Analysis of manuscripts: the manuscript versions derive from a faulty archetype. In 29 all three scribes had difficulty in reading the third letter of what must have originally been toronie, and paes may be the result of an attempt by a previous scribe to produce some kind of sense from a partially illegible source. Lines 35-36 are corrupt in all three mss.: CDa omit all of 35 after françe/fransae and all of 36, probably as a result of eyeskip by their source. The scribe of R appears to have been faced with a problematic transcription but the text he produces, despite some confusion, indicates a historically meaningful version, where the elements of confusion suggest an attempt to copy a version not available to CDa rather than invent a suppletion. R has the most complete version; in addition to the omissions in 35-36, C is damaged in 12-17 by the removal of an image, and Da has omitted 19. None of the manuscripts offers an ideal base, with all having a number of individual errors and readings (C in 6, 11, 21, 25, 37, 42, and individual in 25; R in 7, 10, 12, 19, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39 (−1), 42, and individual in 11, 22, 25, 31, 33; Da in 17, 24, 28, 37 (×2), 41 and individual in 1, 10), but C’s version with suppletion from R and one correction from Da to CR’s joint error in 2 generates an acceptable text. In the notes I have suggested a conjectural emendation to fe fi in 5 and paes in 29.

Critical apparatus:

I.  1 faire Da ǀ aqes Da ǀ son R    2 fallensa C, falhensa R ǀ guillelmi Da, guilhemi R    3 emiqel DaR    4 bernart Da ǀ uguoli Da    5 del lor Da ǀ fesi C    6 est (−1) C    7 sons Da, sens R    8 coronan D ǀ sol] los R.

II.  9 dieus DaR    10 Qe Da ǀ franquezae C ǀ f. d. e | e la g. R    11 ley R ǀ se C    12 line after mo missing C ǀ parois R    13 e ditz quon(?) [...] que pert la C, the middle and end of the line missing ǀ des pueis Da    14 [....] ta pietat e [....] C    15 Only falhida fai preserved C ǀ deshonra ebaisse Da    16 tz | [...] bos faigz d[...]e C ǀ desonra bayse R.

III.  17 Sil chapte[...]mons. gua[...] C ǀ .R. R ǀ fassan Da    18 qelo with ‘o’ expunctuated R ǀ argenze auignon Da    19 manasce c. R ǀ line missing Da    20 huzetie R ǀ eboazon DaR    21 aganes C ǀ egordon Da ǀ caors e gordon R    22 bon DaR ǀ rey R ǀ darragon Da, daragon R    23 presa R ǀ occayzon R    24 lor a portat Da.

IV.  25 fils DaR ǀ qe es R    26 frederics Da, frederic R    27 uendra R ǀ bretaingna Da    28 peytau R ǀ esantonie Da, e sant onge R ǀ li monge et Da, lemoties R    29 tolonnie CR, totoinne Da ǀ guienel DaR    30 rolzan besers ecar|casers Da    31 que] a R.

V  33 silh] sel Da, si R    34 desier R    35 fransae C ǀ after gleiza the text skips to ‘hi denhon peruezer’ of v. 37 C ǀ after m. c. françe, the text skips to v. 37 Da ǀ mas sola (‘sola’ expunctuated) o frannst la gle|iza el p. d. R    36 Missing CDa    37 don] doncs Da ǀ rey R ǀ denhon C, deuom Da, deuom or deuon R    38 manden Da, mande R    39 et missing R ǀ poilla Da, polha R ǀ lo] lor Da.

VI. 41 sauoia Da ǀ deuom Da, deuo R    42 del lelieg R ǀ deualen|za Da.


Dating and historical circumstances:

This Guelf piece dates from the time of Frederick II’s eight-month siege of Faenza, undertaken to secure the passage between his Italian and German states, which began at the end of August 1240 and ended on 13 April 1241. Notable defenders of the city were Guido Guerra, who played a prominent part in the struggle against the Empire before and after Frederick’s death; Miquel Morezi (Michele Morosini), a Venetian podestà of Pisa in 1240; and Bernardino di Fosco, podestà of Pisa in 1248 and Siena in 1249 (vv. 3-4). Sier Ugoli is perhaps to be identified with Ugolino dei Fantonlini di Cerfugnano, praised by Dante in Purg., XIV, 121. For further details see Zingarelli, pp. 3-5, Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave, pp. 158-59, De Bartholomaeis, p. 154. From the references to Raymond VII of Toulouse Zingarelli (pp. 13-14) concludes that the song was composed at the end of 1240 or the beginning of 1241, before Raymond VII of Toulouse abandoned his allegiance to Frederick and agreed to support the papal party. The count had lost nearly the whole of the Languedoc after Louis VIII’s expedition of 1226. In his peace treaty of 1229 with Louis IX he recovered parts of it, and some others later, but never regained Avignon, Nîmes, Uzès and Gourdon (vv. 17-21; Zingarelli, p. 7; Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave, p. 158). He had been an ally of Frederick II in 1240 but at the beginning of 1241 he changed his mind and wrote to the pope on 1 March 1241 to say he had decided to help him against the emperor (Zingarelli, pp. 7-8). In November 1240 the pope sent frequent messages to press the besieged to resist, and Zingarelli (p. 14) suggests that this might well have been the moment for Uc to add his voice to these.


