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Au carrefour des routes d’Europe : la chanson de geste. Tome I

Religious elements in le voyage de Charlemagne à Jérusalem et à Constantinople

Anne Cobby

Texte intégral

  • 1 For a survey of interpretations of the work see Jules Horrent, Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne: essai (...)
  • 2 Cf. Hans-Jörg Neuschäfer, 'Le Voyage de Charlemagne en Orient als Parodie der Chanson de geste: Un (...)
  • 3 For further discussion see my 'Formulaic Parody in Old French: The Contribution of Formulae to Par (...)

1Le Voyage de Charlemagne à Jérusalem et à Constantinople, in spite of the title it has traditionally been given, is only superficially a pilgrimage1. Charlemagne uses a supposed desire to worship the Cross and the Holy Sepulchre as an excuse for journeying to the East, to measure himself against Hugh of Constantinople; and the author of the poem uses the pilgrimage theme as the basis for a parodic joke, a tale of petty rivalry opposing Hugh and Charles, East and West, courtly and epic2. But if the theme of pilgrimage is superficial, religious elements on a smaller scale play an important part in the poem. They contribute to the progress of its plot, they enhance its comedy, and they help guide our understanding of its parody. The author parodies the two chief literary traditions of his day, the chanson de geste and the romance; he sets them against each other and his text against both of them, for humorous but non-satirical purposes. This can be shown by analysis of his borrowings from these traditions, and also by his use of elements taken from religious sources, with which I shall be concerned here3. The religious references operate in widely differing ways depending on their function, and include the poem's extremes of frivolity and dignity; but in each case elements from religious tradition are used as norms by which to measure comic divergence or parodic distortion. If comedy, and even more if parody, is to be effective, it is essential that a standard of judgement be shared by author and audience; for a mediaeval poet religious allusions were particularly reliable for this purpose, for he could be sure both that his audience would be familiar with them and that it would react to them in a predictable way. My aim in this paper is to show how the author of the Voyage makes use of religious references which might pass notice in isolation, but which taken together show a clear intent; for by attending to biblical allusions whose purpose is simple comedy we become sensitive to more complex uses of religious language, which illuminate the poem's meaning.

  • 4 Cf. d. Scheludko, 'Zur Komposition der Karlsreise', Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, 53 (193 (...)
  • 5 Gerard J. Brault, The Song of Roland: An Analytical Edition, 2 vols (University Park and London, 1 (...)
  • 6 David Hugh Farmer, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford, 1978), p. 214 (s.n. John the Apostle).

2Religious reference is used in connection with three main themes in the poem: the gabs, the relics and the presentation of Charlemagne as God's protégé. The simplest use of religious norms is in the scene of the gabs, where they provide an unambiguous yardstick. This combines epic language and martial subjects to create a mock-heroic section; it also uses religious allusions, both biblical and hagiographie4. The reference, to be sure, is sometimes very general. Thus the blast of Roland's horn, which will set every gate in Constantinople clashing, recalls the collapse of the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6. 20)5. Naimon's breaking out of armour parallels the bursting of bonds by, amongst others, Samson (Judges 15. 14, 16. 9, 12) and St. Peter (Acts 12. 7). Ernalt's escape from a bath of solidified lead suggests survival of intended martyrdom (for example the three young men in Daniel 3, who escaped from a furnace; St. John at the Latin Gate, who survived boiling oil6). The function of the religious reference in these instances is to provide a standard of judgement, for the feats boasted of, as well as being extravagant and pointless in their promised effects, are in fact exaggerated even compared with the deeds of martyrs. The poet calls to mind events which the Bible presents as extraordinary, and which are universally recognised to be so, and exceeds them; he thus shows his heroes' gabs to be extreme even by miraculous standards. Moreover, the biblical deeds were far from futile in their context, and also demonstrate skills which any mediaeval warrior would have been glad to possess; but they are transformed into needless feats and exaggerated, and their gratuitousness is emphasised by contrast with the biblical marvels and the nobility of martyrdom.

