Coms de Foix (Anonymous?)








Frances c’al mon non a par,


degran forzar,


e Berguingnon,


les patarin[s] a romevar;


e qui clamar


s’an d’Arragon


al gran foc seran menatz pres,


com rason es,


e gitad’al vent lor cenes.


E quan [seran] de vostra obediensa.


faran tal fin qu’al mar per lo sablon


saviaran, com l’arma a perdison.






L’escaran veirem [em]pi[nh]ar,


n’i plus scampar


poir’a saison,


e sieu seingner veirem ligar


et aforcar


come laron.


Non i sera lo premier mes;


e·l trait que fes


cridar, don destrui nostra fes,


nos chalzer’on per aucir soa semenza,


e pois veirem chascun de soa maison


e de son sen morir en [la] preison.



English translation [LP]

I. The French, unrivalled in courage, and the Burgundians ought to force the Patarins to go on a pilgrimage (?), and anyone who complains to Aragon (claims to be from Aragon?) should be taken captive to the great fire and their ashes thrown to the wind, as is right and proper; and when they are in your power they will die in such a manner that they will make their way through the sand to the sea, like the soul to perdition.
II. We shall see the brigand seized (?) and be unable to escape from this in time; and we shall see his lord bound and hanged on the gibbet like a thief. He will not be the first to be strung up there; and the bolt he announced, whereby he is destroying our faith, will be reloaded for us to kill his seed, and then we shall see everyone of his house and mind die in prison.


Italian translation [lb]

I. I francesi, senza pari in quanto a coraggio, e i borgognoni dovrebbero obbligare i patarini ad andare in pellegrinaggio (?), e quelli che si lamentano dell’Aragona (sostengono di provenire dall’Aragona?) dovrebbero essere condotti prigionieri al grande fuoco e le loro ceneri gettate al vento, come è giusto e doveroso; e quando saranno in vostro potere moriranno in modo tale che si faranno strada attraverso la sabbia fino al mare, come l’anima verso la perdizione.
II. Vedremo afferrare (?) il brigante, e non potrà sfuggirvi in tempo; e vedremo il suo signore legato e appeso alla forca come un ladro. Non sarà il primo ad essere appeso lassù; e la saetta che ha annunciato, con la quale sta distruggendo la nostra fede, verrà riutilizzata a nostro vantaggio per uccidere il suo seme, e poi vedremo tutti quelli della sua casa e della sua idea morire in prigione.




Text: Linda Paterson, Rialto 15.iv.2013.

Ms.: I 150r (lo coms de fois).

Critical editions: Alfred Jeanroy, «Les “coblas” provençales relatives à la “croisade” aragonaise de 1285», Homenaje ofrecido a Menéndez Pidal. Miscelánea de Estudios lingüisticos, literarios e históricos, Madrid 1925, pp. 77-88, on pp. 84 and 85; Martín de Riquer, «Un trovador Valenciano: Pedro el Grande de Aragón», Revista valenciana de filologia, 1, 1951, pp. 273-311, on p. 303.

Other editions: Martín de Riquer, Los trovadores: historia literaria y textos, 3 voll., Barcelona 1975, vol. III, p. 1599.

Versification: a8 a4 b4 a8 a4 b4 c8 c4 c8 d10’ b10 b10 (Frank 111:2), -ar, -o, -es, -ensa. Two coblas unissonans. Given that they form part of a cycle all having the same form (see Notes below) a tornada is almost certainly missing. For the probable model (BdT 215.1), see the edition of BdT 57.3, Versification.

Analysis of the ms.: The text is heavily garbled. If, as previous editors have assumed, the composition originally followed the pattern of the others in this cycle, stanza I contains a supernumerary line (e tuit bruisat seran) and another ten extra syllables, with three missing in 10 and one in 12; in stanza II, there is an extra syllable in 21 and one missing in 24. Given the extra mterial it seems likely that in a previous exemplar there was some collation together with marginal insertions. Much of the attempted restoration is therefore inevitably very conjectural and for this reason emendations and suppletions (but not omissions) are, exceptionally, shown in the body of the text.

Variants: The ms. readings are given in their entirety. – Frances c’al mon de gran cor non a par. ede | saver. de fortz ebergui(n)gnon. lespatarin. aroma | auran menar. Equi clamar se fara darragon. | Ale gran foc seran menatz apres. Com rason es. Etuit bruisat seran. E lor genes gitadal | uent. E qual de uostra doiensa. Faran talfin | qualemar del sablon. sauieran co(m) larma ap(er)dison. – Les tartaion ueirem piar. Ni pliu (or plui) sca(m)par | poira saison. E sieu sei(n)gner ueirem ligar. | Et aforcar come laron. No ni sera lo p(re)mier | mes. El trait que fes . Cridar p(er)don destrui | nostra fes Nos chalzeron p(er) auer soa seme(n)za. E pois ueiruem chascu(n) de soa maison. E de son | sen morir enp(r)eison.

