Guilhèm "lo Grand" de Gellona, comte de Toulouse (c.755 - c.812) MP

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Nicknames: "Guillaume de Gellone", "São Guilherme de Gellone", "Guillaume", "d'Orange", "William of Gellone", "William of Orange"
Birthplace: Toulouse, Jura, Franche-Comte, France
Death: Died in Aniane, Département de l'Hérault (Erau), Languedoc, France
Occupation: 2nd Count of Toulouse 790/806, Marquis de Septimanie 788-806, duc d'Aquitaine, Comte de Razès, Count of Toulouse
Managed by: Debora Ann Baxter
Last Updated:

About Guilhèm "lo Grand" de Gellona, comte de Toulouse

From the Wikipedia page on William of Gellone:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_of_Gellone

Saint William of Gellone (755 – 28 May (traditional) 812/4) was the second Count of Toulouse from 790 until his replacement in 811. His Occitan name is Guilhem, and he is known in French as Guillaume d'Orange, Guillaume Fierabrace, and the Marquis au court nez.

He is the hero of the Chanson de Guillaume, an early chanson de geste, and of several later sequels, which were categorized by thirteenth-century poets as the geste of Garin de Monglane. Another early product of oral traditions about William is a Latin Vita ("Biography"), written before the 11th century, according to Jean Mabillon, or during the 11th century according to the Bollandist Godfrey Henschen.

William in history

William was born in northern France in the mid-8th century. He was a cousin of Charlemagne (his mother Aldana was daughter of Charles Martel) and the son of Thierry IV, Count of Autun and Toulouse. As a kinsman and trusted comes he spent his youth in the court of Charlemagne. When William was made Count of Toulouse in 790, Charlemagne placed his young son Louis the Pious, who was to inherit Aquitaine, in his charge. As Count he successfully subdued the Gascons.

In 793, Hisham I (called by the Franks Hescham), the successor of Abd ar-Rahman I, proclaimed a holy war against the Christians to the north. He amassed an army of 100,000 men, half of which attacked the Kingdom of Asturias while the other half invaded Languedoc, penetrating as far as Narbonne.

William met this force and defeated them. He met the Muslim forces again near the river Orbieu, at Villedaigne, where he was defeated, though his obstinate resistance exhausted the Muslim forces so much that they retreated to Spain. However, Narbonne was garrisoned and remained under Muslim control. In 803, William took part in the campaign that took Barcelona from the Moors.

In 804, he founded the monastery of Gellone (now Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert) near Lodève in the diocese of Maguelonne, which he placed under the general control of Benedict of Aniane, whose monastery was nearby. He retired as a monk there in 806 where he eventually died on the 28 May 812 (or 814). His feast is on that date.

Among his gifts to the abbey he founded was a piece of the True Cross, a present from his cousin Charlemagne, who reportedly wept at his death. Charlemagne had received the relic from the Patriarch of Jerusalem according to the Vita of William. When he died, it was said the bells at Orange rang on their own accord. He mentioned both his family and monastery in his will. [1]. He granted property to Gellone and placed the monastery under the perpetual control of the abbots of Aniane. It became a subject of contention however as the reputation of William grew. So many pilgrims were attracted to Gellone that his corpse was exhumed from the modest site in the narthex and given a more prominent place under the choir, to the intense dissatisfaction of the Abbey of Aniane. A number of forged documents and assertions were produced on each side that leave details of actual history doubtful. The Abbey was a major stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Its late 12th century Romanesque cloister, systematically dismantalled during the French revolution, found its way to The Cloisters in New York. The Sacramentary of Gellone, dating to the late 8th century, is a famous manuscript.

William in romance

William's faithful service to Charlemagne is portrayed as an example of feudal loyalty. William's career battling Saracens is sung in epic poems in the 12th and 13th century cycle called La Geste de Garin de Monglane, some two dozen chansons de geste that actually center around William, the great-grandson of the largely legendary Garin.

