Analysis of manuscripts: CR are joined in error at 15 (absol), and their usual grouping is supported by joint variants at 16 (acuj), 28 (francx) and perhaps 50 (rey). DaG contain a common error in 13 (antrames), and probably another in 2 (compare also the variant sanz in 4). The omission of es in 61 suggests some affinity between C and L. There is no ideal base, which may explain the eclectic nature of Napolski’s edition. L is clearly unsuitable, having an idiosyncratic stanza order, numerous individual errors (for example 7, 8, 12, 25, 31, 42 (+2), 58, 62) and numerous individual readings (for example 10, 19, 20, 33, 63-65), as well as an isolated two-line tornada. Apart from its omission of 46-48 A has no individual errors, though it is partly illegible in 40-42 and I have used the reading from the Pakscher-De Lollis diplomatic edition at this point, perhaps facilior in 30, and shows signs of tinkering, typical for this MS, in 5, 43, 44 and 62, with isolated variants in 25, 30 and 37. Of the CR group C has fewer individual errors (21, 64, 65, and 72) and isolated readings (52, 53, 65, 69) than R, which contains errors in 3, 15, 32 (−1), 44, 50, 55, 57, 58 and 68, and isolated variants (mostly minor) in 6, 16, 17, 26, 28, 33, 52, 62, 69 and 70, with part of 47 illegible. C might present a plausible base, but is unsatisfactory in that its readings at 13, 15 and 65 are inferior to those of ADaG. Da has numerous individual errors (for example 4, 8, 15, 16, 29, 30, 33, 37, 43, 45, 57, 69, 70, 71) as well as isolated variants (for example 1, 24, 39). G also contains a number of errors (1, 5, 14, 18, 20, 28, 29, 38, 42, 44, 46, 60) and individual readings in 10, 11, 21, 24, 27, 43, 48, 50, 55, 56 and 57. With some hesitation, therefore, I have chosen A as base, with Da as base for A’s missing 46-48; A’s isolated readings, even where intervention is suspected, are accepted where the variant is indifferent. Base: A.

Order and amount of material:

  ACDaGR 1* 2 3 4** 5 6 -
  L 1 5 3 4 2*** 6 7

* Throughout stanza I in G the lines are widely spaced, no doubt for the insertion of musical notation.

** Lines 46, 47, 48 missing in A.

*** Lines 49-57 obscured in L.

Critical apparatus:

Deviations from base.  30 A. e. de totz pechatz l.    40-41 I have used Pakscher-De Lollis to complete the partly illegible lines    46-48 om.

I.  1 In G | honor] l’onor Da | qi G    2 totas DaG    3 fil Da | seus R    4 sanz DaG | esperitz DaGLR    5 qerir G | e totz (toz DaG) CDaGLR    6 s. que R | samta L    7 uers] us L | dieu R | e vers] eus L    8 uenra L | merce R | eues Da, euer GL    10 qanch L | faich G, fi L | e digs Da, endich G, enfach L    11 ab] a L | motz] dich L | ni CDaGLR | ab] en L | mal] fals G    12 limrend L | colpauol G, coulpauolz L.

II.  13 Seignors CDaLR | pos qa L | uos CG | antrames DaG    14 cardenales G    15 absol (ab sol R) CR, ab solz Da, ab solt G, assout L | selz Da | qes en] que el R    16 dels sans Da, del saint G | paire Da, .p. R | acuj p. CR, que d. p. Da, qui d. p. G    17 qen] qel R    18 solure G | chascus Da, chasous G    19 Qi no cre cho L    20 e felons] faillitz L | etichaire G    21 uostra G | menhs crezens C, maluolentz L    22 Eqi eras no ha talan L    23 al mieu CDaR, non or nom es G, no fai L    24 qe sia] non es CDa.

III.  25 pren] fai CDaGLR | c**sz L | ben les DaR, bes be L    26 ualen R    27 flach G | Er.....eman f....s.....uasz L    28 El] Ei G, E L | avol R | francx CR    29 Suia Da, si l ua G | eno ill pod faillir res L    30 detotz pechatz lauatz A, deltotz mond elauatz L    31 nom chal L    32 streg R | order maltrair* L    33  lor] luy R | uers] uerens Da | Q... yesus critz er uer g. L    34 qui L    35 qels GR, ques L | turcx GLR    36 que] qui L |  anctas Da, lautras L.

IV.  37 Ar hi fai m. CGR, Ar ifan Da, Be fai era L    38 ason] eson (e so L) CDaGR | riccas G | posestaz Da    39 autruis Da, autrus R    40 chastel LR    41 Que quant.....r mult conqes L    42  Meinz cus G, isameinsz qus L    43 qe G | lazers] lazer CGLR, lacer Da | no L    44 el ricx que noli C, el rics . Qe non li Da, El ric qenoli G, E alric qe no i L | tolc R    45 sos] sons Da | so L, son GR    46 om. A | abenien G    47 om. A | que] pos L | qe selh en....a d. t. R    48 om. A | caitiu elpaubre G.

