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Shepard, William P.; Chambers, Frank M.. The poems of Aimeric de Peguilhan . Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1950

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This edition of the poems of Aimeric de Peguilhan was begun a number of years ago by the late Mr. Shepard (died 19 November 1948). He had established critical texts and made translations of all the poems, and had written notes for the first nineteen. Then, increasing ill-health compelled him to give up the idea of ever completing the edition, and he turned his material over to me for that purpose. Unfortunately, in the process of transfer, everything connected with the poems numbered fourteen through nineteen was lost. I had, therefore, to reestablish the text of these poems, to translate them, and to write notes for them as well as for poems twenty to fifty-two. Since, however, Mr. Shepard had already published separate editions of a few of the later poems, I drew freely on these for the notes. For the Introduction, the text of the Vida, the list of proper names, the glossary, and the work of assembling the edition, I alone am responsible. Furthermore, since Mr. Shepard’s texts were not actually ready for the printer, I had to copy and check all that he had done, including the texts and all the variant readings. In doing so, I occasionally took the liberty of introducing readings closer to those of the MSS, which Mr. Shepard had altered. For example, where he had given the text of one MS in the orthography of another, I uniformly adhered to the orthography of the MS used as a base. This seemed to me far less arbitrary than an attempt to regularize the spelling, which was not carried out consistently in any case. In a very few lines, I have ventured to differ with Mr. Shepard’s interpretation, but never, I think, without giving due consideration to his opinion, for which I have learned to feel the greatest respect. It is likely that he himself, on revising his work, would have made a good many of the changes that I introduced.

The task of proving that poem 31 was not written by Aimeric was largely mine; and the rejection of poem 53 is wholly my work (see the section on attributions).

The edition is, however, to some extent the result of a real collaboration. Mr. Shepard and I spent a few days together one summer discussing the edition, and we exchanged numerous letters concerning it. His health permitted him to read the first draft of that part of the Introduction which deals with the life of the poet, and he suggested a few changes and additions. Some ideas later incorporated into other sections of the Introduction, and into the notes that I wrote for the individual poems, likewise came in the first place from him. And, on the other hand, he repeatedly asked my opinion concerning the work he had already done.

I should perhaps say here, once and for all, that I am not entirely responsible for the rather extensive changes made in the text and notes of certain poems that Mr. Shepard had published separately. He introduced many of them himself into the texts that he turned over to me. But here also I carried out the principle enunciated above of adhering as closely as possible to the readings and orthography of the MS serving as base.

Our readings are taken from the printed diplomatic editions of the MSS designated ABDcFaGHLOPQSUa1c (see Pillet-Carstens, Bibliographie der Troubadours, Halle, 1933), though in some cases Mr. Shepard checked these editions with the MSS themselves. For the others, Mr. Shepard made copies directly from the MSS. In addition, I have checked these latter readings from photostats made for Mr. Shepard (and given by him to the Hamilton College Library), from microfilms of the Modern Language Association of America series deposited in the Library of Congress, or directly from the manuscripts.

The poems are arranged in this edition according to the numbering of Pillet-Carstens, based on that of Bartsch (see the Bibliography). This seemed more satisfactory and less confusing than an attempt to rearrange the poems according to a systematic classification by genres or by dates.

The bibliographical material given for each poem includes only critical editions and such other editions as are not listed in Pillet-Carstens.

The variants are meant to be fairly complete, apart from merely orthographical differences. I believe that no variant which seriously affects the meaning has been omitted.

I should like to express my thanks to the librarians of the Hamilton College library, the Library of Congress, and the J. P. Morgan Library of New York (owner of MS. N), for their kindness in lending me photostats and microfilms and in supplying information. I wish also to thank the Modern Language Association of America (and particularly Mr. W. T. Pattison, of the Committee on Photographic Reproductions) for arranging to have some of these microfilms made, at my request; and Miss Mary Hilton and Miss Virginia Casey, of the Deering Library of Northwestern University, for securing various interlibrary loans. I am indebted to the Committee on Research of the Northwestern University Graduate School for a grant which enabled me to purchase certain microfilms. And I wish to thank my wife for patient and invaluable help in preparing the manuscript for the printer.




Aimeric de Peguilhan was one of the last of the great Provençal poets. In his time, the Albigensian persecutions brought to an end the carefree life of many Southern courts, and ended likewise their generous patronage of literature. In Spain and in northern Italy the Provençal lyric found a haven for a while; Aimeric himself enjoyed the hospitality of both these countries. But a literature cannot hope to survive for long on foreign soil, and when the great poets died, none took their place. At length only the arid productions of the puis remained as an epitaph to this shortest-lived of all significant literatures. The soul of the Provençal lyric was gone; it had passed into Italian and French poems, and thence has pervaded most of the love poetry that the western world has produced.

At his best, Aimeric almost rivals Bernart de Ventadorn in his graceful and unusually sincere tenderness. But even his most violent partisan could hardly assign him a rank beside Bernart, for his moments of genius are all too rare, and the mass of his work provides abundant evidence of the monotony and triteness of Provençal poetry. Even when he is not distinguished, however, he has certain merits. For the most part, he avoids the wilful obscurity that mars the work of some of the best troubadours; his poems are simple and clear, his expression direct, his images apt and unstrained. His songs reveal a high-minded man of taste and discrimination, and in his tensos he usually defends the more idealistic alternative. It is also true that he never descends to the cynicism and the crudity which are common even in the more respectable troubadours. Aimeric’s poems are consistently noble in thought, if sometimes pedestrian in expression.

In the absence of any historical records, there are two main sources for the facts of Aimeric’s life: the Provençal Vida (the text of which immediately precedes the poems in this edition), and his own verses. The Vida supplies a vague and not too reliable framework for a biography; but at least it is not derived entirely from the poems themselves (as is often true), and so has, in a sense, the authority of an independent source. From the allusions in the poems to historical personages and events, one can piece together the probable course of the author’s life; but here too the references are distressingly vague, and the people in many cases cannot be identified with certainty, either because the names are not explicit (Count, Lady), or because the persons themselves are unknown (Saladon). Nevertheless, a fair number of great names are found in the poems and in the envois, and make it possible to supplement and correct the Vida with more specific information, and to set approximate dates for the main events of Aimeric’s career.

His family must have come originally from the village of Péguilhan, in the department of Haute-Garonne, near Saint-Gaudens; but Aimeric himself, according to the Vida, was born in Toulouse. A certain Pons de Peguilhan was consul of Toulouse in 1202; (1) we have no other historical records of the family. The date of Aimeric’s birth we may fix, for reasons which I shall give in a moment, not later than 1175. The Vida, from which alone we know something of his early life, says that his father was a cloth-merchant. “And he learned songs and sirventes; but he sang very badly. And he fell in love with a townswoman, his neighbor, and that love showed him how to compose, and he made about her many good songs. But her husband picked a quarrel with him and did him dishonor; Aimeric avenged himself by wounding him in the head with a sword; wherefore he had to leave Toulouse and go into exile.” There are two possible echoes of this in the extant poems. In one (34), Aimeric deplores the fact that love is no longer what it was in the days before he was exiled. And Guillem de Berguedan may be alluding to this adventure in the final thrust of his partimen with Aimeric: “Valiant Sir Aimeric, don’t try to brag! For if you loved as much as you boast (that you do), you would not have come so far away from Toulouse.”

Aimeric addresses a poem (7) to a Count of Toulouse, who in all probability is Raymond VI (born 1156, ruled 1194–1222). Another poem (51), addressed simply to a “Count,” may also be meant for Raymond. And some MSS (which we follow in our texts) address two poems (21, 46) to the “Queen of Toulouse” —Eleanor, wife of Raymond, who was so called by the troubadours because she was the daughter of a king, Alfonso II of Aragon. It was not unusual, in speaking of ladies who married men of lesser rank than themselves, to give them the title which they might have claimed by right of birth. If these envois are authentic, then Aimeric dedicated three and possibly four poems to the Count and the “Queen” of Toulouse. When did he know these people? In the first place, it is not necessary to suppose that he met Eleanor in Toulouse, for she was the sister of one of Aimeric’s Spanish patrons, Peter II of Aragon, and she did not marry Raymond until 1200, when she was still extremely young. So it is quite possible that Aimeric came to know her in Spain, after he had left Toulouse. This is indeed likely, for her name is joined in these envois with those of the king and prince of Castile. As for Raymond, nothing tells us whether Aimeric knew him before he left Toulouse, or whether he met him later. In any case, both the envoi that is certainly meant for Raymond and the one that may be for him indicate that the poems were sent to the Count (perhaps from Spain), not delivered in person. We may therefore assume that if Aimeric knew Raymond before going to Spain, it was only briefly.

On leaving Toulouse, then, according to the Vida, Aimeric “went to Catalonia; Guillem de Berguedan received him, and helped him and his poetry, and gave him his palfrey and his garments, and presented him to King Alfonso of Castile, who advanced him in arms and in honor. And he stayed in those regions a long time.”

The only monument we have to the friendship between Aimeric and Guillem is the partimen (19) between the two on the subject: Whether it is better to love without return, or to be loved without being in love oneself. The cynical Guillem chooses the second alternative, as promising greater reward, and Aimeric defends the first.

Guillem de Berguedan was from Bergá, near Barcelona, and is the author of some twenty sirventes and a few other poems, often very obscure and very indecent —not at all the sort of thing one would expect Aimeric to like. But we may be grateful to him for helping our poet with his horse and his cast-off clothing (fairly common gifts to troubadours), and especially for introducing him to the King of Castile. Throughout his life, Aimeric was singularly fortunate in securing the good-will of the great. Whether through Guillem or in some other way, he came into the good graces not only of Alfonso of Castile, but also of Peter II of Aragon; and he undoubtedly spent some time in both courts, for he addresses a total of eleven poems to these kings and their families.

His stay in Spain, more than anything else, helps to fix the date of Aimeric’s birth. His encounter with Guillem de Berguedan tells us that he must have come to Spain before 1200, since Guillem seems to have died that time.(2) His envois to the king of Aragon provide a further limitation.