One section of the cycle, however, is devoted to the feats of his father, there named Aymeri de Narbonne, who has received Narbonne as his seigniory after his return from Spain with Charlemagne. Details of the "Aymeri" of the poem are conflated with a later historic figure who was truly the viscount of Narbonne from 1108 to 1134. In the chanson he is awarded Ermengart, daughter of Didier, and sister of Boniface, king of the Lombards. Among his seven sons and five daughters (one of whom marries Louis the Pious) is William.

The defeat of the Moors at Orange was given legendary treatment in the 12th century epic La Prise d'Orange. There, he was made Count of Toulouse in the stead of the disgraced Chorso, then King of Aquitaine in 778. He is difficult to separate from the legends and poems that gave him feats of arms, lineage and titles: Guillaume Fièrebras, Guillaum au Court-Nez (broken in a battle with a giant), Guillaum de Narbonne, Guillaume d'Orange. His wife is said to have been a converted Saracen, Orable later christened Guibourc.

Later references

In 1972 historian Arthur Zuckerman published A Jewish Princedom in Feudal France, a book about the dynasty of Makhir of Narbonne published by Columbia University Press. In that book Zuckerman argued that it was possible that William of Gellone was in fact one of the sons of Makhir, who he identified with the individual known in medieval sources as "Theodoric, King of the Jews of Septimania." Zuckerman made no definitive conclusions on this point, and the suggestion has since been refuted. (Graboïs, Aryeh, "Une Principaute Juive dans la France du Midi a l'Époque Carolingienne?", Annales du Midi, 85: 191-202 (1973); N.L. Taylor, "Saint William, King David, and Makhir: a Controversial Medieval Descent", The American Genealogist, 72: 205-223.)

William, listed under the name Guillem de Gellone, is a prominent figure in the pseudohistorical book Holy Blood Holy Grail. The book claims that William was the son of Theodoric, and that since Theodoric was Merovingian, that meant that William was Merovingian as well, and plus was a "Jew of royal blood". The book goes on to state that "modern scholarship and research have proved Guillem's Judaism beyond dispute." It should be noted, however, that many other claims in the book which were listed as "fact", were later proven to be false (such as the existence of the Priory of Sion), because the authors were basing much of their researches on "medieval documents" which were later shown to be forgeries.

The importance of citing William's noble heritage and Judaism, was so that the authors could prove a genealogical link between the House of David, the Merovingian nobility, and France, in order to make a case that the Holy Grail was actually the bloodline of Jesus that had worked its way into the bloodline of Frankish royalty. This line of reasoning was later incorporated into the plot of the bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code and from there into various television documentaries.

References

1. Catholic Encyclopedia: St William of Gellone: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15633a.htm

2. "L'Abbaye de Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert" http://medieval.mrugala.net/Architecture/Saint%20Guilhem%20le%20desert/ (in French)

3. Metropolitan Museum:The Saint-Guilhem Cloister - http://www.metmuseum.org/Works_of_Art/viewOne.asp?dep=7&viewmode=0&isHighlight=1&item=25.120.1-.134

4. This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Count of Toulouse (790–811)

Preceded by Torson

Succeeded by Beggo

--------------------

(French Wikipedia has a section on descendants:

With his first wife Cunegonde, he had the following children:

1. Helmburgis (died young before 824)

2. Guicaire and Hildehelm, mentioned only in 804 in the charter of the Abbey of St-Guilhelm-du-Desert.

3. Heribert (blinded in 830 under orders of King Lothair I)

4. Perhaps Helimbruc, but this could easily be a bad spelling of Heribert.

5. Bernard de Septimanie (c.795-844)

6. Gerberga (d.834) who acted with her half-brother Gucelm, and under orders of King Lothair I, was locked into a barrel and drowned in the Saone River.

With his second wife Guibourg:

1. Gaucelm or "Gaucelm Rousillon" (d. 834) Marquis de Gothie in 812, beheaded in Chalon-sur-Saone under orders from King Lothair I.