V.  49 Luecx fora qelreis del franches L | del francess Da, d. franses R    50 Elreis engles feszesso paz L | reis] rei G, rey R    52 Qi premiers perdieu lauolgues L | qui C | premier R | lo DaR    53 sos] son G | sens C, ses R    55 rei G | de polh C, de poille Da, de puilla GL, de pollz R | ni perayre R    56 degrant esser amic efraire L | a. amics G    57 foss L, sos R | trobatz cobratz Da, cobrat G    58 perdonamn L, perdonara R    59 caytil R    60 on fach er L | louizamen G.

VI.  61 en cui m. CL, enqi es m. G, en cuy m. es R    62 first two syllables omitted R | es e uera C, esest uera Da, Eqes ueira G, Es esainta L | vergenetat R    63 Si com  fes e. L    64 Salutz] E lums L | esperasa fes C    65 per sieu C, pressios R | En apres dieu sobre totz bes L    66 preiat G    67 fiz G, filz L    68 uos] uol R | es om. G    69 regina d. C, dolcha uergena L | resplandanz Da,  resplanden R    70 com traia] contrai Da, comnatz R | nostra] uostra R | Que nostra lei traza enan L    71 porder Da    72 turc Da | menhscrezens C, descrezentz L.

VII in L only.  73 Amics nandrieu pos li pro uan    74 Vos no . es ges dels meinz ualentz.


Dating and historical circumstances:

The fifth stanza contains references to historical figures and has been used as a starting point to date the composition. Diez suggested that this lyric was composed during the Third Crusade (Friedrich Diez, Leben und Werke der Troubadours: ein Beitrag zur näheren Kenntnis des Mittelalters, Zwickau 1829; enlarged edition Leipzig 1882, p. 213). He stated that the king of Apulia and the emperor referred to were Prince William II of Apulia and Frederick Barbarossa. This tallies with Napolski’s dating, who claims that the work was composed before 1189. He identifies the king of France as Philip II Augustus and the English king as Henry II (Napolski 1879, p. 21). This dating is followed by Fabre (Césaire-Antoine Fabre, «Les Provençalistes du Velay et M. Camille Chabaneau», Romanische Forschungen, 23, 1906, pp. 257-273, pp. 262-263). Lewent argues against this dating. He claims that Pons’s wish for peace between the two rulers «sagt doch deutlich, dass die beiden Herrscher nicht nur keine Freunde sondern geradezu Feinde sind, und man wird durch die Erklärung von Diez…kaum befriedigt werden. Denn diese beiden standen sich vor dem dritten Kreuzzug schlechterdings nicht feindlich gegenüber» (Kurt Lewent, «Das altprovenzalische Kreuzlied», Romanische Forschungen, 21, 1905, pp. 321-448, on pp. 350-351). Lewent argues that Pons is referring to the battle for the German crown between Otto IV of Brunswick and Frederick II. He believes the first two stanzas allude to the papal absolution afforded to crusaders and Innocent III’s call to take the cross in early 1213. At this time Frederick II had sided with the French king Philip II Augustus against Otto IV and King John of England. De Bartholomaeis (Vincenzo de Bartholomaeis, «Osservazioni sulle poesie provenzali relative a Federico II», Memorie della R. Accademia delle Scienze dell’Istituto di Bologna, classe di scienze morali, sezione Storica-Filosofica, 6, 1911-1912, pp. 97-124, on p. 99) and Lucas (Harry Hillgrove Lucas, «Pons de Capduoill and Azalais de Mercuor: a study of the planh», Nottingham Medieval Studies, 2, 1958, pp. 119-131, on p. 125) support Lewent’s criticism of Napolski’s dating and again offer the spring of 1213 as the most likely date of composition.


Textual notes:

1-5. De Bartholomaeis translates the el in lines 3 and 4 as if it were del; he also takes line 5 as being dependent on what precedes (‘In onore del Padre [...] dobbiam credere l’uno e tutti e tre’), which is not very logical (we should surely not believe in honour of the Father). I interpret el as en lo, referring back to en cui es in line 1. The idea of the Trinity is also found in the works of other troubadours, including Pons’ contemporary Peire Cardenal, BdT 335.64 (Poésies complètes du troubadour Peire Cardenal 1180-1278, ed. René Lavaud, Toulouse 1957, XXXIV), 5-6: E es paire e filhs e santa trinitatz, / E es en tres personas e una unitatz ‘Et il est Père et Fils et sainte Trinité, et il est en trois personnes et une seule unité’.

