Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Le Conventum (Vers 1030): Un Precurseur Aquitain Des Premieres Epopees

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Le Conventum (Vers 1030): Un Precurseur Aquitain Des Premieres Epopees

Article excerpt

George Beech, Yves Chauvin and Georges Pon, Le Conventum (vers 1030): Un precurseur aquitain des premieres epopees, Publications romanes et fransaises 212 (Geneva: Droz, '995). 190 pp.; i plate. ISBN 2-6oo-ooo6-g. L28.00.

The Conventum of the title is a Latin text of 34z lines written in Aquitaine at the beginning of the eleventh century, and the edition is based on the text of a manuscript of the same century (Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, MS lat. 5927). It relates the conflict between Guillaume, count of Aquitaine, and the central character, Hugues le Chiliarque, who is claiming as his birthright lands and castles against the counterclaims of his powerful neighbours. Guillaume, as Hugues's lord, not only fails to support him but, by his machinations, involves him in conflicts which cause him loss of men and assets and prevent him from regaining what is rightly his heritage. Hugues finally renounces his oath of fidelity to Guillaume and, seizing property belonging to Guillaume, forces the latter to make an agreement with him by which the wrongs done to him are redressed and he renews his vows as Guillaume's vassal.

The manuscript tradition consists of three versions: Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, MS lat. 5927; the St Petersburg version (Public Library, MS F. V. IVN3), which is a copy of BN lat. 5927; and Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, MS lat. 9767, which is in turn a copy of the Russian manuscript. Two seventeenth-century copies exist, both taken from BN lat. 5927. Finally, a reworking of the first fourteen lines of the text is to be found in the Collection Dupuy 822, but the source is not identified.

This edition is preceded by an analysis of the text, and a discussion of the possible relationships with the earliest Old French epics. …

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