The Chanson de Guillaume or Chançun de Willame (English: "Song of William") is a chanson de geste from the first half of the twelfth-century (c.1140,although the first half of the poem may date from as early as the eleventh century; along with The Song of Roland and Gormont et Isembart , it is considered one of three chansons de geste whose composition incontestably dates from before 1150 ). The work is generally considered to have two distinct halves: the first tells of Guillaume (or William) of Orange, his nephew Vivien and the latter's young brother Gui and their various battles with Saracens at L'Archamp; in the second half of the poem (after 2000 lines), Guillaume is aided by Rainouard, a giant.
English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.
The chanson de geste is a medieval narrative, a type of epic poem that appears at the dawn of French literature. The earliest known poems of this genre date from the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, before the emergence of the lyric poetry of the trouvères (troubadours) and the earliest verse romances. They reached their apogee in the period 1150–1250.
The Song of Roland is an epic poem based on the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, during the reign of Charlemagne. It is the oldest surviving major work of French literature and exists in various manuscript versions, which testify to its enormous and enduring popularity in the 12th to 14th centuries.
The poem comprises 3,553 verses in assonanced laisses; most of the verses are decasyllables, but there are occasional recurring short six-syllable lines.The poem exists in only one 13th-century manuscript, written in an Anglo-Norman dialect, which only was brought to light in 1901 at the sale of the books of Sir Henry Hope Edwardes. The manuscript has since passed to the British Library (British Library, Additional 38663),
Assonance is a resemblance in the sounds of words or syllables either between their vowels or between their consonants. However, assonance between consonants is generally called consonance in American usage. The two types are often combined, as between the words six and switch, in which the vowels are identical, and the consonants are similar but not completely identical. If there is repetition of the same vowel or some similar vowels in literary work, especially in stressed syllables, this may be termed vowel harmony.
A laisse is a type of stanza, of varying length, found in medieval French literature, specifically medieval French epic poetry, such as The Song of Roland. In early works, each laisse was made up of (mono) assonanced verses, although the appearance of (mono) rhymed laisses was increasingly common in later poems. Within a poem, the length of each separate laisse is variable (whereas the metric length of the verses is invariable, each verse having the same syllable length, typically decasyllables or, occasionally, alexandrines.
Decasyllable is a poetic meter of ten syllables used in poetic traditions of syllabic verse. In languages with a stress accent, it is the equivalent of pentameter with iambs or trochees.
It is the only chanson de geste concerning the deeds of William of Orange that was not included in the cyclic 13th century collections of chansons de geste generally referred to as the Geste de Guillaume d'Orange .
Much of the poem's material (especially the second half) was expanded and adapted by the later chanson de geste Aliscans .
Aliscans is a chanson de geste of the late twelfth century. It recounts the story of the disastrous but fictional battle of Aliscans (Alescans) in France, between Christian and pagan armies. The name 'Aliscans' presumably refers to the Alyscamps in Arles. It belongs to the Guillaume d'Orange cycle, and in the action Guillaume's nephew Vivien is killed.
The chanson appears to be based on William of Gellone's battle at the Orbieu or Orbiel river near Carcassonne in 793.
The Orbieu is a 84.3-kilometre (52.4 mi) long river in the Aude département, in south central France. Its source is at Fourtou, in the Corbières. It flows generally northeast. It is a right tributary of the Aude into which it flows between Raissac-d'Aude and Marcorignan, 10 kilometres (6 mi) northwest of Narbonne.
Carcassonne is a French fortified city in the department of Aude, in the region of Occitanie. A prefecture, it has a population of about 50,000.
Huon of Bordeaux is the title character of a 13th-century French epic poem with romance elements.
Renaud de Montauban was a fictional hero and knight who was introduced to literature in a 12th-century Old French chanson de geste known as Les Quatre Fils Aymon. The four sons of Duke Aymon are Renaud, Richard, Alard, and Guiscard, and their cousin is the magician Maugris. Renaud possess a magical horse Bayard and the sword Froberge.
The Matter of France, also known as the Carolingian cycle, is a body of literature and legendary material associated with the history of France, in particular involving Charlemagne and his associates. The cycle springs from the Old French chansons de geste, and was later adapted into a variety of art forms, including Renaissance epics and operas. Together with the Matter of Britain, which concerned King Arthur, and the Matter of Rome, comprising material derived from and inspired by classical mythology, it was one of the great literary cycles that figured repeatedly in medieval literature.
William of Gellone, the medieval William of Orange, was the second Duke of Toulouse from 790 until 811. In 804, he founded the abbey of Gellone. He was canonized a saint in 1066 by Pope Alexander II.
Medieval French literature is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in Oïl languages during the period from the eleventh century to the end of the fifteenth century.
La Geste de Garin de Monglane is the second cycle of the three great cycles of chansons de geste created in the early days of the genre. It centres on Garin de Monglane.