3Three of the gabs make a more complex use of religious parallels. Berenger boasts that he will throw himself from the highest tower of Constantinople on to swords planted in the ground with their points uppermost. This gab uses strikingly epic language:

  • 7 Il 'Voyage de Charlemagne', edizione critica a cura de Guido Favati, Biblioteca degli Studi Mediol (...)

La verrez brans crussir et espees brisier,
e l'un acer al altre depecer e entreoscher,
(vv. 547-48)7

4together with the epic notion of weapons failing to pierce the skin. But these sounds and sights of battle will be caused not by close fighting but by a stunt: the rhetoric of the chanson de geste is put at the service of a circus act. To this is added a biblical reminiscence, for the gab recalls one of the temptations of Christ:

The devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, "He will give his angels charge of you", and "On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone"'. (Revised Standard Version, Matthew 4. 5-7; cf. Luke 4. 9-12).

  • 8 Cf. 'Formulaic Parody', pp. 157-60, 164-71.

5Through this a wider allusion to the Temptations is set up, for the phrase 'la plus halte tur' contained in this gab (v. 545) occurs several times in the poem, and always in ironic contexts. Repetition is an important element in the technique of the poet, who uses echo to reflect irony from one scene on to another8. In this case, Charles's queen first offers to throw herself 'de la plus haulte tur de Paris la citet' (v. 36) in order to prove that she was joking when she claimed that Hugh of Constantinople was superior to Charles. Berenger in his turn will hurl himself from a high tower and hope to survive. Finally Bernard's gab will flood Hugh out of his city, so that he will have to flee to his highest tower to escape the waters (vv. 560, 779). In each case the situation lacks dignity. The queen is terrified of her husband's rage, Berenger is making a drunken boast, Hugh is humiliated. The religious overtones of Berenger's gab extend, through the echo, to the other contexts too, and make them seem more ignominious by recalling the biblical norm. This connotation is particularly ironic in the case of the queen's ordeal, for the matter is petty and the biblical reference inverted: whereas Satan tempted Christ to test God's love, the queen wishes to prove herself against the wrath of a vain and violent husband.

6If this temptation is one of the most flamboyant episodes in the New Testament (or would have been if fulfilled), Ogier's gab recalls one of the most memorable feats in the Old. He boasts that he will imitate Samson's destruction of the Temple (Judges 16. 28-30) by pulling down the pillar supporting Hugh's palace. The gab is doubly inappropriate: once in that Hugh deserves better of his guests, whereas Samson was destroying the enemies of God; and again in that the roof would fall on Ogier as on the Greeks, so that he would suffer without sacrificing himself for a greater good as did Samson. Here too the biblical evocation shows up the differences in situation and hence the inappropriateness of Ogier's proposed action.

7Bernard's gab too has religious parallels besides the indirect one to the Temptations. It recalls the Flood (Gene-sis 6-8) and the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 14. 21-30), both generally and in details such as these:

La gent lu rei Hugun e moillir e guaër (v. 559)

Il vent curant a l'ewe, si ad les guez seignez. (v. 773).

8Moses stretched his hand over the sea and it was parted (Exodus 14. 21); when he did so a second time it closed, drowning Pharoah's army, his chariots and his horsemen (Exodus 14. 26-28). Again the biblical parallels both demean the present incident and show up contrasts in situation. For whilst God's great victory was wrought against the enemies of Israel, Bernard's boast is a show of strength against the man who has given the Franks hospitality; and whereas Noah survived the Flood in the ark, and the sons of Israel crossed the sea dryshod before it closed up, Bernard (like Ogier) has not thought so far ahead. Accordingly, when his gab is fulfilled to the letter, it goes no further than the letter; the Franks as well as the Greeks are obliged to flee to safety, and their taking refuge in a tree humiliates them more than the Greeks' flight to a tower.

  • 9 See, for example, Bruno Panvini, 'Ancora sul Pèlerinage Charlemagne', Siculorum Gymnasium, nuova s (...)

