Analysis of manuscripts: There are no common errors to assist in classifying the mss. and no apparent archetype errors. L has isolated readings, particularly 51 and 52, and a significant number of errors (2, 9, 12, 19, 25, 46, 48, 49, 53). Variants also suggest a further division CR - Da (notably the similarities in CR at 3, 25, 49, 54 [adoncx]). Despite several errors in Da (15, 22, 26, 43, 45, 47, 54) it has been chosen as base due to its superior readings at 25(?) and 49. There are also errors in C (10) and R (2, 15, 26, 45, 46, 54). Napolski based his edition on Da and this edition varies little from his although the graphy has not been changed as extensively. Base: Da.

Order and amount of material:

  CDaR 1 2 3 4 5 6
  L 1 2 5 3 6 4

Critical apparatus:

Deviations from base.  15 nais e qui sai    22 anc    26 sufer* with the last letter illegible, nostro    43 com    45 chattiu    47 deu repeated    48 uai    54 li.

I.  2 bethelem L, besleem R    3 merce CR    4 quels R | pezor L, peiors R    5 que CR | la L | veiramen L    7 hi fai CLR    8 ges] pas R | ric CLR.

II.  Qi uergoigna dieu per auol sen L    10 Guarditz C, Garda L    11 apolstols C    12 lon segues L, qils seguria L    15 car] E L | moc R | mais a que si C, nais e qui sai Da, mais ha qe se L, may val qi si R    16 qui] car R | uio L | piegz a] aperz Da    17 cauol R    18 mortz L | punctus after mort(z) DaLR | uio L.

III.  19 Quiaus L    20 naura C    21 delis C, de li L, delitz R | tort R    22 qui C, anc Da    23 Al L | felo L    24 longi C, longin L | qes R    25 en] ab L | saluet CR, selh R | pdia R    26  sufer* Da, receup L, sufri R, nostro Da | mortz L    27 malastruc R | es C.

IV.  29 si] qui R | neill L    30 allixandres L, alexandres R | que C | totz L    31 res R    32 quil CR | ven C, el mal CR    33 laissa ioy C, laissa lzoi L, laysa ioy R | que C    34 que C | mas CR    35 son] fan L | cobes L    36 enganna L.

V.  37 noys C | nuillz bar L | pros CLR    38 socort C    39 abgen L | ecorteszia L    41 poden or podem R    42 Eparadis L    43 coms CR, cons L | honrat faich L | punais L    45  chattiu Da | tos temps om. R.

VI.  46 homs R | qi L    47 deu repeated Da    48  que]qar L | fai C, uai Da, nai L, fay R    49 negligen CR, mescreszen L    50 farem L    51-52 inverted L    51 selhs C, sels R | res R | Desesperatz percho don nostria L    53 per] puos L | mort L | chatutz L | malamens R    54 hauran L | auer R | li DaL | uist R.


Dating and historical circumstances:

It is difficult to know when this lyric was composed as it contains no references to historical events or figures. Diez (Friedrich Diez, Leben und Werke der Troubadours; ein Beitrag zur näheren Kenntnis des Mittelalters, Zwickau 1829; enlarged edition Leipzig 1882, p. 214) believed that the three crusading lyrics were composed at roughly the same time, and Lewent (Kurt Lewent, «Das altprovenzalische Kreuzlied», Romanische Forschungen, 21, 1905, pp. 321-448 on p. 352) to an extent supports this hypothesis, arguing that the timelessness of the piece suggests it may be the earliest of his three crusade songs.


Textual notes:

15. Da reading Car qui lai muor nais e qui sai vivia makes local but not global sense and C’s reading has been adopted here.

21. For another example of the form deli (R) see Marcabru (Marcabru: a Critical Edition, ed. Simon Gaunt, Ruth Harvey and Linda Paterson, Woodbridge 2000), XL, 10, IK variants.

25. CR salvet, perhaps facilior. Cobrar suggests the nuance of recovering one’s rightful property: for example the city of Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre were presented to the crusaders as God’s rightful property that had been unlawfully taken and therefore the crusading armies had a duty to reclaim it. Compare for example peire Vidal BdT 364.43, 37-40 (Peire Vidal: Poesie, ed. D’Arco Silvio Avalle, 2 voll., Milan 1960, vol. II, XXXII), Mas ieu per sobresforsar / Cug dels fellos mescrezens / En breu recobrar Suria / E Domas e Tabaria ‘But with great effort I think about shortly recovering Syria, Damascus and Tabaria from the villainous infidels’ (my translation); Elias Cairel BdT 133.11, 13-16 (Il trovatore Elias Cairel, ed. Giosuè Lachin, Modena 2004, XI), aissi faran   crestiantat perir, / e degron mieills Turcs e paians aucir / e recobrar lo dreiturier repaire, / Jerusalem, e conqistar lo Caire ‘cosi distruggeranno la cristianità/ e dovrebbero piuttosto uccidere Turchi e pagani/ e riguadagnare la vera patria/ Gerusalemme, e conquistare il Cairo’. − Schultz-Gora (p. 171) was puzzled by what the poet had in mind in qe perdia, though he must in fact be referring to lost souls, or rather souls that were at risk of being lost.