Aimeric directs seven poems (14, 20, 27, 38, 42, 43, 49), by envois, to a King of Aragon, not otherwise designated. But in the poem En aquelh temps (26), he laments the death of several patrons, among them King Peter of Aragon, who can only be Peter II (1196–1213). It seems natural, therefore, to assume that all these other poems were also meant for Peter. Jeanroy(3) attributes two of them to Peter’s son James, and supposes that Aimeric made at least two trips to Spain. This seems to be a purely gratuitous assumption, and on the whole a rather improbable one, since Aimeric was in Italy shortly before James’s accession (1213), and nothing indicates that he ever left that country again. The two envois that Jeanroy would claim for James (14, 42) contain these words: “King of Aragon, whoever sees your joyous countenance may well say, ‘From a good father comes a good child’” (14), and “To the good King, son of a good father, go your way, Song, into Aragon” (42). These expressions imply that the king had only recently come to the throne, at the death of his father; but I see no objection to applying them to the early years of Peter, whose rule began in 1196. Aimeric may or may not have known Peter’s father, Alfonso II; but at least Alfonso left a good reputation behind him, which Peter himself did not, having died at the battle of Muret, fighting against the Christian army of the Albigensian crusaders. And since Aimeric actually names only one King of Aragon in his poems, I think we are safe in giving all these envois to that one —Peter II.

We have seen, however, that at least two of Aimeric’s poems were addressed to that king in the early years of his reign, which would mean shortly after 1196. This, of course, fits in perfectly with the date we have given above for Aimeric’s encounter with Guillem de Berguedan. Working back from this, and remembering that Aimeric had had amorous adventures and had composed poems before coming to Spain, we must place his birth at least as far back as 1175.(4)

Three poems of Aimeric are addressed to Alfonso VIII, King of Castile (1158–1214). In one (21), his name and kingdom are expressly stated; in another (50),(5) he is called only “King of Castile”; the third (24) is addressed only to “King Alfonso.” But there is little doubt that the second and third, as well as the first, refer to Alfonso VIII. “King Alfonso” also stands in the list of lately deceased patrons in En aquelh temps (26), along with “his fair son”; although not otherwise identified, this is undoubtedly the Infante Ferdinand, who died in 1211, around the age of twenty-two. Another poem (46), addressed to the “Infante of Castile,” is meant for the same prince.

We have already mentioned two envois to the “Queen of Toulouse.” But other MSS give one (21) to “the well-taught Queen,” and the other (46), to “peerless Queen Eleanor.” If these envois occurred alone, these variants would call for no comment here; but in both, this lady shares the honors with a member of the royal family of Castile —with Alfonso in one and the Infante in the other. Now, Alfonso’s wife was named Eleanor (as was the “Queen of Toulouse”); and if we followed these MSS, we should normally think that the poet had the Queen of Castile in mind, in view of the company she keeps. The identification is not absolutely certain; but it seems to us that the reading “Queen of Toulouse” would be more liable to modification by scribes than the other forms we have quoted, and we take it for the original name.

Several other persons share these Spanish envois. The name of a certain “Countess of Sobeiratz” is linked with that of Alfonso (24). This is presumably Elvira de Sobiratz, wife of Ermengaud VIII (1183–1208), the last Count of Urgel; she is praised by both the other Aimerics (de Sarlat and de Belenoi), as well as by our poet.(6)

The name of Gaston VI of Béarn occurs twice (42, 49); on both occasions, his partner in honor is Peter of Aragon. Gaston ruled over a considerable region around Pau. From the eleventh century on, most of the Viscounts of Béarn had acknowledged allegiance to no sovereign; but the kings of Aragon claimed them as vassals, and Gaston was quick to appeal to Peter II when his land was invaded by the crusaders. Neither poem was written at the court of Aragon, for in the other envois Aimeric bids them both to go into Aragon. It is quite possible, then, that Aimeric was visiting Gaston when he wrote the poems, although the Vida says nothing of such a visit.

The Count of Comminges is praised in an envoi (27), likewise in the company of Peter II. The County of Comminges lay not far to the southwest of Toulouse; its seat, Muret, was the scene of a great battle during the Albigensian Crusade. Like Béarn, Comminges owed some sort of allegiance to Aragon; it is natural, therefore, that the ruler of Comminges should be connected in this envoi with the King of Aragon. The Count at this time was Bernard IV (1181–1226).(7)

This Bernard of Comminges married Mary of Montpellier in 1197, and divorced her in 1204.(8) Now, one MS (C) joins the name of the Countess of Commings with that of Peter II. The poem in question (14) is one that we have already dated early in Peter’s reign, so the time would fit perfectly; and I am inclined to believe that the envoi to the Countess is genuine, even though the other MSS omit it. If it is authentic, then Aimeric was something of a prophet, for he linked thus the names of a future husband and wife: in the same year that Mary was divorced from Bernard, she married Peter of Aragon.(9) Another poem (43), addressed to Peter, to a Countess Mary (who may be Mary of Montpellier-Comminges), and to the Marquis of Montferrat, causes very serious difficulties. It will be discussed among the Italian poems.

In addition to the envois, the list of patrons in En aquelh temps (26) presents four Spanish names. Three we have already mentioned. The fourth is “En Dieguo,” who is to be identified with Diego López de Haro, a lord of Vizcaya.

This completes the list of Aimeric’s Spanish and semi-Spanish patrons, and, incidentally, the list of his poems that we know to have been composed in Spain or near it. They are all chansos, addressed, apart from the envois, to unnamed ladies, to Love, and the like. Not one of them refers to any historical event or to any identifiable person. Not a word in any of them helps to define Aimeric’s relations with his noble patrons. The poem En aquelh temps makes it clear that some of them were his patrons (a fact which we should have taken for granted anyway), but nothing more than that. We cannot know whether the poet went first to the court of Aragon or to that of Castile, how long he stayed in either kingdom, what he did while he was there, whether he actually visited the little courts of southern France, and many other interesting things. Diez(10) arranges several of the poems into a Liebesroman, in which Aimeric’s real or pretended amorous adventures are put into a logical sequence; but I fear the sequence is somewhat arbitrary. One can group together certain poems on similar themes —for example, 46 and 14 (the poet begins to see the faithlessness of one lady and the kindness of another, whom he had neglected for the first); 20, 42, 51 (he dares not reveal his love, because of his lady’s high rank). But how is one to connect these two groups, or to fit in number 7, which refers to a new love which has severed him from an old one; but here the new lady does not love him, while in 14 she loved him before he loved her? I am afraid that ingenuity finds little reward in such endeavors, which can lead at best only to more or less plausible hypotheses.

It is certain, however, that after spending several years in Spain, Aimeric left there and went to Italy. One MS of the Vida (R) says that he stopped at Toulouse, in the guise of a sick relative of the King of Castile, to see his first love, whose husband was away on a pilgrimage to Santiago; but this little tale is probably apochryphal. It is likely, however, that one and perhaps two of Aimeric’s partimens are to be dated between his departure from Spain and his arrival in Italy.

Robert Meyer, in his study on Gaucelm Faidit, dates the partimen in which Aimeric engaged with the poet (28) “after 1207”;(11) he thinks that it was composed in southern France, perhaps at the court of Raimon d’Agout. The poets choose Raymond Roger of Foix (ruled 1188–1223) for their arbiter in this debate, a fact which would certainly place the poem before the Albigensian Crusade, in which the Count of Foix suffered much, and would have had other things on his mind than judging such trifles. We are probably safe in placing the poem in the year 1208. It is likely, furthermore, that the partimen with Elias d’Ussel (37) was written at about the same time, possibly in the same place; for Elias and Gaucelm had literary relations with each other,(12) and we have nothing else to go by in placing this poem.

Aimeric may also have stopped at Aups (in Provence) to make the acquaintance of Blacatz, to whom he sends a chanso (8) by this envoi “Song, go and tell Sir Blacatz in Provence that he gives worth to worthiness and repute to the reputable, for one cannot, praising him, overpraise him; his worth is so worthy and so true.”

I see no reason to discredit the statement of the Vida that Aimeric went immediately to Montferrat upon reaching Italy. The Marquisate of Montferrat lay near to France (in Piedmont, around Casale), and the lords of Montferrat had shown themselves liberal patrons of the poetry of Provence. Precisely when Aimeric arrived there is another matter. Assuming that he went to Spain around 1197, that he stayed there eight or ten years (“a long time” says the Vida), and that he took ayear or two to reach Italy (and these are only guesses), then he would have come to Montferrat around 1208 or 1209. These dates fit what we have said above about the partimen with Gaucelm Faidit, and also suit the time of his arrival at the court of Este, which we can fix somewhat more accurately.(13)

Peire Vidal and Raimbaut de Vaqueiras had preceded Aimeric at the court of Montferrat, and Raimbaut especially had won the esteem and friendship of Marquis Boniface I (1192–1207). Boniface had made him a knight and had taken him along on the Fourth Crusade. Both lord and poet died in the East, presumably in Boniface’s kingdom of Thessalonica. This kingdom was given to Boniface during the Crusade, to console him for not having been chosen emperor. At his death, he left it to his younger son Demetrius, while his older son William IV took charge of the lands in Italy. Demetrius was driven out in 1222 by the Prince of Epirus. In 1224, William organized an army to reinstate his brother in Thessalonica, but died (1225) before he could start out.(14)

If our dates are correct, it was William IV (1207–1225) whom Aimeric met at Casale or at Moncalvo (“Moncal”), and to whom he addressed two poems. One is that, already mentioned (43), sent by three envois to the King of Aragon, to a “Countess Mary,” and to the Marquis of Montferrat. Here are the three envois: “King of Aragon, every day your noble deeds grow more abundant, because you know how to season them so nicely with friendliness and good manners. —I should hardly believe myself that I once saw the lordly marquis (lo marques emperial) at Montferrat or at Moncal, if I should not see him there another time. —The Countess Mary is so good that, as God help me, I know no lady with more good qualities and with fewer bad ones, unless one should wrong her.” This is rather puzzling. Were it not for the second envoi, which can be meant only for the Marquis of Montferrat, we could refer the last to Mary of Comminges; but it seems unlikely that Aimeric had been at the court of Montferrat in 1204, when