9The gabs, then, show a comparatively simple use of biblical reference to underline the monstrosity of the boasts made by the Franks. The poet's other uses of religious language are far less clear-cut. The second religious theme is the relics. These have an obvious and important part to play in the plot of the poem: Charles receives a number of them in Jerusalem which he distributes on his return, God works marvels through their agency, and the Franks pray before them. Yet the efficacy of the relics, and God's help for the Franks, are manifested in the most dubious actions and circumstances. The rôle of relies in the poem has given rise to widely varying critical views, from those which maintain that they magnify Charles to those which see in them anti-clerical satire9. In fact their function is multivalent, and their purpose is less serious than either of these alleged aims. Charles is certainly not magnified by them, but neither are their veracity or venerability put in doubt; the poet uses the relies for comic ends, but the comedy is not at their expense but through their agency.

10The first occasion on which they seem to magnify Charles, their being given to him by the patriarch, is neither entirely dignified nor altogether to Charles's credit. The patriarch is brought to the Franks by the Jew who finds them in the church of Sainte Paternostre. As soon as they have greeted each other Charles makes an indecently hasty request:

De voz saintes reliques, si vus plaist, me donez,
que porterai en France, qu'en voil enluminer. (vv. 160-61)

  • 10 The relics in themselves should not be seen as comic, since they were all revered in the Middle Ag (...)

11The patriarch grants this demand, in a long and ever-recommencing list. His speeches are cast in the form of laisses similaires, which far from producing the effect of dignity usually associated with that structure, repeatedly and comically thwart our expectation that the list has ended by adding yet more relics10.

12No sooner has Charles received the relics than he is given an opportunity to try them out:

Cil li fist aporter, e li reis les reçut.
Les reliques sunt forz, Deus i fait granz vertuz:
iloc juit uns contraiz: set anz out ke ne.s mut,
tut li os li crussirent, li nerf li sunt tendut:
ore sailt sus en pez, unkes plus sains ne fud.
Or veit li patriarches ke Deus i fait vertut. (vv. 191-96)

13That the cripple should be sitting just there is extremely, not to say excessively, convenient, and by thus undermining literary illusion it gives space for comedy. This incident, whilst demonstrating the power of the relies, is also a biblical reference, to the cripple at the gate of the Temple (Acts 3. 2-10); and this allusion is supported by the references to God and the use of the biblical commonplace 'seven years'. The parallel is deepened by the next marvel worked through the relies:

Les reliques sunt forz, granz vertuz i fait Deus,
qu'il ne venent a ewe, n'en partissent les guez,
ne n'encuntrent aveogle ne seit reluminez;
les cuntrez i redrescent e les muz funt parler. (vv. 255-58).

14As in the Gospels, cripples are cured, the blind see and the dumb speak, and waters are parted (cf. e.g. Mark 2. 3-11, 7. 32-37, 8. 22-26). But here every blind man has his sight restored, every river lets them pass. The exaggeration of scale, together with the casual presentation of such marvels, makes the healing miracles of Christ and the passage of the Red Sea look commonplace by comparison.

15Here the rôle of the relics is like that of the biblical allusions in the gabs: it provides a yardstick for our appreciation of the greatness - or the enormity - of what is related. Miracles which are presented in the Bible (and understood by common sense) as supernatural and superhuman, as proofs of God's power manifested for serious purposes, are here recalled by events which exceed them in scale and which at the same time are presented in an offhand manner. This has a dual effect: these deeds are shown to be even more extra-ordinary than they would seem without this comparison, and at the same time those for whom they are done are demeaned by their lack of any sensitivity to the greatness of what is happening.

  • 11 This passage has given rise to much debate: see Madeleine Tyssens, Le Voyage de Charlemagne à Jéru (...)