6. For L’s graphy samta compare François Zufferey, Recherches Linguistiques sur les chansonniers provençaux, Droz 1987, p. 178, § 23 (MS E).

11. obran is literally translated as ‘action’ but I have used ‘deeds’ as more idiomatic English whilst still conveying the sense. I have not found any example to suggest the existence of a compound noun mal-obran and in this case obran may be a present participle as described by Frede Jensen, Syntaxe de l’ancien occitan, Tübingen 1994, § 509: «Comme les adjectifs en général, le participe présent peut se substantiver [...] cozen “douleur cuisante, souffrance”, menten, “menteur”, malvolen “ennemi”, conoissen “ami”, serven “serviteur”: que re no·i a que no torn en cozen (B. de Born 9, 27)». The phrase mal obran is used in this way in Joan Esteve BdT 266.8 (Le poesie del trovatore Johan Esteve, ed. Sergio Vatteroni, Pisa 1986, IX), 27-29: ab bauzia / que∙m galia, / aissi mal obran / l’an ‘con falsità che mi inganna, cosi male operando nell’anno’.

12. mi ren colpables: the expression is also found in Peire d’Alvernhe BdT 323.16 (Peire d’Alvernhe, Poesie, ed. Aniello Fratta, Manziana 1996, 13), 12-14, ab brondills d’estranhs aturs, / et en tals talans tafurs: / mi·us ren colpables, penedens ‘con aggiunte di straordinari sforzi, e in siffatti lerci desideri: mi affido colpevole a Voi, pentito’. Levy (PSW I, 286) translates ‘se rendre colpable’ as ‘sich schuldig bekennen’ (‘to plead guilty’).

13. The reading nos in the base MS has been retained as it makes better sense than uos in CG. In the first stanza Pons refers to himself as a ‘penitent’ and nos continues the idea that he is identifying with the crusading army.

15-16. Literally ‘the one who is set in place of St. Peter’.

13-18. The syntax of these lines is problematic. Napolski, whose punctuation is not particularly enlightening, prints Seignor, pois sai nos a trames / Per cardenals e per legatz / Absout cel, qu’es en loc pausatz / De saint Peire, cui dieus promes: / Qu’en cel et en terra pogues / Solver chascun de sos pechatz;/  Qui so non cre... What does not appear questionable is that (1) Senhor(s) is vocative, and (2) the subject of the verb can only be ‘the one who is established in the place of St. Peter’, i.e. the Pope (15-16), in which case the verb must be singular a trames and DaG in error. It therefore seems impossible that absol / absout can represent a verb, which seems to be the implication of Napolski’s punctuation, and must therefore be a noun, as allowed by the syntactically ambiguous readings of ADaGL: see PSW I, 92 assout ‘Freisprechung, Vergebung’ as in BdT 375.15, 18, (ed. Napolski 1879): Dona, cent vetz ploron mei huelh / per vos, quar assout no·m donatz. The common source for all MSS may have had the form ab solt found in G, with faulty word-division; R would have interpreted this as ‘provided that’, without integrating this into the global sense; Da has either a plural form or a non-normative oblique singular form; C’s omission of -t may be simply a scribal slip. De Bartholomaeis understands these lines essentially as I do, though punctuates his text Seignor, pois sai nos a trames / Per cardinals e per legatz / Absout, cel qu’es en loc pausatz / De saint Peire, cui Dieus promes…, and translates absout as ‘assoluzione’. During the crusades the concept of salvation was closely linked with the idea of the indulgence; hence my translation.

21. It is possible that mescrezens may have overtones of ‘heretic’ in the context of Pons’ background and also the time of writing: early 1213, before the battle of Muret in September of that year. Levy (PSW V, 251) translates mescrezeut as ‘ungläubig’ (‘infidel, unbelieving, faithless’). Peire Cardenal BdT 335.32, 77-80 (ed. Vatteroni 1996, 48): e·ls ditz de Moyzen / no vol om tant escrire / con d’un mescrezen / que sas paraulas ven ‘e i ditti di Mosè non si vogliono mettere per iscritto quanto quelli di un miscredente che vende le sue parole’.

30. A’s reading anz er de totz pechatz lauatz appears facilior in comparison to the other MSS anz er del tot monz el lauaz and I reject its isolated variant here.