Mary ceased to be Countess of Comminges. Bergert(15) takes the “imperial marquis” literally, and refers it to Boniface of Montferrat at the time of the capture of Constantinople (April 12, 1204), when there was talk of making him emperor. Mary’s marriage to Peter II was celebrated on June 15 of that year, and Aimeric might not have heard of her separation from Bernard when he wrote the poem. Schultz-Gora(16) thinks, as I do, that to Aimeric the “Marquis of Montferrat” is always William IV, and that the poem was written later than 1204. He identifies “Countess Mary” as Mary of Auramala. Bergert objects that the title does not fit her, and that Aimeric is accurate in his use of titles. I think the Countess Mary must remain a problem; but even if we leave her out of account, it is strange that Aimeric should have directed his poem to patrons as far removed from each other as the King of Aragon and the Marquis of Montferrat. And, incidentally, although the envois imply that the poem was not written at Montferrat, they do not imply that it was written away from the court of Aragon; this is a further complication. There is the possibility that Aimeric used the same poem more than once, merely taking off an old envoi and adding a new one; then the copyists, finding several envois attached to the same poem, simply copied them all into their anthologies. That may be what happened here. If so, then the Countess Mary is in all likelihood Mary of Comminges, and the poem in its original form belongs to Aimeric’s Spanish sojourn. The envoi to the Marquis of Montferrat was then added and the poem sent back to him after Aimeric had left his domains.

The other poem addressed to William of Montferrat is a crusade song (11). In it, Aimeric pleads with the Marquis to take the cross, and praises William of Malaspina for having already done so; he also recalls the glorious deeds of earlier lords of Montferrat: “Marquis of Montferrat, your forbears held the glory and honor of Syria; and may you, Lord, wish to have it too. In God’s name, put on the holy sign and pass over yonder, for that will give you fame and honor in this world, and salvation in God.” Lewent(17) places the poem in the spring of 1213, when Innocent III began to urge a new crusade to accomplish what the Fourth had been turned aside from doing: namely, to reconquer the Holy Sepulcher. In 1213, Philip Augustus and Frederick II were hostile to John of England and Otto IV, and are doubtless the “kings and emperors” blamed in the poem for not making peace among themselves. The crusade was to be discussed in the Lateran Council of 1215; meanwhile, many took the cross, but few showed any inclination to depart for the East. The Marquis of Montferrat did not take the cross, and eventually, because of the apathy of the Christian rulers, the whole plan was abandoned, or rather postponed.

Since none of the poems of Aimeric can be assigned definitely to his stay in Montferrat, we may conclude either that the poems he wrote there have been lost, or that he remained only a short while.(18) If he arrived around 1209, as we think, then the latter conclusion is probably the correct one, as we shall see.

Although the Marquis of Montferrat is the only Italian patron named in the Vida, the extant poems show that he held a far less important position in Aimeric’s life than did the families of Este and Malaspina. It is to them that Aimeric must have gone on leaving Montferrat, and probably first to the court of Este. He was there in 1212, and he was at the court of Malaspina in 1220. It is a comfort to find a few easily determinable fixed points in Aimeric’s career, which up to now has been so vague; 1212 is actually the very first date of his life that we know with certainty. In general, the Italian poems of Aimeric contain a comparative abundance of historical and personal allusions, which allow us to place them with some accuracy. Unlike those written in Spain, they are not exclusively concerned with the poet’s real or imagined loves (though these are by no means neglected), and the patrons are not always relegated to a brief envoi. In addition to a number of chansos, there are four funeral laments composed in Italy, and several tensos, coblas, and sirventes.

Azzo VI of Este (1196–1212), whose marquisate lay around Ferrara and Verona, ruled the latter city jointly with the Count of San Bonifazio from 1207 to 1212. In 1212, both men died within a short time of each other, in the month of November.(19) Since Aimeric was at the court of Este, it was only natural that he should couple the names of the two nobles in the planh or funeral song, that he wrote for the occasion. Actually, he composed two planhs, in both of which both names appear.(20) It may be that he was dissatisfied with the first poem, and wrote another. One (48) is preserved in only two MSS, and may be the rejected first poem, though the second (30) is by no means a reworking of it. Or Aimeric may have felt that two deaths called for two poems, lest it be thought that he was economizing his effort. Whatever the reason for the duplication, it is evident that the main subject of both poems is the Marquis of Este, and that the Count of San Bonifazio is added because of his association with Azzo and because of the coincidence of their deaths.

Azzo’s virtues were those dear to the troubadours: generosity first of all, and then courtesy, kindness, and the ability to recognize and reward merit. Perhaps because he died shortly after Aimeric came to Este, Azzo appears in Aimeric’s poems only as a dear memory, rather than as a living friend. He is named in that goodly company of patrons whom Aimeric calls over, sadly and lovingly, at the beginning of the famous invocation to Frederick II (26), to which we have referred several times: Alfonso of Castile and his son; Peter of Aragon; Diego; the Marquis of Este; Saladon... they are all dead; who remains? Aimeric addresses no poems to Azzo, but his extreme gratitude argues more than a passing acquaintance in the Marquis’s last days. I think we must set his arrival at the court of Este not later than 1210.(21)

The family of Este was one of the oldest and most distinguished of the Italian noble houses. In the thirteenth century, they gained quite a reputation as patrons of Provençal poetry; but it appears that Aimeric was among the first to profit from their hospitality.(22) Bertoni is, I think, exaggerating when he says that Azzo VI was for Aimeric what Boniface of Montferrat was for Raimbaut de Vaqueiras;(23) I should like to reserve that place for William Malaspina, since Aimeric’s acquaintance with Azzo cannot have lasted very long; but it is clear that Azzo welcomed him kindly and hospitably.

Azzo had two sons, Aldobrandino and Azzo, and at least two daughters, Beatrice and Costanza. Aldobrandino succeeded his father in 1212, but died three years later, leaving only a daughter, Beatrice. Azzo VII, therefore, succeeded his brother in 1215. We can probably put in that year a tenso (35) which Aimeric wrote with Guillem Raimon. This poem has to do with a young marquis who has just come into the title, and with whom the poets are not very well pleased. The grievances are vague, but among other things Guillem expresses the hope that the young man may resemble his father or his brother; Aimeric replies that he is the son of his mother. The mention of the father and brother would point to Azzo VII, whose father and brother had preceded him in the marquisate. The verses occur in only one MS (H), which attributes them to Guillem Raimon and “N’Aimeric”; thus it is not absolutely certain that they are the work of Aimeric de Peguilhan. If he wrote them, and if he had in mind Azzo VII, even though the verses may have been written jestingly, they show a certain lack of taste not elsewhere apparent in the works of Aimeric. At all events, the poet must not have liked Azzo VII as well as his father, for he mentions him nowhere else in his poems, though he asks Azzo’s wife to judge a question of amorous casuistry.

There is, however, one other member of the Este family to whom Aimeric sings with evident admiration and gratitude: Beatrice. Beatrice took an interest in Aimeric, and was repaid with the paternal adoration and jocose love-making of the poet. So, I think, we must interpret the poems in which Aimeric professes to be languishing for love of the beautiful young Beatrice, who will have none of his love. Perhaps I should make it clear, however, that Aimeric nowhere makes love to “Beatrice of Este.” He addresses poems to her by envois, often joining her name with that of William Malaspina; but the full name never occurs in the body of his poems. He makes love (particularly in the descort, 45) to “Lady Beatrice,” who also figures in two envois, once in the company of the same William Malaspina. To complicate matters, he wrote a planh at the death of a “Countess Beatrice.” Are these all the same lady? And who was she, or who were they?

Beatrice, daughter of Azzo VI (born 1191),(24) was, according to contemporary accounts, a girl of great beauty and virtue, who spent her youth “amid the pomp and favors of the world, amid ornaments and vanities of divers kinds, as is the custom of noble women of society.”(25) But before the age of thirty, she wearied of this worldly life and entered a nunnery, probably between 1218 and 1220. She founded the Convent of San Giambattista at Gemmola, where she died in 1226, in the odor of sanctity.(26)

This Beatrice’s niece, the daughter of Aldobrandino, was born around 1215. In 1234 she became the third wife of Andrew II of Hungary, but on the death of her husband she was so persecuted by her step-son Bela IV that she escaped in men’s clothing and returned to Italy. Like her aunt, she retired to the convent of Gemmola, where she died in 1245.(27)

A third Beatrice of Este, another niece of the first, and daughter of Azzo VII was born not before 1222, and died, likewise in a nunnery (that of San Antonio di Ferrara), before 1264.(28)

Aimeric is not alone in singing the praises of Beatrice of Este: Rambertino Buvalelli also addressed several poems to her.(29) Now, Rambertino died in 1221,(30) and could have written only for the daughter of Azzo VI. I see no reason whatever to doubt that she is also Aimeric’s Beatrice. True, Barbieri(31) and Diez(32) prefer the daughter ot Aldobrandino; but in their day, because of some poems wrongly ascribed to Aimeric, it was thought that he lived far into the thirteenth century, and this identification seemed the more likely of the two.

Some have thought that so saintly a maiden as Azzo VI’s daughter could not have inspired the purely secular praises of our poet; but if Rambertino wrote poems for her, why not Aimeric? Besides, she lived at the court until the age of twenty-seven or twenty-eight, presumably without declaring her intention of becoming a nun, and had plenty of time to receive the homage of our two poets. It is true that the troubadours generally sang for married ladies, but nothing compelled them to do so always; Raimbaut de Vaqueiras wrote for another unmarried Beatrice, the daughter of Boniface of Montferrat. And, finally, a conclusive argument in favor of the daughter of Azzo VI is that Aimeric often couples her name with that of William Malaspina, who died in 1220; at that time, the second Beatrice was five years old, and the third not yet born.