Notes: These coblas are part a cycle of five composed at the time of the so-called Aragonese crusade of 1285. They apparently follow on from a pro-French composition of Bernart d’Auriac and an exchange between King Pere III of Aragon and Peire Salvatge (see the editions of BdT 57.3, BdT 325.1 and BdT 357.1 on Rialto), but their chronological position with respect to those of the Count of Foix (BdT 182.2, on Rialto) is uncertain. – Lines 1-4: Jeanroy followed by Riquer, emends to que de cor non an par / Devon forzar, / E bergoignon, / Los patarins a Rom’anar. Preferable to devon is degran which is at least in the ms. – The idea of sending heretics to Rome seems distinctly odd, as Jeanroy noted (p. 79, «L’idée bizarre d’envoyer à Rome, pour les y livrer au supplice, les prétendus hérétiques aragonais, ne pouvait venir à l’esprit d’un ultramontain [why?]»). Malcolm Barber, in a private communication, has suggested that the reference to Rome means the Church of Rome rather than the city. The best conjectural emendation I could think of while retaining Roma (using jokers on COM) was degran forzar, / e Bergoingnon, / les patarin[s] a Rom’estar («ought to force the Patarins to stay with [the Church of] Rome»). Alternatively, one might postulate an unattested verb romeuar ‘to go on a pilgrimage’: compare PD romeu, romeva, ‘pilgrim’, which at least offers satisfactory sense, and the ms. reading auran menar would be more explicable paleographically, as a misreading preserved in a marginal addition made by a previous scribe viewing a second exemplar. I have adopted this, but with considerable hesitation. – The present example is the only attestation of the word patarins on COM; the dictionaries supply one other (LR, IV, 452, Los truans pataris, que van per lo setgle. . ., tan enportunamens mostron lurs paupertatz, V. et Vert., fol. 69), and compare s’apataris in Le roman de Flamenca: nouvelle occitane du XIIIe siècle, éd. Ulrich Gschwind, 2 voll., Bern 1976, vol. I, v. 3817. Riquer 1951, p. 308 (see also 1975, p. 1599) comments that patarins was a term applied to Waldensian heretics and that the anonymous author considers all of Pere’s subjects to qualify as such. This word is not, he insists, a symptom of italianisms in the text, as Jeanroy had thought, but reflects the terminology used by the crusaders themselves, as is shown by a passage in Bernat Desclot, Llibre del rei en Pere, in Ferran Soldevila, Les quatres grans cròniques, Barcelona 1971, pp. 403-664, ch. IV, p. 149, when he writes, describing the sack of Elne by the French: «destrouhien e gastaven tota la terra e masseren foch a esgleyas e les enderrocaven; e prenien les ymatges de Santa Maria e dels cruciffixes e trencaven-les, e dehien que alló éran ymatges de patarins e desonraven-les molts». On the other hand, Jeanroy may be right about the author’s origins (see n. 13 below), and the French may have been led by emissaries from Rome to qualify the Aragonese as heretics – though given the Waldensian emphasis on poverty it would seem more likely that patarins is being used as a more generic term. Jean Duvernoy, La Religion des cathares, Toulouse 1966, p. 22, states that Catholic terminology spoke of «cathars» in Lombardy and «patarins» elsewhere and particularly in Florence (see also references to Patarenes in Italy on pp. 23 (1229), 24 (1252), 81 (1240-1245), and particularly his discussion of the term on pp. 304-306; «Dans les milieux hostiles à la réforme en Italie, patarin devint ainsi synonyme d’hérétique» (p. 305). «A partir du XIIIe siècle, la question est très nette. Sont des cathari les hérétiques dont parlent auteurs ou inquisiteurs lombards, des patarini les mêmes hérétiques dont parle le reste de l’Italie, qu’ils soient dans le pays ou en Bosnie» (p. 306). – Line 6: Jeanroy’s emendation ingeniously produces the split future, which could explain why a scribe who did not understand this rewrote the line. – Lines 7-9: Jeanroy’s emendations (also Riquer). The supernumerary line after 8, e tuit bruisat seran, may have been a marginal insertion or gloss – unless it is a mistake on the author’s part (it seems unlikely to have been a deliberate addition since the pattern is not repeated in stanza II). The form cenes (= cenres) ‘ashes’ is otherwise unattested in the dictionaries or on COM, though the sense