16This contradiction is fundamental to the third theme I wish to consider, namely Charles's rôle as God's protégé. God shows the Franks his favour in a more substantial way yet than the curing of cripples, for He grants them final victory over the Greeks. This victory, however, is a Pyrrhic one on two levels. Hugh is forced to submit by the fulfilment of Bernard's gab; the flood drives him to his highest tower, but it also obliges the Emperor of the West to scurry up a pine tree11, and while Charles indeed establishes a superiority over Hugh, this is reduced to a matter of mere physical height:

  • 12 Sara Sturm, 'The Stature of Charlemagne in the Pèlerinage', Studies in Philology, 71 (1974), 1-18 (...)

Karlemaine fud graindre un plein ped e tres pouz.
(v. 811)12.

17Elsewhere Charles and the Franks are shown as distinctly inferior to the Greeks: they are boorish, fearful, ungrateful, drunken braggarts, whilst the Byzantines are hospitable, elegant and sophisticated. Yet God defends the Franks even in their humiliation, 'working great miracles for the love of Charlemagne' (vv. 751-52, 791). It is this ambivalence which has led to so much disagreement about the meaning of the poem; for, whilst Charles frequently appears to be the butt of ridicule, how can this be the intention of a poet who also presents his hero as God's chosen one whom He protects? In fact whenever Charles is so presented he is shown to be unworthy of the support he receives.

  • 13 This is a literary commonplace: Brault, I, 392, n. 7.

18The link between Charles and God is first made explicit in the church in Jerusalem. Here Charles is unambiguously likened to Christ13. On entering the church he makes for the chair on which Christ sat at the Last Supper and uses it as one might a park bench:

Cum il vit la chaëre, icele part s'aprochet:
li emperere s'asist, un petit se reposet.
(vv. 119-20)

  • 14 Paul Aebischer, 'Sur quelques passages du Voyage de Charlemagne à Jérusalem et à Constantinople: à (...)
  • 15 Galien Restoré, in Eduard Koschwitz, Sechs Bearbeitungen des altfranzösischen Gedichts von 'Karls (...)

19The twelve peers in their turn sit in the seats of the apostles. They treat their setting with a total lack of respect, gazing around like tourists14. The Jew who enters and sees them goes so far as to think that Charles is Christ reincarnate, taking comparison to the point of confusion; yet he has no reason for so thinking other than that Charles is in Christ's seat and is handsome ('Unc ne vi si formet', v. 138). There is no suggestion that he has an aura of sanctity, such as the author of the prose Galien found it necessary to add15. That his position is an insufficient claim to glory is shown by the words of the patriarch, whom the Jew brings hot-foot to see the strangers:

Unkes mais n'osat hoem en cest muster entrer
si ne li comandai u ne li oi ruvet. (vv. 149-50)

Sis as en la chaëre u sist maïmes Deus. (v. 157)

20These lines could well reproach Charles and accuse him of arrogance or vulgarity (depending on whether he knows what he is doing), though in fact the patriarch means to stress the link with Christ.

  • 16 Sturm, p. 14. Though an emendation of 'Charles', the reading 'Charlemagne' is compelling and unani (...)

21He then solemnly rebaptises Charles as 'Charles Maines sur tuz reis curunez' (v. 158) - a phrase which will be recalled by the procession at the end of the poem in which Charles wears his crown one foot three inches higher than Hugh16. Charles replies, 'Cinc cenz merciz de Deu!' (v. 159). This is prosaic in the extreme, and comic in its numerical expression, which clashes with the august subject. The scene thus both establishes a special relation between Charles and God and at the same time makes clear Charles's personal paltriness and his lack of awareness of his status.

22The likening of Charles to Christ is recalled in a later detail. When the Franks arrive at Constantinople they find an elegant and sophisticated world, full of the leisured splendour of the East; they then proceed in search of its emperor, whom they find ploughing with a golden plough. As they blunder into each of these scenes the poet says of Charles,

Atant es vus Karlun, sur un fort mul ambiant!
(vv. 275, 298)

23The heavy, lumbering syntax points up the contrast between the grace of the East and the bluntness of the West. At the same time we may see here an allusion to the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem on an ass (Matthew 21. 1-10, etc.). The comparison is never made explicit, yet it is compelling, for we have already been led to see Charles in terms of Christ; moreover the scene recalled is one of the most colourful in the New Testament, and is made the more memorable by its liturgical imitation. Once more Charles recalls Christ in a scene which puts him in a bad light even by human standards. There is a further ambivalence still, for it is because he is a pilgrim that he is riding a mule, and the Christian humility and devotion implicit in the pilgrim's manner should do him credit. Yet he has none of this manner, as his behaviour repeatedly shows; far from being exalted by humility, he is humiliated by his arrogance.