Beatrice of Este appears alone in the envoi of one song (16), and she is named three times (33, 34, 41) with William Malaspina, though I must admit that not all these envois appear in all the MSS. In addition, Aimeric chooses her for arbitress in a partimen (3) with Albert de Sestaron; Albert appeals to Emilia da Ravenna, the wife of Pietro Traversara.

Now, what about “Lady Beatrice,” who figures in two envois (2, 12)? Is she Beatrice of Este? Since her name is joined in one of these poems (12) with that of William Malaspina, the constant partner of Beatrice of Este in the other poems, I think we can be certain that she is the same lady.

So far, we have met Beatrice only in envois, clearly in the guise of a patroness. But in the poem Qui la vi en ditz (45), Aimeric makes love to a “Lady Beatrice.” Would this have been quite fitting, since marriage was normally required to let down the bars to love? I invite the reader to turn to the poem itself and form his own opinion. Personally, I see no real difficulty. In this poem, Beatrice is a noble lady, above Aimeric in rank, and from whom he expects no love in return for his affection, which he describes as ses enjan “without guile.” All he asks is that she listen to his prayer to her; if she will listen, he wants no other favor from any lady. Is it not possible to regard this as the playful expression of the half paternal affection that Aimeric felt for Beatrice, mingled with the conventional love of the troubadour for every lady to whom he wrote a poem?

One other problem remains in connection with Beatrice of Este. Is it she whose death Aimeric laments in the planh (22) for “Countess Beatrice,” perhaps the most touching of his funeral songs? That would certainly be the natural assumption. We are sure that Aimeric had a sincere regard for Beatrice of Este, and we have no indication that he even knew any other Beatrice. But two apparently insuperable obstacles stand in the way of this  identification. In the first place, Beatrice of Este was not a countess; in the second, she died a nun, and that fact is not mentioned in the poem. This lament, I suspect, has given rise to more research and more hypotheses than any other of Aimeric’s poems except Li fol e·il put (32). Every Beatrice at all contemporary with him has been passed in review and accepted by one critic, only to be rejected by another. Diez(33) suggests Beatrice of Provence, wife of Charles of Anjou; but she died in 1269, when Aimeric would have been a very old man; and we have no evidence that he was ever at the court of Provence. Éméric-David(34) supposes a Beatrice who married William of Malaspina; since his wife’s name was Este, she would then be the Beatrice of Este of the poems; unfortunately, her first name is unknown,(35) and this can only be a hypothesis. If it were true, it would solve nearly all our difficulties, and also answer a question I have avoided raising: Why does Aimeric so often link the names of Beatrice and William? Accepting Azzo VI’s daughter as our Beatrice of Este, we are forced back on the rather lame explanation that the coupling of their names was a coincidence: that Aimeric simply wished to honor both of them.

Zingarelly(36) and Bergert(37) review these and other nominations for the rôle of Countess Beatrice: Papon, Galvani, and Desimoni favor the daughter of Thomas I of Savoy, wife of Raymond Bérenguer I of Provence, and mother of Diez’s Countess Beatrice; but she also died very late for Aimeric (1266). Cavedoni(38) suggests the wife of Thomas I of Savoy; the date of her death is not known, but nothing indicates that Aimeric knew her or her court. Gröber(39) suggests the second Beatrice of Este, Aldobrandino’s daughter; but, as we have seen, she was not a countess but the daughter of a marquis and the widow of a king, and she too died in a convent. Torraca(40) proposes Beatrice of Mangona, who married Count Paolo Traversara in 1216. This Beatrice died young, before February 9, 1225.(41) She was the daughter of a count, the sister of counts, and the wife of a count. Both her title and the date of her death fit perfectly. It is even likely that Aimeric knew her. He addresses a poem (47) to “Lady Emilia,” presumably Emilia da Ravenna, who was the second wife of Pietro Traversara, and consequently in touch with the wife of his son Paolo. This Emilia, the reader may remember, was chosen for judge by Albert de Sestaron in his partimen (3) with Aimeric.

Bergert(42) half-heartedly follows Torraca in making Beatrice of Mangona the Countess Beatrice of the planh. He also agrees that it may be to her that the “Lady Beatrice” poems’ are addressed. I have already expressed my conviction that these latter poems are meant for Beatrice of Este. As for the planh, it does seem unlikely that it was written for the daughter of Azzo VI, and Beatrice of Mangona is the most promising substitute yet put forward. But I am reluctant, even in the face of all this evidence, to believe that the Beatrice of the planh is other than the Beatrice of Este of the chansos. The matter, to my mind, is not settled; perhaps it never will be.

Torraca was led to his discussion of the planh by his study of another Provençal poem, the famous treva (236, 5a) of Guillem de la Tor, which he dates(43) shortly before 1220. In this poem, the two sisters Selvaggia and Beatrice of Auramala are quarreling because of the mesclança e batailla that a poem of one Aimeric had raised between them; each is afraid that the other’s virtues may be praised above her own. Various ladies come to see them in order to effect a truce (treva), which they do apparently by simply suggesting it. The poet certainly does not tax his ingenuity to think of any solution of the difficulty; the poem’s only value lies in the list of names of which it mainly consists. First of all comes Beatrice of Este:

                        Na Biatritz i ven d’Est cui fins prez capdella,
                        del marqueset d’Est sor, on valors renovella;
                        e de Ravena i ven n’Esmilla cui apella
                        lis prez, e de Magon na Biatritz la bella... (44)

In these lines, sor is Torraca’s emendation for moiller, which is one syllable too long, and which also makes trouble because none of the Estes at that time had a wife named Beatrice. Torraca takes this Beatrice of Este to be the daughter of Azzo VI, sister ot Azzo VII, the “marqueset.” This gives some support to our conclusion that this is Aimeric’s Beatrice of Este. She was well known in her day, appearing first in this group of ladies, and has nothing of the future nun about her. It will be noticed that Beatrice of Mangona also figures here. But the reference to Aimeric is even more interesting. Torraca(45) seems to believe that it was Aimeric de Peguilhan who brought about the strife between Selvaggia and her sister. Bergert,(46) however, points out that none of our Aimeric’s extant poems mention Selvaggia or Beatrice of Auramala, whereas Aimeric de Belenoi does (9, 21). But it must be noted that Aimeric probably knew the sisters, as they were daughters of Conrad of Malaspina, the brother ot Aimeric’s William Malaspina; certain MSS even give to Conrad one poem (25) that others attribute to William. I think we must admit that either Aimeric could have caused the dissension.

Beatrice and Azzo VI were not the only members of the Este family to receive Aimeric’s homage. One MS (O) contains an envoi to Johanna, who married Azzo VII in 1221 and died in 1233. Zingarelli,(47) who quotes the envoi, admits that O is not a reliable source, and that it garbles the text of the poem in question (15). I think we may dismiss the envoi as spurious possibly imitated from that of another poem by Almene (2). But Aimeric definitely calls on this Johanna in one envoi (17): “Because Lady Johanna is most worthy and knows and perceives and understands, I wish her to decide justly which one should say of Love, good things or bad. Finally, some have thought Johanna the “lady baptized on Saint John’s day”:

Una domna leyal
Sai ieu qu’es de Plazensa,
Mas estai en Valensa...
E ten Guarda e Verona mandan,
E·s bateget lo jorn de sant Johan (40).

Zingarelli,(48) whom we follow in our interpretation, takes the whole stanza as a series of plays on words: Piacenza, pleasing; Valenza, worthy; Garda, prudence; Verona, sincerity; the last line would then mean that she was joyful (Johan, joia), or that she had virtues normally ascribed to Saint John. He attributes the stanza to Beatrice of Este. This he thinks more likely, since William Malaspina is mentioned in the envoi, which follows immediately; and Aimeric delights in putting Beatrice and William together.

William, Marquis of Malaspina and Massa (1194–1220),(49) was the nephew of Albert of Malaspina, who joined in a tenso with Raimbaut de Vaqueiras (15, 1). William’s interest in Provençal poetry was therefore no new thing in the family. About his life, our information is very scanty. The lands of the Malaspinas lay in Lunigiana (the region between Genoa and Tuscany, centering around Massa), but it is not clear which of these territories belonged to William and which to other branches of the family.(50) Aimeric expresses his opinion of William and defines their relations very succinctly: “The worthy William Malaspina upholds generosity and lady-service and courtesy and me” (41). In addition to the four envois already mentioned above, in which William’s name is paired with that of Beatrice, William appears in four other poems, which add something to our knowledge of the man. One is the crusade poem addressed to the Marquis of Montferrat, in which Aimeric praises William Malaspina for having already taken the cross (11). Since the crusade of 1213 was abandoned it is unlikely that William ever went to the Holy Land. The second poem (40), (containing the reference to the lady baptized on Saint John’s day), has this envoi: However much others may bestir themselves or oppose him, Malaspina stands firm and upright.” The third is the rather difficult Li fol e·il put e·il filhol (32).(51) In this, certain shameless and undeserving minstrels are shown thronging to Malaspina: “Now you will see the band and the troop comging towards Malaspina, of which they have the flesh and the hide.” While this is obscure, it seems to imply that Malaspina was a place much frequented by jongleurs (and poets), the bad as well as the good.

The fourth poem calls for a somewhat longer discussion. It is the famous planh for William (10), which we can date in 1220. Aimeric praises William for the qualities dear to the troubadours, and compares his patron to Alexander, to Gawain,(52) to Yvain, and to Tristan. After these conventional eulogies, Aimeric adds this stanza, which seems sincere: “Fair, dear, and worthy Lord, what shall I do now? How can I remain here alive longer without you? You treated me so well in words and deeds that all other favors I scorn, in comparison with yours. Certain men, on your account, were wont to honor and welcome me, who now will be like strangers whom I have never seen. I shall never, at any time, find one to take your place nor who will make amends for your loss. I do not believe that anyone can do that.” There can be little doubt that William Malaspina befriended Aimeric more than any other great lord whom he met in Italy, and that Aimeric repaid his benefience with a very genuine affection. The planh and the other poems give abundant proof of the high esteem in which the poet held him.(53) We may assume that Aimeric spent a considerable time with the Marquis, and, from one phrase in the planh (“how can I remain here alive longer without you?”), we might infer that he was present when William died. In any case, it is reasonable to believe that the bulk of his stay at Malaspina came after the death of Azzo VI (1212), though he may have known William earlier.