is clear enough. – Lines 10-12: Jeanroy’s corrections (though he reads ms. sanieran) (also Riquer). For scansion arma a must elide. – To whom is vostra addressed? The French and Burgundians, referred to in 1-3 in the third person? But then why in Occitan and not French? Perhaps because it is addressed to the third corps where the Count of Foix was placed along with various Occitan speakers (see my edition of BdT 182.2, note 23 and Desclot, ch. CXXXVII, p. 530)? Does this support Jeanroy’s suggestion that the anonymous author may be Italian (see note 13, below)? – Line 13: in his attempted restitution of the ms. reading Les tartaion veirem piar Jeanroy prints Les...veirem penjar and translates «Ces,. . .nous les verrons pendus», Riquer Los d’Aragon veirem penjar, «Veremos colgar a los de Aragon». Neither attempts to explain ms. tartaion, and the object of veirem cannot be plural, since this would require lor, not sieu, in 16. My conjectural emendation, which at least produces plausible sense without wild violation of the ms., supposes a scribal suppression of the second em from eyeskip; in the first word, mistaking c for t is trivial; one could postulate squashing of the ra syllable, and perhaps a misunderstood abbreviation sign for the missing nh in empinhar. The word escaran is only attested once in the dictionaries and on COM, in a song by Peire Vidal (BdT 364.14), and may be an italianism, to judge by that context: E pus Milas es autz e sobeiras, / Ben volgra patz de lor e dels Paves, / E que estes Lombardi’ en defes / De crois ribautz e de mals escaras (Peire Vidal, Poesie, ed. d’Arco Silvio Avalle, 2 voll., Milan and Naples 1960, vol. II, XXI, 33-36); compare SW, III, 150, which notes Ital. scherano. Jeanroy (p. 79) was struck by the number of italianisms in this text: bruisat (bruciato), chalzeron (incalzare), avieran (compare avviare). His idea that the author might have been one of the emissaries sent by Rome to stimulate the zeal of the crusaders would explain the italianisms. – Lines 14-15: previous conjectures for 14-15 are rightly regarded by Riquer as highly problematic («Un trovador Valenciano », p. 308, note 109). Jeanroy, followed by Riquer, prints Ni plus scampar / Poiran raison, translating «ils n’échapperont pas plus longtemps à leur juste châtiment» (Riquer «y no podrán eludir más la justicia»); again, there is a problem with the plural poiran clashing with the following sieu. Since a saizon is attested as ‘en temps opportun’ (PD, s.v. sazo) the sense of 15 seems clear enough. My translation «and be unable to escape in time» assumes that plui is a simple error for plus, and that n’ is a proclitic form of non: see Frede Jensen, The Syntax of Medieval Occitan, Tübingen 1986, § 905 (omitted in the 2nd edition) citing BdT 70.10, mas oncas orgolh n’ac vas lei «but never was I haughty towards her» (see the discussion of n’ as a negative here in Bernart de Ventadour, troubadour du XIIe siècle. Chansons d’amour, ed. Moshé Lazar, Paris 1966, p. 283); compare also BdT 293.15, 36, ed. Simon Gaunt, Ruth Harvey and Linda Paterson, Marcabru: a Critical Edition, Woodbridge 2000, p. 202, the note on p. 208, and PSW, V, 413, 1. – Lines 20-21: previous editors leave these lines blank. Although trait here could refer to a rope, in view of chalzeron in 22 and the syntax it seems more likely to mean a crossbow bolt, no doubt mentioned in a cry given by partisans of the Aragonese side. Compare the opening to Peire del Vilar’s song BdT 365.1, 5-7, e cayrels dessarrar espes, / e ferir de bran demanes / veirem en breu, and the aggressive crossbow imagery in BdT 126.1, 1-6, Duran Sartor de Paernas, my edition on Rialto: En talent hai q’un serventes encoc / per trair’a cels q’an mes prez a deroc, / q’ar mantenon «non» e han faidit «hoc»; / e menz q’ieu ai arbalesta e croc / brocarai lai per trair’al maior loc /al rei emgleis. – perdon has been emended for scansion; per may conceivably have arisen from a previous version giving per cui. – Line 22: chalzer’on: see PD causar ‘chausser; terrer, butter; recharger un outil usé’. – ms. auer seems feeble; I have ventured to emend to aucir. – Line 24: Jeanroy reads da for de. He emends sen to linh, unnecessarily. I follow his correction of the hypometric line.

[LP, lb]

BdT     Coms de Foix

Songs referring to the crusades