English translation [LP]
I. The clergy make themselves
out to be shepherds and are killers; and they seem holy when I see
them putting on their habit; but I remember Sir Ysengrin, who wanted
to enter a sheep-pen one day, but for fear of the dogs he dressed in
a sheepskin through which he tricked them, then ate and swallowed
whatever he pleased.
Italian translation [SV]
I. I chierici si fanno pastori
e sono assassini sotto l’aspetto di santità; quando li vedo
indossare l’abito mi viene in mente messer Isengrino, che un giorno
volle introdursi in un recinto, ma per paura dei cani vestì pelle di
montone, con la quale ingannò, poi mangiò e ingoiò ciò che gli
Text: Vatteroni 2013 (XXXI). – Rialto 17.x.2013.
Mss.: A 216r (Peire Cardenals), C 276v (Peire cardenal), Db 238r (Pere cardenal), Db 239r (Pere cardinal), I 165v (peire cardinal), K 150v (Peire cardinal), J 2v (Peire quardenal), M 223r, R 70v (.p. cardena), S’ (pere cardenal), T 107r, d 322v (Peire cardinal).
Critical editions: François-Just-Marie Raynouard, Choix de poésies originales des troubadours, 6 voll., Paris 1816-1821, vol. IV, p. 343; Carl August Friedrich Mahn, Die Werke der Troubadours in provenzalischer Sprache, 4 voll., Berlin 1846-1853, vol. II, p. 180; Joseph Anglade, Anthologie des troubadours, Paris 1927, p. 159; Jean Audiau, Nouvelle anthologie des troubadours, revue et accompagnée d’un glossaire et d’un index par René Lavaud, Paris 1928, p. 183; Carl Appel, Provenzalische Chrestomathie, Leipzig 1930, 76 (ed. based on ACDbIMR); René Lavaud, Poésies complètes du troubadour Peire Cardenal (1180-1278), Toulouse 1957, p. 170 (XXIX); Guillaume Picot, La Poésie lyrique au Moyen age, 2 voll., Paris 1975, vol. I, p. 104; Sergio Vatteroni, «Le poesie di Peire Cardenal I», Studi mediolatini e volgari, 36, 1990, pp. 73-259, p. 107; Sergio Vatteroni, Il trovatore Peire Cardenal, 2 voll., Modena 2013, vol. I, p. 474.
Other editions: Alfredo Cavaliere, Cento liriche provenzali, Bologna 1938, p. 359 (text Appel); Robert T. Hill, Thomas G. Bergin, Anthology of the Provençal Troubadours, New Haven 1941, p. 164; Antonio Viscardi, Florilegio trobadorico, Milano-Varese 1947, p. 83 (text Appel); Gianluigi Toja, Trovatori di Provenza e d’Italia, Parma 1965, p. 252 (text Lavaud); René Nelli, René Lavaud, Les troubadours. Le trésor poétique de l’Occitanie, Bruges 1966, p. 794 (text Audiau-Lavaud); Robert Lafont, Trobar, XIIe - XIIIe siècles, Montpellier 1972, p. 283 (text Lavaud); Martín de Riquer, Los trovadores. Historia literaria y textos, 3 voll., Barcelona 1975, vol. III, p. 1505 (text Lavaud); René Nelli, Ecrivains anticonformistes du moyen-âge occitan, 2 voll., Paris 1977, vol. I, p. 270 (text Lavaud); Jacques Roubaud, Les troubadours, anthologie bilingue, Paris 1971, p. 346 (text Lavaud); Costanzo Di Girolamo e Charmaine Lee, Avviamento alla filologia provenzale, Roma 1996, p. 161 (text Vatteroni); Francesco Zambon, I trovatori e la Crociata contro gli Albigesi, Milano-Trento 1999, p. 88 (text Vatteroni); Paolo Gresti, Antologia delle letterature romanze del Medioevo, Bologna 2006, p. 87 (text Vatteroni).
Versification: a6 a6 a6 b6 b6 c6’ b6 c6’ d6 d6 d6 d6 (Frank 74:2). Five coblas unissonans of twelve lines with a four-line tornada. John H. Marshall, «Imitation of Metrical Form in Peire Cardenal», Romance Philology, 32, 1978, pp. 18-48, on p. 24, sees Peire Vidal’s Ben viu a gran dolor (BdT 364.13) as its metrical model, datable to 1196-1197 (certainly after 26 April 1196), Cardenal following its metrical shape and rhyme-endings. The same metrical shape and rhymes are found in three other compositions: Garin d’Apchier, Vielh Cominal, ma tor (BdT 162.8); Raimon de Tors, Per l’avinen pascor (BdT 410.6), a sirventes datable to 1260; cobla anon. Quan hom ve gran seingnor (BdT 461.200b).