Five MSS (ADIKS) of one poem (25) name Conrad of Malaspina in an envoi where the majority have William. Jeanroy,(54) under the impression that there are only two such MSS, thinks that “Conrad” is a scribal error for “William.” I am not entirely convinced that this is true, even though the name does appear in company with that of Beatrice of Este. Indeed, I should say that for this very reason the scribes, having already come across William sharing the honors of the envois with Beatrice, would be inclined to substitute his name for that of Conrad, not the other way around. In our text, therefore, we read “Conrad,” realizing that we may be mistaken. Aimeric, of course, could easily have known Conrad through William.
This concludes the list of Aimeric’s known patrons, but not that of the Italian nobles to whom he refers. In the poem Li fol e·il put (32), he deplores the overrunning of the court of Saluzzo by disgusting and ill-spoken ministrels; this may indicate a first-hand acquaintance with conditions there. But since this is uncertain, I see no reason to go into the history of Saluzzo here.

There is, however, one politically important figure yet to be considered: the Emperor Frederick II. Frederick was born in Sicily, and spent much of his life there, surrounded by a court in which sprang up (somewhat later) a school of Italian poetry. Some have assumed that Frederick was also a patron of Provençal poetry; but this does not seem to be true. The Provençal poems addressed to him reflect, I believe, rather a political than a personal feeling of the authors. This appears to be the opinion of most scholars now.(55)

One of Aimeric’s poems to Frederick is pretty obviously the result of hearsay, not of personal acquaintance; this is En aquelh temps (26), to which I have referred time and time again because of the enumeration of Aimeric’s patrons which begins it. The poet continues in this vein: I was about to give up song, because I thought Worth and Largess dead; but now both are restored, for God has sent a great physician to heal them of their mortal illness —he is Frederick; Medicine, bid him make haste in doctoring. Diez (56) dates the poem shortly after Otto’s death (1218), when Frederick was generally recognized as King of the Romans. De Bartholomaeis(57) places it between September 3 and October 31, 1220. It was surely composed before Frederick’s coronation (November 22, 1220), since Aimeric does not call him “Emperor.” I think, furthermore, that it was written before the death of William Malaspina, whom Aimeric could hardly have failed to mention if he, like the poet’s other patrons, had been dead at the time.(58) In any case, this is apparently Aimeric’s first poem to Frederick in point of time. In writing it, he may have been hoping for gifts and hospitality.

Aimeric addressed love-lyrics to Frederick by these envois: “Because he knows more than the others and upholds wisdom and knowledge and everything good, the Emperor, who is worthy over the worthy, will know whether I speak well or ill”(52); and “Song, go, in my name and in Love’s, to the good, the tair, the valiant, the worthy man whom Latins and Germans serve and to whom they bow as to a good emperor. He has so much superiority over the highest, generosity and worth, honor and courtesy, sense and knowledge, judgment and discernment, (he who is) rich in riches to conquer rich worth”(15). These were written after Frederick’s coronation, and might imply that Aimeric had actually made his acquaintance; but I think we can hardly take it for granted, on the strength of these poems, that Aimeric ever lived at Frederick’s court. He may have been angling for an invitation that never came; or these poems may be a return for some trifling gift. There is, by the way, a possibility that Aimeric was favorably inclined toward the Emperor because the houses of Montferrat and Este were at first his partisans.

The rest of Aimeric’s poems written in Italy are mostly coblas and tensos with various poets, although there is also a poem which the author calls a fablel, with an envoi to Sordello. The other poets whom Aimeric met in Italy were Guillem Raimon, Albert de Sestaron, Bertram d’Aurel, Guillem Figueira, and a certain Lambert. With the exception of Sordello and possibly Bertram and Lambert, these men were all natives of southern France, who found hospitality in Italy.

Aimeric exchanges three sets of coblas with Guillem Figueira, who had come to Italy some time before 1220.(59) Guillem was apparently a boorish individual who prided himself on having little to do with members of polite society. These coblas, at any rate, are written in no lofty vein, but consist largely of insults hurled back and forth, or allusions to obscure brawls in which acquaintances of the two poets took part. Two of the sets of coblas (9, 36) belong to the second category, and call for no comment here.

The third (13) is more interesting. Guillem begins with this cobla: “Bertram d’Aurel, if Sir Aimeric should die before the Feast of Martyrs (All Saints’ Day), say: To whom would he leave his possessions and his riches which he won in Lombardy suffering cold and pain? The inn-keepers tell us that. But he made the medicine well and spoke great praise of the King (provided he considers that an honor).” The last sentence alludes clearly to Aimeric’s poem En aquelh temps, with its conceit of Frederick II as the physician come to heal Worth and Largess; De Bartholomaeis has used this fact and the allusion to All Saints’ Day to date En aquelh temps, as we have already seen. As for the rest of the cobla, it may be true that Aimeric had amassed a considerable fortune (a relative matter, of course) ato the homes of the rich; there is no doubt that he knew how to ingratrate himself with noble families.(60) Guillem implies that he did so with some sacrifice of personal comfort, perhaps at the cost of self-respect (so I interpret the lines); I am not able to refute the charge, but I hardly see that we are obliged to accept it as gospel truth, since insults are commonly based on exaggerations or on deliberate lies. However that may be, Aimeric gives as good as he received, inquiring of Bertram to whom Guillem would leave his false and treacherous heart, and who, at Guillem’s death, would conduct harlots and be the lord of tramps and topers.

Bertram says nothing about Aimeric’s wealth, but has a number of suggestions concerning the disposal of Guillem’s various qualities and possessions. Among other heirs, he names Sir Lambert as the fitting recipient of Guillem’s lechery. Lambert closes the series by expressing his satisfaction at the choice, and his perfect willingness to accept the legacy. I mention all this only because some have thought that this “Lambert” (otherwise unknown) was Rambertino Buvalelli, whose name is often written with an L. This identification has in its favor the fact that Rambertino was undeniable at the court of Este, and probably knew Aimeric there; but Bertino, in his edition of Rambertino, indignantly rejects the attribution of these coarse lines to his poet.(61) Bertram d’Aurel, the remaining participant, is completely unknown, save for a mention in another cobla (36), as having taken part in a fight with “Guillem del Dui-Fraire,” described as “the teacher of Sordello.”(62)

Sordello also exchanged coblas with Aimeric (7a). Aimeric hurls the first stone with a scornful mention of Sordello’s meek aeceptance of a blow over the head with a bottle. Sordello replies in kind: “I do not believe that a man ever saw a fellow so greedy as that old contemptible beggar Sir Aimeric with his doleful face. He who sees him is worse than dead; and although his body is twisted and thin and dried up and old and limp and halt, a thousand times as much he said...(63) as he ever did. “This confirms the accusation made by Guillem that Aimeric had put by a tidy sum, and encourages us to believe that the “cold and pain” mentioned by Guillem mean that Aimeric got his money by enduring the caprices of his patrons. Some of the poems (those to Frederick II, for example) may justify the beggar”; like many of his fellow poets, Aimeric was not slow in hinting for money. He praised several patrons for their generosity; but never, I think, in any of his extant poems, does Aimenc descend to means of begging that might be called “contemptible.” Sordello, however, may be referring to tactics that Aimeric used in person. Even more interesting than this characterization is the description of Aimeric’s physical appearance; it is particularly valuable since we have no other. One must remember, reading it, that Aimeric was at this time about fifty years old.(64) Apparently, with all his accumulated wealth, he had not taken on flesh. Whether we should accept literally the reference to his lameness and his twisted body, I cannot say.

In a poem (44) addressed to Sordello, Aimeric says that his lady thinks him too old to be a lover. He defends himself against the charge by alleging his aptitude for battle and by calling attention (somewhat complacently) to his cleverness and his discerning heart. He ends thus: “Messenger, bear my fablel [or flabel] into the Marches, to Sir Sordello, who will make a new and loyal judgment of it, as he is wont to do, so that I may be freed of blame.” This would seem to have been written before the coblas just quoted, for Aimeric hopes here that Sordello will clear him of the charge that Sordello himself makes in his cobla.(65) Uc de Saint-Circ likewise calls Aimeric old and unfit for love.(66)

We have already mentioned the coblas (35) with Guillem Raimon concerning the “young marquis,” and the partimen (3) with Albert de Sestaron, in which Beatrice of Este and Emilia of Ravenna are selected for judges. Aimeric also made a tenso (6) with the latter poet, on the subject “Nothing at all.”(67) This is simply a play of wits, and not a very good one. The place and date of composition of the poems with Albert de Sestaron may be fixed within certain limits because of the judges chosen for one of them (3): Emilia (a member of the Guidi family) did not marry Pietro Traversara, and thereby become Emilia of Ravenna, until 1216; and in 1220 Beatrice of Este was already a nun. So this poem lies between these two dates; the other (6) probably belongs to the same period, though, in view of the somewhat less formal tone, we may assume it to have been written second. As for the place, the best guess is Ferrara, at the Este court.(68)

One of Aimeric’s chansos (4), dealing with the poet’s unfortunate experience in changing a bad love for a worse, has this envoi: “I make known to Sir Rainier of the Courtly Vale (Rainier de Val Cortes) this: I do not hope for any help from my cutting words.” I am not able to identify this Rainier, either as a real name or as a senhal. Since the poet does not praise him, he probably was not a patron, but that is about all that one can say.