Textual notes:

2. Guillami: perhaps Guglielmino di Camposanpietro, who fled from Verona shortly after the first siege of Faenza, fearing the wrath of the Ghibellines and taking refuge in his castle of Treville (Zingarelli, p. 5; De Bartholomaeis, p. 153).

5. Zingarelli disliked Levy’s suggestion of fe fi for the end of this line, regarding it as «un costrutto forzato» and emending to vesi (p. 19), an emendation viewed as unnecessary by Crescini. Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave (p. 201) regarded fe fi as offering an acceptable sense. This collocation is the only one on COM. It is tempting to think that fefi Da, fesi C, sesi R might be misreadings of an original seti: “and to the others of their siege who are in there”.

6. Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave: «Esti est sans doute un compromis, amené par les besoins de la rime, entre estei et estia»; Raimbaut d’Aurenga uses estic, probably for the rhyme (Pos tals).

7. Zingarelli prints ses in the text and gives the only variant as D sens. Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave prints sens (‘leur sens droit’, De Bartholomaeis ‘senno’) with no variants. CDa in fact clearly read sos, which indicates that the song with its epic tune redounds to the glory of those holding out in the siege. The Occitan verb di could apply to the song as well as talk of their praiseworthy deeds, though it is hard to find an inclusive translation.

8. As Krispin points out, Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave las is no doubt a misprint.

11-16. For the background to such accusations against Frederick II see Zingarelli, pp. 6-7.

19. Vennasqu’: Venasque, the old capital of the Venaissin (comitatus Venduascinus), nowadays a simple commune of the Carpentras arrondissement (Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave).

20. Uzetge (from Uceticum): the “pays d’Uzès”; Melguer (modern Mauguio); Boazo: Bozouls, now the administrative centre of the Aveyron, 16 km. N-E of Rodez. For these and further details see Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave, p. 201.

22. King Peter II of Aragon died at the battle of Muret in 1213.

23-24. Raymond VII had been in alliance with Frederick II in 1240 but abandoned it in 1241. Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave observe that Uc is warning him not to renew his alliance, which could bring him further humiliations (p. 158). They understand preza as ‘prey’ (p. 202): «“S’il revient à la proie” (faite sur lui pour la reprendre): tornar a la p. doit être synonyme de rescodre la preza (Levy, preza, 3e ex.)». Their translation ‘il revient à l’attaque à cette occasion’ is an approximation; Uc is accusing Raymond of using Frederick’s war as a pretext to try to regain his lost territory with the emperor’s support. For per aital ochaizo see DOM2 ocazion c. ‘prétexte’ and h. per o. de ‘à cause de, pour’ and i. per, sotz o. ‘sous le prétexte’. Krispin prefers ‘torna’, claiming that the sense ‘recouvrer’ «est bien attesté pour ‘tornar’ dans l’ancienne langue», though this is not corroborated on DOM2 and would give a less satisfactory sense.

25. Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave (p. 202, following Zingarelli) observe that it is unclear why the king of France should be called a falcon, son of an eagle: this no doubt refers to his valour, though the need to echo the image ending the previous stanza no doubt had a strong influence on Uc’s choice. Given that the Hohenstaufens’ symbol was an eagle the image here remains rather odd. «Quand les attestations a. occ. évoquent l’aigle, c’est surtout pour illustrer des qualités exemplaires (supériorité, force, vue perçante, jeunesse qui se renouvelle), qualités auxquelles l’aigle doit sa fonction privilégiée d’emblème de pouvoirs temporels, de symbole chrétien ou d’épithète laudative» (DOM2). The eagle was sometimes an emblem for Christ: see DOM2, e. Was the idea to signal the king of France’s alliance with the Church?

26-30. The kings of England had attempted on several occasions to recover their old domains in France which had been taken back by Philip Augustus. Henry III’s expedition in 1231 had failed, and it was natural that he should seek the support of his brother-in-law Frederick II. In 1238 he sent troops to Italy to help him against the Lombard cities (Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave, p. 158; De Bartholomaeis, p. 155).