24More problematical still than such comparisons is the special relationship between Charles and God which emerges during the fulfilment of the gabs. It is a problem because the poet explicitly states that God worked miracles for the love of Charles (vv. 751-52, 791); yet this scene does not simply glorify him, any more than the one in the church does. The morning after they have made extravagant boasts while in their cups at the expense of their Greek hosts, the Franks are faced with the necessity of carrying them out. Moved less by piety than by terror, they pray before the relics, and are rewarded by the appearance of an angel; he promises them God's help on this occasion, but also chastises them for their 'folie' (v. 675). God indeed enables them to fulfil their boasts, but as we saw the victory is not unambiguous, nor are the Franks presented as superior to the Greeks in character or in manners. Moreover, the attitude of Charles to his divine protection does him no credit: far from being ennobled by it, he uses it as a secure position from which to lecture Hugh on the ethics of hospitality (vv. 686-89) and to taunt him (v. 799). All in all, God's working miracles for Charles, while it superficially enhances his status, in fact throws his unworthiness into relief.

  • 17 'Formulaic Parody', pp. 177-93.
  • 18 Herman Braet, Le Songe dans la chanson de geste au xiie siècle, Romanica Gandensia, 15 (Ghent, 197 (...)

25To magnify Charles by his relationship with God only to reveal that he is not really magnified might appear gratuitous; but it is far from being so, for it in fact extends and deepens the epic parody which informs the whole poem. All the areas of religious reference also present concentrated epic reference: the scene in the church, the journey to Constantinople, the gabs, the fulfilment of the gabs. Often, as we saw, the religious reference functions primarily as a yardstick by which to judge the enormity of what is described, and each time this also has the effect of demeaning the Franks. They are simultaneously demeaned by the epic reference, for epic language - and in particular laudatory formulae - is repeatedly applied to them in these passages which show them to be quite unlike heroes of the chanson de geste17. Where the scope of the religious reference is more complex - as in the matter of God's love for Charles it still reinforces the epic background. For Charles's status as God's protégé is itself drawn from the chanson de geste18. So God's support for Charles is related directly to the epic theme of God's love for Charlemagne. The Chanson de Roland expresses this theme in words identical to those of the Voyage, and in a similar context, namely a nature miracle; in the Voyage,

Deus i fist grant vertut pur amur Carlemaigne;
(v. 791)

26in the Roland,

  • 19 La Chanson de Roland, edited by F. Whitehead, Blackwell's French Texts, second edition (Oxford, 19 (...)

Pur Karlemagne fist Deus vertuz mult granz19.

27But how different the purpose which God's protection serves!

  • 20 Braet, p. 78, n. 2.
  • 21 Sturm, p. 5. Epic dreams are usually recounted by the narrator; see Braet, pp. 79-91.

28The essentially epic nature of the religious reference in the Voyage is clear from the start of the poem. The religious and the epic are interwoven when Charles claims to have been told in three dreams to go East. Divinely inspired dreams are commonplace in both the Bible (e.g. Genesis 37. 5-11, Matthew 1. 20-23, 2. 12) and the chanson de geste20, but since it is an epic hero who has these dreams, it is the epic reference which predominates; the biblical is subsidiary, being channelled through the literary one. It is also hard not to feel that Charles has invented these dreams, since the first and last time we hear of them it is in his voice after his decision to look for Hugh21. They are at once a pious fiction presented by Charles to his men and, for the audience, a blatant conformity by the poet to a typically epic kind of motivation.