I have indicated the clear references to Aimeric that have come to my attention in the works of other poets. They are confined mostly to coblas and tensos which Aimeric provokes or answers. Jeanroy(69) has this note on a certain Fortunier: “Deux coblas adressées à Gasquet, qui parait être un jongleur au service d’un Aimeric, lequel pourrait être Aimeric de Péguilhan.” Since this is only a possibility based on a probability, and since we have no further information about this Gasquet, we may content ourselves with this mention.

The date of Aimeric’s death is not known. The two planhs on the deaths of Count Raymond Bérenguer IV of Provence and the famous Manfred, once attributed to Aimeric,(70) would have meant that he was alive in 1245 and 1266; but scholars are now generally agreed that he wrote neither of these pieces. Diez’s floruit of 1205–1270 was based on an identification of the Countess Beatrice of the planh (22) which is now generally rejected, as we have seen above. None of the poems that we can date even approximately seem much later than 1225. Naturally, this does not prove that Aimeric died then: many of his poems may be lost; we may be misreading others; and some of those without envois or datable allusions may belong to a later period. But, on the other hand, nothing compels us to believe that Aimeric lived beyond 1230.(71) He would have been around fifty-five years old then, a reasonably advanced age for the thirteenth century, and I am inclined to follow Jeanroy(72) in putting his death not far from that year.
Jean de Nostredame’s account of Aimeric’s life is based largely on the Provençal Vida, with a few additions from the poems. It contains many details that are surely false; nevertheless, it is worth quoting for a few interesting observations. Here are the two versions:(73) Aymeric de Pyngulan, gentilhomme thoulousain, fut bon poète en rithme provensalle, et mesmes a mesdire, s’enamoura d’une bourgeoise de la ville, contre laquelle ayant faict quelque chanson satirique, fut frappé griefvement sur la teste par un parent de la damoyselle, pour occasion duquel fut contraint se retirer à Guilhem de Bergedam en Cathalongne, duquel il fut honnorablement receu, et apres l’avoir faict guerir de la blessure, chanta de belles chansons à sa louange; pour raison desquelles il luy bailla de beaux presens, et luy fist avoir entree et cognoissance avec le roy Alphons de Cathalongne, avec lequel se tint un long temps; et ayant faict une satyre contre Gaucelme, maistre d’hostel du roy, par laquelle on pouvoit facilement entendre qu’il avoit desrobbé la couppe d’or où le roy beuvoit, fut contraint se retirer en Provence, chez la princesse Beatrix, heritiere de Provence, fille de Remond, comte de Provence, avant qu’elle espousast Charles, comte d’Anjou, frere de sainct Loys, roy de France; avec laquelle il fust le bienvenu, aymé et prisé, pour les bonnes et plaisantes inventions qu’il avait en la poesie, dont il estoit le vray maistre. Il en feist une, et la chanta souvent en la presence de la princesse, en laquelle il recitoit qu’il n’y ha tant d’animaux parmi la terre, ne tant d’oyseaux parmi le boys, ne tant d’estoylles au ciel qu’il ha de facheux pensemens chaque nuict dans son coeur. Peu de temps apres se retira en Lombardie avec l’une des marquises de Malespyne, à la louange de laquelle feist de fort belles et doctes chansons; estoit grand compaignon de Guy d’Uzez, de Peyre Vidal et des deux Rambauds. Trespassa au service de la dicte marquise environ l’an 1260, de laquelle il avoit esté amoureux, ainsi que l’ont escript le Monge des Isles d’Or et Saint Cezari, dont il en feist ce traicté intitulé Las Angueyssas d’Amour. Le Monge de Montmajour mesdit de cestuy ce qu’il en a voulu dire. Petrarque l’a imité et suyvi en plusieurs passages et en faict mention en son Triomphe d’Amour.

Aymeric de Pingulan, de Thoulouse, fut fils d’ung marchand de draps, bon poëte en rithme provensalle et mesmes a mesdire. S’enamoura d’une bourgeoise de la ville, pour laquelle ayant faict quelque chanson satyrique, fut frappé par quelqu’un de ses parents sur la teste et fut contrainct se retirer de Thoulouse, et s’en alla en Cathalogne, chez Guilhem de Bergedan, duquel il fut fort honorablement receu, et prenant plaisir à sa poesie, luy feit de moult beaux et profitables présens, et luy bailha entrée avec le roy Alphonx de Cathalogne, avec lequel se tint un long temps. Mays, ayant luy faict une satyre contre Gaucelm, maistre d’hostel du roy, par laquelle l’on entendoit facilement qu’il avoit desrobé la coupe d’or où le roy beuvoit, fut contrainct s’oster de là et se retirer chez le comte Berenguier, du temps que ses quatre filhes estoient en prix et en bruit, et sur toutes feit plusieurs chansons qu’il adressa à Beatrix. En une de ses chansons il dict “qu’ainsin que le cerf est pris, je suis son home lige, et jamais home qui ayme ne fut plustost conquis que je fus, quand elle tira son gant et que je luy baysay sa blanche main, laquelle baysant m’entra tant vivement l’amour dans mon corps que je demeuray sans vie.” Pétrarque, prenant argument sur ceste chanson, en a faict ung sonnet qui se commence Nostredame failed to say how the sonnet begins, and I have not been able to find it; the poem of Aimeric is Qui sofrir s’en pogues (46), lines 29–36. Contrariwise, the comparisons which Nostredame attributes to Aimeric in the first version are in none of the extant poems, but may be found in Petrarch’s sestina, number 237 of the Canzoniere:

Non ha tanti animali il mar fra l’onde,
Nè lassù, sopra ‘l cerchio de la luna,
Vide mai tante stelle alcuna notte,
Nè tanti augelli albergan per li boschi,
Nè tant’ erbe ebbe mai campo nè piaggia,
Quant’ ha ‘l mio cor pensier’ ciascuna sera.

Nostredame did not follow the Vida exactly, and may have had before him another version, now lost. His identification of Beatrice as the daughter of Raymond Bérenguer undoubtedly influenced Diez and other scholars, who were then obliged to follow him in putting Aimeric’s death late in the thirteenth century. It is unlikely that Aimeric was a “grand compaignon” of Gui d’Ussel, Peire Vidal, Raïmbaut d’Aurenga, and Raimbaut de Vaqueiras; but, since he composed a partimen (37) with Elias d’Ussel, he may have known Gui as well. None of the extant poems of Aimeric refer to the maître d’hôtel Gaucelm and the king’s golden goblet, mentioned in both versions of Nostredame.



We have already mentioned that Kolsen(74) would deny S’eu anc chantei (48) to Aimeric. His reasons are, briefly: (1) Aimeric would not have written two planhs on the same subject; (2) the attributions of CR (which alone contain this poem) are often wrong, as, for example, when they attribute poem 29 also to Aimeric (for this, see below); (3) Folquet de Romans may have been in Italy in 1212, when the poem was written, and he certainly knew the Estes; (4) this poem resembles those of Folquet stylistically; (5) the poems of Aimeric and Folquet are intermixed in R. From this, Kolsen concludes that Aimeric did not write the poem, and that Folquet probably did. I consider this hypothesis as far from proved. In my discussion of Azzo VI, above, I gave my reasons for thinking that Aimeric might have written two poems on the same two deaths. The attributions of R are often wrong, as Kolsen says; but those of C are much more often correct; as for the falseness of their attribution of poem 29, that is, to say the least, doubtful, and should not be used to prove anything about the reliability of the MSS. It is possible that Folquet de Romans was in Italy in 1212; but so were dozens of other troubadours. The stylistic resemblances that Kolsen points out are slight, and one could find just as many to link the poem with other works of Aimeric. As for the order of poems in R, one could probably prove almost anything on that basis, for the MS is chaotic.

On the whole, I see no reason whatever to doubt the testimony of the two MSS, that the poem belongs to Aimeric.

Some nine other poems, which we likewise accept as genuine, appear with divergent attributions in certain MSS. Sg, for example, gives 25 to Raïmbaut de Vaqueiras, 49 to Giraut de Bornelh. But no one, as far as I know, has taken these isolated ascriptions seriouslly; all the other (and better) MSS give both poems to Aimeric.

P attributes 14 to Jausbert de Poicibot, 33 to Blacasset. But P, not an exceedingly reliable source, is unsupported here by any other MS; so we do not question Aimeric’s right to these two poems.

In R, poem 27 appears twice, once under the name of Aimeric de Belenoi, and once under that of Peire Vidal. Since this MS is notorious for its blunders, we may dismiss these attributions without further ado. All the other MSS give the poem to Aimeric.

The second-rate source g would deny to Aimeric what is probably his most famous poem (50), the one for which Dante praises him, and which all the other MSS (except O, where it is anonymous) ascribe to Aimeric. It is certainly his.

The index of C (called CReg by Pillet-Carstens) lists 18 under Uc de Pena; but the poem appears under Aimeric’s name in the body of the MS. It is anonymous in IK, but is attributed to Aimeric by the other six MSS. I do not hesitate to accept it.

Concerning two poems, the evidence of the MSS is not so conclusive. Anc mais de joi ni de chan (8) appears ten times under the name of Aimeric, four times (plus CReg) under that of Guillem Figueira, and once (P) under that of Giraut de Bornelh. Emil Levy, in his edition of Guillem, denies it to his poet on stylistic grounds, and thinks it to be the work of Aimeric. This seems likely, as its tone and substance are not unlike those of several other poems of Aimeric.

Hom diez que gaugz non es senes amor (29) appears among the poems of Aimeric in COR, but is attributed in Tc to Arnaut de Maroill. Friedmann(75) and Kolsen(76) would give the poem to Arnaut. But Stronski(77) explains why he thinks the poem was (wrongly) attributed by the copyists to Arnaut: it contains these words, Qu’ilh (my eyes) en ploran quasqun jorn ses duptansa, which suggested what the Monge de Montaudon said about Arnaut in his satire on contemporary poets (305, 16): Qu’ades clamon merce sei oill, On plus chanta l’aig’ en deissen. I am inclined to accept this explanation, and claim the poem for Aimeric, particularly because it appears that Tc had one common original, and so do not present two really independent testimonies. Furthermore, they belong to the same family as O, which puts this poem definitely among the poems of Aimeric, as do CR, belonging to a different family. And, finally, it is worth noticing that in both T and c the poem in question is the last of the series ascribed to Arnaut, always a weak position when questions of attribution are being discussed.