29. ·l paes: Attempts to deal with this unspecified location have all been unsatisfactory; all have accepted the common manuscript readings as valid, even though they give a very feeble sense. Zingarelli identified ‘the land’ as the Chartrain, but Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave (p. 202) argued that at that time this was a dependent of the county of Blois and could not have been part of the confiscation of 1202 (compare Elizabeth M. Hallam, Capetian France 987-1328, London and New York 1980, p. 130: by the treaty of Le Goulet of 1200 John was to hold all Richard’s former fiefs from Philip Augustus, but in 1201 John threatened the Lusignans’ Poitevin possessions, the Lusignans appealed to their suzerain Philip who summoned John to his court in 1202. «John failed to appear, and it is probable that Philip and his barons judged that he should forfeit all his lands as a penalty», and see also p. 183). The editors wondered whether it might refer to «un des nombreux ‘pays’ compris dans la Haute-Normandie (Caux, Bray, Auge, etc.), ou le mot ne serait-il qu’une cheville et s’appliquerait-il à toutes les régions usurpées par la France?». De Bartholomaeis retains ‘il Paese [di Chartres]’ without comment. The word paes is likely to mask another specific geographical location. A possibility is Aspes, a region linked with Gascony in the Canso d’Antioca: E apres esperono Proensal e Gasco, / Aspes e Orsales, cil devas Olairo (The ‘Canso d’Antioca’. An Occitan Epic Chronicle of the First Crusade, ed. Carol Sweetenham and Linda M. Paterson, Aldershot 2003, vv. 680-81). In a previous exemplar the end of a line after el could perhaps have been obscured and the following line begun with pes, leading to a scribe making a guess at the word to make local sense. For an example of Aspes as the location see the Chanson de la croisade contre les Albigeois, ed. Eugène Martin-Chabot, 3 voll., Paris 1931-1961, 89.3, E ac i roters de Navars e d’Aspes. Aspes was part of the Béarn, which had moved gradually away from dependence on Aragon and into the sphere of influence of the dukes of Gascony in the early part of the thirteenth century. During the reign of Henry III Viscount Gaston VII Moncade of Béarn was obliged to acknowledge his vassalage to the kings of England, the then dukes of Gascony. In 1232 the seneschal of Gascony Hugh of Vivonne received royal letters containing the names of all his Gascon vassals, which included Garsende de Béarn, Gaston VII’s guardian. ‘Cette tutelle théorique ne se manifesta guère tout d’abord qu’en matière financière; elle se traduisit, en 1242, par une cérémonie d’hommage’. When Henry III arrived on the continent in May 1242 in the hope of reconquering Poitou, he summoned all his Gascon vassals, and Gaston VII arrived with the largest contingent of armed men. Tucoo-Chala observes that it is unsure whether Gaston was on the English side at the time of the defeats of Taillebourg and Saintes in July 1242, but that he appears to have followed all the king’s movements at this time, and on 25 December 1242 he paid homage to Henry III for the Béarn (Pierre Tucoo-Chala, La Vicomté de Béarn et le problème de sa souveraineté, des origines à 1620, Bordeaux 1961, pp. 58-60). 1240-1241 was therefore a critical moment for the king of France, as an English attack on French territories was looming. (It is to Henry’s imminent invasion and the events of the 1242 southern uprising that Peire del Vilar’s Sendatz vermelhs, endis e ros (BdT 365.1) also probably refers, urging the English king to cobrar Guianes / e Normandia, vv. 22-23). But why would Uc choose Aspes as the rhyme-word? He could have satisfied the demands of the rhyme by writing ‘Bearn (for example) e.l Guianes’; but perhaps Aspes was simply how he thought of that region of the Pyrenees.

32-34. De Bartholomaeis (pp. 155-56) comments that there is no proof that Frederick intended to cross into France in 1239-1240, even if he managed to pacify Lombardy, though people may have attributed such an intention to him in order to induce Louis IX to intervene in Italian affairs. If he had had such an intention, the resistance of Milan and the hostility of Alberic da Romano would have prevented him from doing so. Alberic had opposed Frederick in 1239 and was at the siege of Ferrara in early 1240 alongside the cardinal legate Gregory of Montelongo.

33. For another example of the unusual third person singular nominative personal pronoun ilh, also in ms. C, see BdT 401.8, 48, que, s’ilh passa, pus tost n’er tot conques (Raimon Gaucelm de Béziers, Poesie, ed. Anna Radaelli, Florence 1997, p. 184).

39-40. De Bartholomaeis (p. 156) comments that no other source corroborates the idea of a Guelf plan to invade the Regno, though this was more than likely; in any case it could not have been the troubadour’s own idea.

41-42. The bishop elect of Valence was William I of Savoy, a supporter of Frederick until 1238 and then of the pope. He died suddenly in 1239 and there were rumours of poisoning; Jeanroy-Salverda de Grave (p. 159) comment that v. 42 seems to suggest that the emperor was suspected of this. The two princes mentioned in v. 41 are William’s brothers, Amédée and Thomas of Savoy, the latter’s wife being Joan of Flanders. Thomas had been a declared enemy of the emperor, and if Uc says he should not help him, this suggests that he had grown closer to him. Amédée was on good terms with him (Zingarelli, pp. 11-13).

[LP, lb]

BdT    Uc de Saint Circ