29Charles's being likened to Christ and presented as God's protégé on the one hand, and on the other his evocation of the Charlemagne of epic, have the same result: both comparisons show up the paltriness of this Charles through contrast between his behaviour and the models he calls to mind. For the products of Charles's special religious status are quite simply misplaced. Whilst the curing of cripples is a suitable function of relics, their effect in parting every river seems more convenient than charitable. When they serve to extract the Franks from the predicament into which their drunkenness has put them, their action is both trivial and destructive. The effect of the epic reference which accompanies the religious one is to suggest that, because Charlemagne is traditionally God's protégé in the chanson de geste, He has to help this Charles even if he does not deserve it. The attack on this, the greatest attribute of the traditional Charlemagne, is devastating.

30The religious reference in the Voyage thus has a dual function. First, it acts as a norm, a purpose for which it is particularly suited, for by referring to the most memorable of biblical incidents the poet uses a scale of values universally known and accepted as a yardstick by which to measure elements in his poem. It is clear that the comparison works to the advantage of the borrowed religious element and to the demeaning of the approximation to it by the Voyage, for in each case it is the latter which is made to seem ridiculous by the use of the yardstick. There is never any question of directing ridicule at the religious norm; for it is not the faithful imitation of religious standards which is mocked, but exaggerated, misapplied or unworthy uses of them. Religious satire is quite foreign to the author's intention.

  • 22 Cf. Bennett, p. 487, and Maureen Cromie, 'Le Style formulaire dans Le Voyage de Charlemagne à Jéru (...)

31The second function of the religious reference, as we have seen, is more complex; it depends on, contributes to and deepens the relation of the Charles of the Voyage to the Charlemagne of epic tradition. In so doing it contributes to our understanding of the author's intention. For taken as a whole the poem shows a fine balance in approbation between the world of the Greeks and that of the Franks. The depiction of character seems to favour the Greek world, which recalls that of the early romances, and this would be supported in the audience's mind by the modernity and brilliance of the romance compared with the ageing chanson de geste22; but the plot - and God - give victory to the representatives of the epic tradition, and with this the audience's national prejudices would agree. The religious reference enables us to judge between these two opposing literary norms.

32The poem's religious reference, as we saw, reinforces its links with the chanson de geste, whilst at the same time it shows up the unworthiness of these would-be epic heroes. It is in fact the epic tradition that the poet's God supports, not the epic elements in the Voyage. Charles and the Franks fall short of their epic ideals and make a poor showing against the romance characters; yet the epic tradition itself is not criticised in their failures, but is vindicated through its religious dimension, and this gives them victory over the romance world. The opposition between epic and romance is in fact three-cornered, for the epic enters in both true and false form; it therefore both wins and loses the contest with the romance, and neither tradition is finally attacked.

  • 23 Cf. Anna Granville Hatcher, 'Contributions to the Pèlerinage de Charlemagne', Studies in Philology (...)

33Literary tradition, then, is not satirised in the Voyage, any more than religion is satirised. It is the epic characters in the poem who are the butts of the poet's humour; yet we are mocking poor representatives of that tradition and not the tradition itself23. The work is indeed parodic, since many of its richest effects depend on contrasts with literary norms, but it is by no means a literary satire. The fine balance of ridicule within it makes this clear, and underlines the fact that its aim is above all light-hearted humour.

Notes

1 For a survey of interpretations of the work see Jules Horrent, Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne: essai d'explication littéraire avec des notes de critique textuelle (Paris, 1961), pp. 9-12, 116-21.

2 Cf. Hans-Jörg Neuschäfer, 'Le Voyage de Charlemagne en Orient als Parodie der Chanson de geste: Untersuchungen zur Epenparodie im Mittelalter', Romanistisches Jahrbuch, 10 (1959), 78-102; Philip E. Bennett, 'Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne: le sens de l'aventure', in Essor et fortune de la chanson de geste dans l'Europe et l'Orient latin: actes du IXe Congrès International de la Société Rencesvals pour l'Etude des Epopées Romanes, Padoue - Venise, 29 août - 4 septembre 1982 (Modena, 1984), pp. 475-87 (pp. 482-87).