Several scholars(78) have thought that Aimeric wrote the planh for Manfred (461, 234), which appears in IK (the only MSS which preserve it) after the poems of Aimeric de Peguilhan. But we have seen above that Aimeric was probably dead long before 1266, when Manfred died, and we may reject this attribution, especially since it is only a guess in the first place.

The same MSS (IK) do ascribe to Aimeric another poem, Ab marrimens angoissos et ab plor, which Bartsch accepted, and called number 1 of Aimeric’s poems, but which is rejected by Pillet-Carstens, who follow the attribution of a1 (to Peire Bremon Ricas Novas: 330, 1a). It is likewise a planh, for Raymond Bérenguer IV of Provence, who died in 1245. Even before the discovery of a1, which was unknown to Bartsch, Zingarelli(79) expressed grave doubts of Aimeric’s authorship, largely on stylistic grounds. His reasons are sound, and are supported by what we have said above concerning the chronology of Aimeric; nothing whatever persuades us that he was still alive in 1245. We therefore follow Zingarelli and Pillet-Carstens in denying this poem to Aimeric.

A third poem, Lanqan chanton ti auzeil en primier (31) is almost certainly not the work of Aimeric. We have already given a critical edition of this poem, and explained why we consider it impossible that Aimeric should have written it.(80) As Pillet-Carstens had already expressed doubts concerning Aimeric’s authorship of the poem, our rejection of it will not come as a surprise to anyone. Here are our reasons for denying it to Aimeric: (1) it begins with a picture of spring, which leads the poet’s heart to love; this was common in the twelfth century, but occurs nowhere in the authentic poems of Aimeric; (2) the vocabulary of the poem contains a great many words which Aimeric never uses; (3) this poem is full of the beauties of nature; Aimeric never mentions them; (4) Aimeric does not use the forms carnau, aitau, etc., which appear here in the rime; (5) the envoi calls on Peire Rogier, who, as nearly as we can tell, died when Aimeric was a child. We feel certain, therefore, that Aimeric did not write this poem. One MS (D) attributes it to Guillem Rainol d’At. This attribution also offers some difficulties, but, as we show in the article referred to above, they are not so serious as those against the authorship of Aimeric; we are inclined to give the poem to him.

It has long been known that the cobla from H which Bartsch numbered 5 among Aimeric’s compositions was in reality one stanza of poem 49. But I only recently stumbled across the fact that poem 53 is likewise part of another poem.(81) In this case, however, the poem is not by Aimeric. The stanzas which Bartsch and Pillet-Carstens ascribe to Aimeric appear in CR; but a fuller version of the poem appears in twelve MSS under the name of Daude de Pradas: Be·n aj’ amors, car anc me fetz cauzir (124, 6). There is no doubt that the poem belongs to Daude. I am at a loss to know why CR (both of which contain the full version, under Daude’s name) give this shortened form to Aimeric.

Other poems attributed to Aimeric in isolated MSS, against the decisive agreement of the other MSS, are:
Aimeric de Belenoi, Meravill me (9, 12; CRegR).
Jausbert de Poicibot, Partit de joi (173, 8; CReg).
Guiraut de Salaignac, Aissi com cel (249, 1; C).
Pons de Capdoill, L’adregz solatz (375, 12; a1).
Raimbaut de Vaqueiras, Ara pot hom (392, 3; N).
Richart de Tarasco, Ab tan de sen (422, 1; c).
Sordello, Qui be·s membra (437, 29; IK).

Most of these have been discussed in the editions of the poets concerned, and the attributions to Aimeric have been universally rejected. I see no grounds for claiming any of them for Aimeric.


Over half of Aimeric’s poems are chansos: 30, to be exact, out of the 50 that seem definitely his. The others are: four planhs (10, 22, 30, 48), one crusade song (11), two sirventes (26, 32), one descort (45), one poem which he calls a ‘fablel’ (44), one fictitious tenso (23), seven genuine tensos (3, 6, 19, 28, 35, 36, 37), and three sets of coblas (7a, 9, 13).
Aimeric’s versification is comparatively simple and uniform. He generally limits himself to one type of verse for each poem; that of ten syllables is by far the commonest, occurring in over half of the chansos, as well as in many of the other poems. There are ordinarily (in a chanso) five stanzas of eight lines each, and one or two envois, whose length varies somewhat. Feminine rimes are rarer than masculine, and do not appear at all in about half of the poems. The same rimes are usually kept throughout a given composition, nor does their order often vary. But in nine poems the rimes change from stanza to stanza (or every two stanzas), either through rearrangement or through the introduction of new rimes; in the latter case, the rime is sometimes derivative (prims, prima, etc.). Internal rime is found in only four poems, two of which are tensos. Aimeric’s most ambitious attempt in this style is the highly artificial Ses mon apleich (47), in which one internal rime occurs eight times in the first stanza, another in the second, and so on. It is noteworthy that this and all the other poems containing internal and derivative rimes belong to Aimeric’s later, Italian, period. Such trifling evidently did not appeal to him at first. Isolated rimes (riming only with their counterparts in the other stanzas) are very rare. The only rime-scheme used more than twice is abbaccdd, which occurs thirteen times.
Here is a more complete description of Aimeric’s versification, arranged by rime-schemes. Feminine rimes are indicated by italics; a* means that the line contains an internal rime which is identical with the end-rime; a** means that the line contains an internal rime different from the end-rime. The syllable-count is for masculine lines; feminine lines contain one more syllable. In the first column are given the numbers designating the rime-schemes in Maus, Peire Cardenals Strophenbau.

12 aaaaaaaa 23, 26 (all lines 10 syllables)
29 aaaab*b 35 (a, 11 syllables; b, 13)
33 aaaabbbb 25 (all lines 10 syllables; derivative rimes)
— aaaabbccddeeff 46 (all lines 6 syllables)
— aaab*b 36 (a, 11 syllables; b, 13)
132 aabbaccdd 4 (a, b, c, 7 syllables; d, 10)
148 aabbcbbc 16 (last line 5 syllables; all others 7)
159 aabbccdd 52 (all lines 10 syllables)
183 aabccbdd 39 (all lines 10 syllables)
188 aabccdd 38 (all lines 10 syllables)
208 ababaacc 17 (all lines 8 syllables)
— ab*ab*ab*ab*c*d*c*dc*d*c*de*f*e*f*e*f*e*f* 45 (all lines without internal rimes, 5 syllables; e, 7; the rest, 6)
249 a**b**a**b**a**b**b**a** 47 (all lines 10 syllables; derivate rimes)
251 abababbabb 13 (all lines 7 syllables)
308 ababbcc 29 (all lines 10 syllables)
359 ababccdd
ababccdd 33 (all lines 10 syllables)
20 (all lines 10 syllables)
366 ababccddee 11 (all lines 10 syllables)
393 ababcdcee 42 (all lines 7 syllables)
402 ababcddcee 21 (all lines 10 syllables)
444 abbaabba 43 (a, 7 syllables, b, 8)
463 abbaacc 27 (all lines 10 syllables)
471 abbaaccdd 37 (all lines 8 syllables)
abbaaccdd 48 (all lines 10 syllables)
481 abbaacddc 8 (a, b, 7 syllables; c, d, 10)
509 abbacca 14 (first four lines, 7 syllables; last three, 10)
515 abbaccadd 10 (all lines 10 syllables)
528 abbacccdd 30 (all lines 10 syllables)
535 abbaccdd 7, 18, 22, 28 (all lines 10 syllables)
24 (all lines 7 syllables)
34 (a, b, c, 7 syllables; d, 10)
abbaccdd 3 (a, b, c, 8 syllables; d, 10)
abbaccdd 12, 15 (all lines 10 syllables)


                41 (a, b, 8 syllables; c, 7; d, 10)

abbaccdd 7a, 9 (second line, 5; last line, 10; others, 7)
abbaccdd 2 (all lines 7 syllables)
546 abbaccdde 6 (all lines 8 syllables)
554 abbaccddeeff 49 (all lines 6 syllables)
579 abbacddc 50 (all lines 10 syllables)
606 abbacdeffed 51 (last line 10 syllables; others 6)
660 abbccdd 19 (all lines 10 syllables)
669 abbccdde 32 (all lines 7 syllables)
709 abbcddeeff 40 (a, b, c, d, e, 6 syllables; f, 10)

A few deviations from Maus’s classification need to be noted. Evidently because of the internal rimes, Maus lists poem 47 under scheme 12; it belongs under 249. I cannot find 46 in his list at all, and there is no number to correspond to its rime-scheme. Maus puts 36 under scheme 61, counting the internal rime in the fourth line as a separate line, although the similar poem 35 is not so treated; he has no number for 36 as we print it. Likewise, in 45, Maus counts the final echo-rimes as separate lines, and lists the poem under 487; there is no number for the rime-scheme as we have it. Maus puts 44 under 78 (aaabcccbdddb); actually, the poem seems to be without stanzaic structure; the MSS do not divide it up.

Change of rimes, not indicated in the above list, occurs necessarily in the poems (23, 26) that have only one rime for each stanza. Number 45, which has very long stanzas, simply introduces a whole new set of rimes (in the same pattern) for each new stanza. Number 42 alternates all its rimes but one from stanza to stanza: so a of stanzas one and three becomes d of stanzas two and four, d becomes a, c becomes e, e becomes c, while b remains constant. In 50, rimes c and d of each stanza become a and b of the following stanza, and two new rimes are introduced. In 16, a and c remain constant, while b changes with every two stanzas. Derivative rimes (25, 47) change from stanza to stanza.