28-29. The tense sequence here (conditional I conqueria and present ten) does not appear to be attested in Arne-J. Henrichsen, Les Phrases hypothétiques en ancien occitan. Etude syntaxique, Bergen 1955, though the sense is clear enough. The closest analogy seems to be of the type farias/farias (p. 50), E Karles disz li, si rendria Narbona ni·s volria batejar, qu’el li daria Girona e barssalona e .II. tantz de terra qu’el non avia (Philomena, 1523-1525). For the nuance compare Frede Jensen, Syntaxe de l’ancien occitan, Tübingen 1994, § 545: «Dans le système hypothétique exprimant un fait futur considéré comme éventuel, la principale se met d’habitude au conditionnel I, la conditionelle à l’imparfait de l’indicatif, mais il n’est pas rare de voir le présent de l’indicatif se substituer au conditionnel. Reflétant une certaine vivacité de style, cet emploi envisage l’action non comme le résultat éventuel d’une condition, mais comme ayant déjà eu lieu: fis drutz no·s deu tarzar, si messatge·lh venia (B. de Born 39,9), avec deu pour deuria; per que, s’eu dizia, cui am e dezir pert (G. de Bornelh 38,23) avec pert pour perdia».

34. Another possible translation of don non a mais bailha could be ‘something of which he only has the trusteeship’, however one might in this case expect the definite article to be used.

37-45. Wilhelm Meyer-Lübke, «Zu Pons von Capduelh», Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, 40, 1920, p. 231 disagrees with both Napolski’s and Schultz-Gora’s editing and interpretation of this stanza, which he translates as: ‘keiner soll sich seiner Tüchtigkeit rühmen, wenn er nicht am Kreuzzeug teilnimmt; denn mit den Rittertugenden des Friedens können wir das Paradies erwerben, wieviel mehr noch, wenn man mit grossen Waffentaten die Hölle vermeidet’ (‘No-one should boast about his ability if he does not take part in the crusade; for as we can win paradise with the knightly virtues of peace-time, how much more [could one do so] if one avoids hell with great deeds of arms)’. He argues that this would not be strong enough to motivate ‘the slackers’ to take the cross as it implies that all knights will go to heaven if they perform good deeds; participation in the crusades would make them even more worthy of paradise, but is not a prerequisite for salvation. Meyer-Lübke changes the punctuation of the stanza and takes qe pros sia to be relative to bars whilst also adding a comma after monumen:


Jamais no·s gab negus bars qe pro sia


s’ar non socor la crotz el monumen,


c’ab gent garnir ab pretz ab cortezia,


et ab tot cho q’es bel et avinen,


podem aver honor e jauzimen


en paradis.

He takes the sense to be: ‘kein Ritter, der etwas auf sich hält, soll damit prahlen, dass wenn er auch nicht am Kreuzzug teilnimmt, wir ja mit der Erfüllung unserer gesellschaftlichen Verpflichtungen schon das tun, was uns zukommt, wir also ein Anrecht auf das Paradies haben’ (‘no knight who thinks anything of himself should thereby boast that even if he does not also join the crusade, we are still doing what befits us through the fulfilment of our social duties, so are therefore entitled to paradise’).

49. CR negligen: Levy (PSW V, 386) translates as ‘schuldig, der im Unrecht ist, der Unrecht thut, der sich vergangen hat’ and Raynouard (LR IV, 309) ‘négligent, paresseux, indifferent, blâmable’. However a ‘guilty’ heart should be a reason to go on crusade and receive the indulgence. It is more likely that a ‘cowardly’ heart in Da (regcregen) would cause people to remain behind rather than risk the dangers of the crusade. This idea is supported by the use of choardia in 52.

50-51. Levy (PSW VIII, 462, 16) cites Schultz-Gora’s [1906] translation «um dessentwillen was nichts abwirft, keinen Gewinn bringt...Das Wörterverzeichnis, S. 185: “triar: auslesen, abwerfen, Gewinn bringen”. Dieser Sinn des Wortes ist mir nicht bekannt». Levy also notes Diez’s translation (1829, pp. 159-160) «‘Ach, was wird vor dem Weltgerichte sagen, Wer pflichtvergessen nicht von dannen zieht’ vielleicht muss man per bis tria auf Dieus beziehen: “Gott, der keinen Unterschied macht”». He then cites the Cort d’Amor in Constans’ edition of 1881, asking «Ist der Sinn von triar in diesen beiden Belegen vielleicht an Nr. 6 anzuschliessen: per cho que ren no·n tria, weil er (Gott) nichts von ihnen gewinnt, keinen Gewinn aus ihnen zieht?» Neither Schultz-Gora’s nor Diez’s attempt is satisfactory. Levy gives the following possible meanings of the conjunction per so que (PSW VII, 670, 14-17): ‘weil; dadurch, dass; damit; vorausgesetzt dass; unter der Bedingung dass’. Of these, ‘in order that, provided that, if only’, can be ruled out as they induce the subjunctive, see Jensen 1994, §§ 613, 617, 747. I take the sense to be ‘unwise’: compare Matthew Bardell’s translation (La Cort d’Amor: A Critical Edition, Oxford 2002, p. 119) as ‘undiscerning’.

[LM, lb]

BdT    Pons de Capdoill

Songs referring to the crusades