3 For further discussion see my 'Formulaic Parody in Old French: The Contribution of Formulae to Parody in the Fabliaux, Aucassin et Nicolette and Le Voyage de Charlemagne à Jérusalem et à Constantinople' (Ph. D. thesis, University of Cambridge, 1984), pp. 152-251.

4 Cf. d. Scheludko, 'Zur Komposition der Karlsreise', Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, 53 (1933), 317-25 (pp. 320-21).

5 Gerard J. Brault, The Song of Roland: An Analytical Edition, 2 vols (University Park and London, 1978), I, 263.

6 David Hugh Farmer, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford, 1978), p. 214 (s.n. John the Apostle).

7 Il 'Voyage de Charlemagne', edizione critica a cura de Guido Favati, Biblioteca degli Studi Mediolatini e Volgari, 4 (Bologna, 1965). I omit the editor's square brackets and his parentheses together with the contents of the latter.

8 Cf. 'Formulaic Parody', pp. 157-60, 164-71.

9 See, for example, Bruno Panvini, 'Ancora sul Pèlerinage Charlemagne', Siculorum Gymnasium, nuova serie 13 (1960), 17-80 (pp. 63-64); Favati, pp. 51-56; Cäcilie Gänssle-Pfeuffer, 'Majestet und vertut in der Karlsreise: zur Problematik der Deutung der Dichtung', Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, 83 (1967), 257-67 (p. 266); Isabel de Ríquer, Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne / La Peregrinación de Carlomagno, Biblioteca Filologica, 3 (Barcelona, 1984), pp. 15-16.

10 The relics in themselves should not be seen as comic, since they were all revered in the Middle Ages; Horrent, pp. 40-41.

11 This passage has given rise to much debate: see Madeleine Tyssens, Le Voyage de Charlemagne à Jérusalem et à Constantinople, traduction critique, Ktëmata, 3 (Ghent, 197B), p. 78, and Horrent, pp. 102-03, n. 4. Both the sense of the scene, and patterns of repetition including this detail, support the MS reading 'desur un pin'. Cf. 'Formulaic Parody', pp. 203-04, n. 93.

12 Sara Sturm, 'The Stature of Charlemagne in the Pèlerinage', Studies in Philology, 71 (1974), 1-18 (p. 15).

13 This is a literary commonplace: Brault, I, 392, n. 7.

14 Paul Aebischer, 'Sur quelques passages du Voyage de Charlemagne à Jérusalem et à Constantinople: à propos d'un livre récent', Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire, 40 (1962), 815-43 (p. 821); Favati, p. 18.

15 Galien Restoré, in Eduard Koschwitz, Sechs Bearbeitungen des altfranzösischen Gedichts von 'Karls des Grossen Reise nach Jerusalem und Constantinopel' (Heilbronn, 1879), pp. 73-97 (p. 75).

16 Sturm, p. 14. Though an emendation of 'Charles', the reading 'Charlemagne' is compelling and unanimously accepted.

17 'Formulaic Parody', pp. 177-93.

18 Herman Braet, Le Songe dans la chanson de geste au xiie siècle, Romanica Gandensia, 15 (Ghent, 1975), pp. 76-78.

19 La Chanson de Roland, edited by F. Whitehead, Blackwell's French Texts, second edition (Oxford, 1946), v. 2458.

20 Braet, p. 78, n. 2.

21 Sturm, p. 5. Epic dreams are usually recounted by the narrator; see Braet, pp. 79-91.

22 Cf. Bennett, p. 487, and Maureen Cromie, 'Le Style formulaire dans Le Voyage de Charlemagne à Jérusalem et a Constantinople (Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne)', Revue des Langues Romanes, 77 (1967), 31-54 (p. 52).

23 Cf. Anna Granville Hatcher, 'Contributions to the Pèlerinage de Charlemagne', Studies in Philology, 44 (1947), 4-25 (pp. 8-9).

Auteur

(University of Edinburgh)

© Presses universitaires de Provence, 1987

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