti gagnera en autorité à mesure qu’il restera plus longtemps à Paris». This is almost certainly the sense, though if tan is introducing a comparison completed in the following line, one would expect tan qan or tan qom: see Jensen, Syntaxe, § 406 and §§ 647-649. For the present used for a future idea in the main clause after si, see Arne-Johann Henrichsen, Les Phrases hypothétiques en ancien occitan. Etude syntaxique, Bergen 1955, p. 77. Rather than tan...car I prefer to construe tan c’ar: in BdT 76.9, reflecting the same events, Bertran complains of Charles’s lack of interest in his Provençal affairs and reports rumours that the Count is thinking of going on crusade. The context shows he must be in the north of France: see stanza IV and § 2 of the general notes. – In 53 Salverda de Grave prints tant, wrongly. – Lines 59-60: Bertran may be playing on the idea of mals as ‘illness’ («but all will be easily cured as long as the deeds are not ill», but I have chosen to emphasise the idea of speed, as appropriate to the context and allowed by the semantic range of lieu and grieu: see SW, IV, 186, 4 and 373, 4 and 5.