31. The phrase tondre ni raire is also found in Peire Guilhem de Luserna BdT 344.4 (Martin de Riquer, Los trovadores: historia literaria y textos, 3 voll., Barcelona 1975, vol. I, p. 232), 26-28: c’us rics malvaz, a cui soffraing merces, / tant q’om non pot del seu raire ni tondre; / q’anc de tal ric no·m pacgei iorn ni mes ‘que un rico malvado a quien tanto falta la piedad que de lo suyo no se puede conseguir nada; pues rico de esta serte no me satisfizo ni dià ni mes’; Peire Cardenal BdT 335.39a (ed. Lavaud 1957, 31), 6-10: [Lor avers es tan]t grantz que ne-l podent escóndre, / [Mas nuls ne lor dema]nd, que n’i degnent respóndre / [E fugent alcun si] ne-l podent raire ho tóndre, / [Peri no se vei qui] les honisc’e deshóndre / [Et om les soste q]uant les deuria confóndre ‘[Leur richesse est si] grande qu’ils ne peuvent la cacher, [mais que nul ne leur dema]nde, car ils ne daignent y répondre [et ils fuient quelqu’un s’ils] ne le peuvent raser ou tondre. [Pourtant il ne se voit personne qui] les honnisse et déshonore [et on les soutient] quand on devrait les détruire’. The phrase is usually encountered metaphorically as in Marcabru BdT 293.5 (ed. Gaunt-Harvey-Paterson 2000, 5), 8-9: Cest’amors sap engan faire, / ab engan ses aigua raire ‘This love knows how to cheat, and with treachery how to fleece stealthily’.

33. For the use of the double indirect object see Jensen 1994, § 266: «[...] l’emploi pléonastique du pronom a pour but d’annoncer un sujet qui va être mentionné ou de rappeler un sujet qui vient d’être exprimé». See for example Cercamon BdT 112.4 (Il trovatore Cercamon, ed. Valeria Tortoreto, Modena 1981, 5), 15-16: Ben sai qe lor es mal estan / Als moilleratz... (‘So bene che è sconveniente per loro, per gli ammogliati...’). However, Pons’ stylistically formal lyric appears to belie Jensen’s statement that the use of the pleonastic pronoun is used «surtout dans un style populaire».

43. no·n refers back to mout in 41. – Lazarus appears twice in the New Testament and there are links with leprosy in both accounts. Lazarus is the patron saint of lepers and the term ‘lazar house’ is taken from his name; see for example Peter Richards, The Medieval Leper and His Northern Heirs, Cambridge 1977, pp. 8-9. Lazarus’ resurrection is recounted in the Gospel of John 11: 41-44. According to this account, Lazarus died of an unnamed illness and was raised from the dead by Jesus, who had delayed in coming to see Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha. After Jesus had saved him, Lazarus attended a banquet given by Simon the Leper. The parable of Lazarus and Dives is found in the Gospel of Luke 16: 19-31. Lazarus, a beggar, lay outside the house of the rich man (later called Dives), who refused to give anything to Lazarus. The beggar is described as being ‘full of sores’ which may suggest that he was suffering from leprosy. Both men died and Lazarus was rewarded in Heaven whilst the rich man was tormented and outcast as punishment for refusing to help those in need when he was alive. Pons may have conflated the name of the biblical Lazarus with the medieval word for ‘leper’ and here refers to ‘the (well-known) leper’ of the parable. Pons is giving a clear warning to those who stay behind with their wealth and material possessions rather than taking the cross—they will suffer eternal punishment for refusing to help God on the crusade.

52. ACG la may be the ‘original’ reading (= la patz), though DaR lo = ‘the idea of making peace’ is also possible.

61-62. Some of the MSS seem to have had difficulty in understanding the syntax and the repetition of es in these lines. It seems likely that the piège à copiste was the first es of 62 (= e ‘and’ before a vowel) and that the common source for 62 had es es (as suggested by the variants of CDaL). For analogous confusion over es, compare BdT 167.47, a partimen of Gaucelm Faidit and Perdigo (The troubadour tensos and partimens: a critical edition, ed. Ruth Harvey and Linda Paterson, 3 voll., Woodbridge 2010, vol. I, p. 400), 47-48: Mas l’autres gardars es rasos, / ses gelosia, e’s senz prezaz, variants to 48 e’s] e ACGIJKMNQS, et es a1 and the note («The sequence essese’s senz constituted a multiple piège à copiste which only D and a1 avoided»). The immediate source of AG appears to have intervened for clarity; L took the second ‘s’ together with the following word which was misread; CR have omitted the es before merces in 61, R compensating for the missing syllable by bringing forward the first es of 62 but then producing a doubly hypometric following line, while C has left 61 hypometric and made local sense in 62 (‘in whom there is mercy and true virginity’).

65-72. My interpretation sees lines 70-71 as dependent on preiatz in line 66. De Bartholomaeis places a semi-colon after 68, and in 70 interprets MS com as C’om: ‘Vergine dolce, risplendente, altri tragga avanti la nostra religione e ci doni forza e potere grande...’ See Jensen § 762 for com + subjunctive as a final conjunction.

[LM, lb]

BdT    Pons de Capdoill

Songs referring to the crusades