No other poems have the same rime-schemes as 36, 42, 46, 51. The combination of rime-scheme and meter is unique in 8, 10, 14, 21, 30, 35, 38, 49.

Several poems of Aimeric have the same metrical system as poems by other troubadours, combined with the same rimes in the same order. Number 32 agrees in this way with Peire Vidal, 25, and Bertran de Born, 28. Since Peire’s poem is a chanso, while Aimeric’s and Bertran’s are sirventes, we may assume that Peire invented the pattern, and that the other two poets copied it from him.(82)

Maus (Peire Cardenals Strophenbau, p. 60) points out a similar agreement between Aimeric, 15, and four other poems: Peire Cardenal, 4; Sordello, 6; Perdigo, 1; and 461 (anonymous), 231. The last two have -ors instead of -or for the first rime, but all (except P. Cardenal, 4) have amor(s) as a rime-refrain in the first line of each stanza. Since Peire Cardenal wrote only after 1220, the probable date of Aimeric’s poem, and since the other three poems are no more than fragments or single coblas, while Aimeric’s is a complete chanso, I think we can agree with Maus (p. 61) that Aimeric probably invented the pattern, and the others imitated him.

Lanfranc Cigala imitated Aimeric’s poem 34 in his religious song 18. Meter and rimes are the same; but Lanfranc introduced a rime-refrain (marritz) in the first line of each stanza. In this case, the dates tell us which way the imitation went.

Similarly, when we find the meter and rimes of Aimeric’s number 25 in Guillem Anelier 4, we know from the dates of the two poets that Guillem Anelier imitated Aimeric. These poems are based on derivative rimes, which change from stanza to stanza; but all the rimes appear in the same order in both poems.

The series of coblas to which Aimeric’s number 13 belongs shares its meter and rimes with several other pieces: a pastourelle (13) of Gui d’Ussel, an exchange of coblas between Uc de Saint Circ (30) and Guillem del Baus (3), and another exchange of coblas, between Gui de Cavaillo (5) and the Count of Toulouse (1). I do not know that it is possible to determine who invented the form but Gui d’Ussel is the most likely.
Peirol, in his crusade-sirventes (28), has taken the meter and rimes of Aimeric’s number 27, which is definitely earlier.
The chanso number 4 has the same meter and rimes as two other poems: Gaucelm Faidit, 62, and Guillem Figueira, 5. Since Guillem’s poem is a sirventes, and the other two are chansos, one may assume that Guillem imitated one or the other of them. This is the opinion of Levy in his edition of Guillem Figueira, p. 24. But Levy does not venture to decide whether Aimeric imitated Gaucelm, or the other way around. Robert Meyer (Das Leben des Trobadors Gaucelm Faidit, p. 39) dates Gaucelm’s poem in a perfunctory and unconvincing fashion between 1199 and 1201. If this is accurate, then it is very likely that Aimeric is the imitator, for those years are close to the beginning of his career. A few pages later (p. 57), Meyer dates the tenso (28) between Aimeric and Gaucelm “after 1207”; he thinks it was composed in southern France, perhaps at the court of Raimon d’Agout. This fits nicely into the chronology that we have worked out in our Introduction; we assume there that Aimeric left Spain around 1208 and went to Italy through southern France. Quite likely, at the time of this meeting, one of the two poets paid the other the honor of copying a metrical pattern of his inventing. Whether or not Meyer’s date for Gaucelm’s poem is correct, it would be natural for Aimeric, the younger man, to pay this tribute to Gaucelm; and we suspect that this was the case. Then, when Aimeric met Guillem Figueira in Italy, the latter imitated his imitation; for, as Levy says (loc. cit.), we have no knowledge that Guillem and Gaucelm ever met each other.
Finally, the author of the anonymous sirventes 461, 6 adopted the meter and rimes of Aimeric’s chanso number 17, and the late poet Joan Esteve used the rimes and complicated structure of the descort (45) as the framework of a religious song (266, 8).

List of rimes:
ada: 9
ai: 10, 25, 44
aia: 25
aire: 21, 35, 36, 41, 42, 45; internal rime: 35, 36, 45
ais: 3, 45, 46, 47; internal rime: 45
aiser: 47
al: 11, 23, 40, 43, 52
als: 17, 28, 38, 42
an: 8, 14, 15, 16, 25, 26, 27, 32, 37, 40, 42, 44, 45, 46, 50; internal rime: 45
anc: 7a, 9
anda: 25
anh: 25
anha: 25
ans: 24, 34, 48, 51
ansa: 2, 14, 29, 39, 42, 45, 46; internal rime: 45
ar: 2, 8, 19, 30, 44, 46, 50, 52; internal rime: 47
ara: 7a
ars: 45; internal rime: 45
atz: 4, 6, 16, 19, 28, 34, 44, 45, 50; internal rime 45
e: 6, 18, 22, 23, 29, 37, 40, 41, 44, 49, 50, 52; internal rime: 47
ebre: 47
ech: internal rime: 47
eia: 21
eigna: 3
eis: 44
el: 32, 36, 44
em: 47
ema: 47
emps: 30
en: 2, 3, 6, 7, 12, 14, 17, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 45, 50; internal rime: 47
enda: 25
ens: 11, 44, 48, 51
ensa: 8, 20, 40, 51
ep: 47
ęr: 44 (see also -ięr)
er: 4, 8, 10, 21, 33, 44, 45, 50; internal rime: 45
erm: 25
erma: 25
erna: 32
es: 6, 10, 12, 16, 26, 28, 30, 33, 35, 41, 44, 45, 46, 49, 51; internal rime: 45
i: 7, 24, 45, 49, 50; internal rime: 45
ia: 2, 4, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 43, 45; internal rime: 45
ic: 26
ięr: 50 (see also -ęr)
ięu: 11
ieus: 38, 49
im: 47
ima: 38, 47
ir: 15, 18, 20, 23, 28, 39, 46, 50, 51
ire: 20
is: 7a, 9, 18, 45
itz: 22, 34, 45
o: 34, 44, 50
ol: 32, 50
onh: 47
onher: 47
or: 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19, 29, 32, 33, 38, 40, 48, 49, 50; internal rime: 47
orn: 44
ors: 16, 17, 27, 30, 39, 45, 52
ort: 7a, 9, 23, 45; internal rime: 45
os: 7, 11, 19, 20, 21, 24, 26, 45; internal rime: 45
uelh: 33
ur: 37, 49
ura: 48
us: 44
utz: 22, 44

Caesura. In the ten-syllable line, Aimeric most frequently places the caesura after the fourth syllable, which is generally stressed:
                     De tot en tot / es er de mi partitz
                     Aquelh eys joys / que m’era remazutz. (22, 1–2)

But this fourth syllable is fairly often unstressed (‘feminine caesura’), as in the second of these lines:
                    Que·l sieus solatz era guays e chauzitz...
                    E·l respondres / plazens ez abelhitz. (22, 17, 20)

And the caesura is not uncommonly after the sixth or some other syllable:
                    E·il pro qe·il dan son plus, / e·il ris qe·il plor. (15, 12)
                    Senher, que folhs faitz, / qu’ieu grat no·us en sen. (16, 2)
In lines under ten syllables, there is no fixed place for the caesura, and it is frequently lacking.

Elision and hiatus. Aimeric always elides the final vowel of unstressed me, te, se, ma, ta, sa, lo, la, li (the definite article), de before another vowel.(83) The final vowel of que, se or si (‘if’), li (indirect object pronoun) is generally elided, and so is the final unstressed -e or -a of all words of more than one syllable. Hiatus occurs some twenty times after unstressed -a of verbs and nouns: Tolosa, al (7, 53), anava e (10, 24), devria esser (11, 21), largueza e (48, 32) etc. Here is a fairly complete list of all other exceptional cases of hiatus:
    1) si, se (‘if’): si a (11, 58), se a (44, 57), si eu (51, 18).
    2) que: qe a (16, 38), que es (38, 36), que hier (50, 42); cf. quez a (39, 32).
    3) li (indirect object): li o (18, 36), li enans (38, 8).
    4) final -e of words of more than one syllable: penre e (19, 18), allegre e (23, 8), perdre e (50, 19).

Aimeric does not avoid hiatus after a stressed or unelidable vowel: va ab (29, 13), e me e se (18, 38), aisso es (30, 4), qui aisso (37, 25), etc.
We have not tried to be more consistent than the manuscripts in indicating the elision of final vowels. Where such a non-syllabic vowel is written in the MS we were following, we have left it in the text. The meter will tell whether two vowels are to be pronounced separately or in one syllable; and to eliminate all the non-syllabic ones seemed to us an unwarranted tampering with the text. Perhaps in some regions it was customary to slur the vowels together, as in Italian or Spanish verse, rather than to do away with the first one.
Aimeric’s theory of composition and versification must be derived largely from its results; but in a couple of poems he expresses his ideas in words. Three stanzas of one chanso (34) are devoted to the distinction between vers and chanso. For our comment, see the notes to the poem. He designates another poem (44) a ‘‘fablel’’ or ‘‘flabel’’ (a name apparently of his own invention). In contents, it does not differ markedly from a kind of personal sirventes. But the form is rather distinctive, in that the stanzaic structure is tenuous: the rime-scheme is aaab, with a changing and b remaining through out; and the thought is often carried over from one quatrain to the next. The MSS do not divide the poem into stanzas; and we follow them in this.
In our discussion of figures of speech (below), we shall have occasion to comment on these lines (47): “I do not go about without my plane and my file, with which I fabricate words and plane and file them, for I see no subtle or delicate work of any sort subtler or more delicate (than mine), nor a more skillful worker in precious rimes, nor one who breaks up his words more (ni plus pesseich sos digz), nor who rimes them better (than I.)” By “breaking up his words,” he means apparently that he dissects or analyzes them; but even that is none too clear. The rest indicates that he had a high opinion of his own ability, and knew that his success came from hard work. This poem, incidentally, is one of the most elaborate metrically, with internal rimes and derivative end-rimes.









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