Fierabras or Ferumbras is a fictional Saracen knight appearing in several chansons de geste and other material relating to the Matter of France. He is the son of Balan, king of Spain, and is frequently shown in conflict with Roland and the Twelve Peers, especially Oliver, whose prowess he almost rivals. Fierabras eventually converts to Christianity and fights for Charlemagne.
Andrea Mangiabotti, called Andrea da Barberino was an Italian writer and cantastorie ("storyteller") of the Quattrocento Renaissance. He was born in Barberino Val d'Elsa, near Florence and lived in Florence. He is principally known for his prose romance epic Il Guerrin Meschino, his I Reali di Francia, a prose compilation of the Matter of France epic material concerning Charlemagne and Roland (Orlandino) from various legends and chansons de geste, and for his Aspramonte, a reworking of the chanson de geste Aspremont, which also features the hero Ruggiero. Many of his writings probably derive from Franco-Italian works, such as the Geste Francor, that includes versions of the stories of Reali di Francia and dates to the first half of the fourteenth century. His works, which circulated at first in manuscript, were extremely successful and popular, and were a key source of material for later Italian romance writers, such as Luigi Pulci (Morgante), Matteo Maria Boiardo and Ludovico Ariosto.
Chanson d'Aspremont is a 12th-century Old French chanson de geste. The poem comprises 11, 376 verses, grouped into rhymed laisses. The verses are decasyllables mixed with alexandrines.
The Karlamagnús saga, Karlamagnussaga or Karlamagnus-saga was a late-thirteenth-century Norse prose compilation and adaptation, made for Haakon V of Norway, of the Old French chansons de geste of the Matter of France dealing with Charlemagne and his paladins. In some cases, the Karlamagnús saga remains the only source for otherwise-lost Old French epics.
Girart de Vienne is a late twelfth-century (c.1180) Old French chanson de geste by Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube. The work tells the story of the sons of Garin de Monglane and their battles with the Emperor Charlemagne, and it establishes the friendship of the epic heroes Olivier and Roland.
Aymeri de Narbonne is a legendary hero of Old French chansons de geste and the Matter of France. In the legendary material, as elaborated and expanded in various medieval texts, Aymeri is a knight in the time of Charlemagne's wars with the Saracens after the Battle of Roncevaux Pass. He is son of Hernaut and the grandson of Garin de Monglane. He conquers the city of Narbonne, marries a princess named Hermengarde or Hermenjart, and fathers seven sons, the most famous being Guillaume d'Orange, the hero of several popular chansons de geste.
The Charroi de Nîmes, is an Old French chanson de geste from the first half of the twelfth-century, part of the cycle of chansons concerning Guillaume of Orange, generally referred to collectively as the Geste de Guillaume d'Orange.
The Prise d'Orange, is an Old French chanson de geste from the end of the twelfth-century, part of the cycle of chansons concerning Guillaume of Orange, generally referred to collectively as the Geste de Guillaume d'Orange. Its plot concerns William's conquest of the city of Orange from the Saracens and of his marriage to its queen Orable, renamed Guibourc.
Galiens li Restorés, or Galien le Restoré or Galien rhétoré, is an Old French chanson de geste which borrows heavily from chivalric romance. Its composition dates anywhere from the end of the twelfth century to the middle of the fourteenth century. Five versions of the tale are extant, dating from the fifteenth century to the sixteenth century, one in verse and the others in prose. The story—which is closely linked to the earlier chansons de gestePèlerinage de Charlemagne and The Song of Roland —tells of the adventures of Galien, son of the hero Olivier and of Jacqueline, the daughter of the (fictional) emperor Hugon of Constantinople.
Gormond et Isembart is an Old French chanson de geste from the second half of the eleventh or first half of the twelfth century. Along with The Song of Roland and the Chanson de Guillaume, it is one of the three chansons de geste whose composition incontestably dates from before 1150; it may be slightly younger than The Song of Roland and, according to one expert, may date from as early as 1068. The poem tells the story of a rebellious young French lord, Isembart, who allies himself with a Saracen king, Gormond, renounces his Christianity, and battles the French king. The poem is sometimes grouped with the Geste de Doon de Mayence or "rebellious vassal cycle" of chansons de geste.
The literature of England is literature written in what is now England, or by English writers. It consists mainly of English literature - i.e. literature written in the English language - but there are important examples of literature from England written in other languages.
Guillaume de Dole is an Old French narrative romance by Jean Renart. Composed in the early 13th century, the poem is 5,656 lines long and is especially notable for the large number of chansons it contains, and for its active female protagonist. The romance incorporates forty-six chansons ; it is the first extant example in French literature of a text that combines narrative and lyric. Its form was quickly imitated, by authors such as Gerbert de Montreuil, and by the end of the 13th century had become canonical.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
Urban Tigner Holmes Jr. was an American scholar focusing on medieval literature and romance philology.