Notes: Stanza V shows that the sirventes must have been composed after 1220 when Frederick was crowned Holy Roman Emperor, and before his death in 1250. There are two possibilities for a more precise dating: 1229-1230 or 1245-1246 (for a detailed exposition see Vatteroni, pp. 465-468). – The details of the piece could correspond to events of 1245-1246, when the clergy, instead of supporting Louis IX’s crusade which had been in preparation since 1244, were thinking about how to eject Frederick from his empire. The Council of Lyon deposed him on 17 July 1245, and vv. 61-63 could refer to the choice of cardinals for the Council of Lyon which spoke out in favour of this. – Those opposing this position have argued that vv. 59-60 cannot be explained by a date of 1245 since, if the one who is defying Frederick is Innocent IV, it is unclear how he can be said to have been unhappy about it afterwards (no s’en iauzic): Innocent continued his struggle against the Emperor after the Council of Lyon, and Frederick never succeeded in achieving his aim of capturing that city. The piece must therefore, in their view, have been composed after Frederick’s first excommunication in 1227 and after his return from the Holy Land. The French clergy and Blanche of Castile had profited by his absence to impose on Raimon VI of Toulouse the humiliating treaty of Paris of 1229, which had also damaged Frederick’s imperial rights in the kingdom of Arles. If the one who defied the emperor (tals, v. 59) was Pope Gregory IX, he would not have been happy about it afterwards because Frederick, soon after his return, invaded the papal state and routed the pontifical army. Lines 57-58 would refer to the kingdom of Naples, in revolt and invaded during Frederick’s absence by pontifical troops led by his father-in-law Jean de Brienne whom Frederick had dispossessed of his title of King of Jerusalem. On Frederick’s return in 1229 Jean was forced to raise the siege of Gaeta and took refuge again at Gregory’s court. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the indefinite tals might designate Jean de Brienne rather than Gregory IX, since the poet only speaks of abbots and priors (v. 56) being power-hungry and seems to avoid naming the Pope, who will become reconciled with Frederick at San Germano in 1230. – Vatteroni suggests the earlier dating could also explain why the clergy are not supporting a crusade (vv. 49-54). On the eve of his departure for the Holy Land in August 1227, the Emperor was detained in Brindisi by an unexpected epidemic that struck the crusader camp. This gave Gregory a pretext to initiate hostilities: Frederick was accused of failing to meet the deadline set for his departure and was excommunicated on 29 September. It was soon clear to contemporaries that this was indeed a pretext: the Pope had no intention of resolving their conflict. Because he could not refuse absolution to a repentant Frederick who was ready to leave on crusade, he made a series of new accusations, creating all sorts of difficulties in the west to try to obstruct his voyage to Palestine, in order to acquire in the eyes of public opinion the right to expropriate Sicily and depose Frederick as Emperor. It even seemed that the Pope had stirred up the Lombards and the inhabitants of the papal domains to obstruct and rob the crusaders on their way to Southern Italy. Gregory’s attempts to boycott the crusade had wide resonance, especially in Germany. In turn, Frederick published encyclicals responding point by point to the Pope’s accusations. Shortly after Frederick’s departure from Brindisi (28 June 1228) Gregory released the Germans and Sicilians from their oath of fidelity to the Emperor, sent Franciscan envoys to the Holy Land to sow discord among the ranks of the crusaders, entered Sicily with the pontifical army, and with the help of Lombard rebels soon succeeded in taking over many continental provinces of the Regno. These events could explain the allusions to the clergy’s lack of desire to take part in the crusade and attempts to chase the Emperor from his abric, the kingdom of Sicily. Returning to the identification of tals (v. 59), Vatteroni allows that this may designate John of Brienne, but suggests that it could after all be the Pope, who after the fall of the papal army and before he and Frederick made peace at San Germano, found himself in an extremely difficult position, expelled from Rome, bankrupt and without arms, abandoned by the Lombards and unsupported by the western kings. – However, he concedes that the arguments against seeing vv. 59-60 as compatible with the later date are not decisive. The poet uses the preterite tense, and could be making a poorly veiled threat against Innocent IV by reminding him of the unhappy end of whoever, before him, had dared to defy the Emperor. And the lines referring to the Holy Land could be explained by the situation following the Council of Lyon, when Innocent IV concentrated all his efforts on the struggle against Frederick: in 1246 he ordered preaching against the pagans in Germany to be broken off and a crusade against the Emperor to be launched, and on 9 November 1247 he declared that the crusade against the heretic Frederick was more important than the crusade to the Holy Land. – Lines 2-4: to take account of e in v. 5 I interpret these lines differently from Vatteroni, and my translation assumes a comma after 2 and a semi-colon after 3. – Line 14, comtors: minor counts. – 50, alcaicx: Arab commanders; almassor: Saracen princes (see Vatteroni’s note, Peire Cardenal, I, p. 480).