2. Theodoric (Thierry, d. shortly after 826), Comte d'Autun.

3. Garnier or Warner, cited only in the Manuel de Dhuoda

4. Rodlinde (d. c.843), probably the spouse of Wala, Abbot of Corbie.)

--------------------

Sepultura: na Abadia de Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert ou de Gellone. "Un dépôt lapidaire, abrité dans l'ancien réfectoire, présente des chapiteaux, des colonnes ondées, des statues. On y trouve le tombeau en marbre du fondateur de l'abbaye. Il s'agit d'un tombeau antique de l'école d'Arles, qui a été réutilisé. Autre sarcophage, celui des sœurs de Guilhem, Albane et Bertane"; "A sa mort, Guilhem, en signe d’humilité demandera à être enterré à même le sol, ce n’est qu’au XII° siècle, que le corps de Guilhem devenu Saint-Guilhem sera transféré dans un sarcophage antique de marbre et installé dans le chœur, tout était prêt pour que la réputation du fondateur dont la vie venait d’être écrite, amplifiée par les chansons de geste, entraîne les fidèles de tous les horizons et, en particulier, ceux qui suivaient le Guide du pèlerin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle : « ceux qui vont à Saint-Jacques par la route de Toulouse doivent rendre visite au corps du bienheureux confesseur Guillaume. Le très saint porte-enseigne Guillaume était comte de l’entourage du roi Charlemagne et non des moindres, soldats très courageux, expert dans les choses de la guerre ; c’est lui qui par son courage et sa vaillance soumit, dit-on les villes de Nîmes et d’Orange et bien d’autres encore à la domination chrétienne et apporta le bois de la croix du Sauveur dans la vallée de Gellone, vallée où il mena la vie érémitique et où ce confesseur du Christ, après sa fin bienheureuse, repose entouré d’honneur (...)".

--------------------

Occupation: Count of Toulouse

--------------------

Encyclopedia: The chansons de geste, Old French

Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories which span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from around 900 to 1300...

for "songs of heroic deeds [or lineages]"

A hero , in Greek mythology and folklore, was originally a demigod, their cult being one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion...

are the epic poems

An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

that appear at the dawn of French literature.

French literature is, generally speaking, literature written in the French language, particularly by citizens of France; it may also refer to literature written by people living in France who speak other traditional non-French languages. Literature written by citizens of other nations such as...

The earliest known examples date from the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, nearly a hundred years before the emergence of the lyric poetry

Lyric poetry usually refers nowadays to a short poem that expresses personal feelings. It need not be set to music. Aristotle, in Poetics 1447a, merely mentions lyric poetry along with drama, epic poetry, dancing, painting and other forms of mimesis...

of the trouvères (troubadours)

A troubadour was a composer and performer of Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....

and the earliest verse romances.

As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a style of heroic prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about the marvelous adventures of a chivalrous, heroic knight errant,...

The French chanson gave rise to the Old Spanish tradition of the cantar de gesta.

A cantar de gesta is the Spanish equivalent of the Old French medieval chanson de geste or "songs of heroic deeds".The most important cantares de gesta of Castile were:...

Subjects

Composed in Old French

Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories which span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from around 900 to 1300...

and apparently intended for oral performance by jongleurs,

A minstrel was a medieval European bard who performed songs whose lyrics told stories about distant places or about real or imaginary historical events. Though minstrels created their own tales, often they would memorize and embellish the works of others. Frequently they were retained by royalty...

the chansons de geste narrate legendary incidents (sometimes based on real events) in the history of France

France , officially the French Republic , is a country located in Western Europe, with several overseas islands and territories located on other continents. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean...

during the eighth and ninth centuries, the age of Charles Martel,

Charles Martel , called Charles the Hammer, was a Frankish military and political leader, who served as Mayor of the Palace under the Merovingian kings and ruled de facto during an interregnum at the end of his life, using the title Duke and Prince of the Franks. In 739 he was offered the title...

Charlemagne

Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 to his death. He expanded the Frankish kingdoms into a Frankish Empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe...

and Louis the Pious,

Louis the Pious , also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was also King of the Franks and co-Emperor with his father, Charlemagne, from 813...

with emphasis on their conflicts with the Moors

The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of Muslim people of Berber, Black African and Arab descent from North Africa, some of whom came to conquer and occupy the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. The North Africans termed it Al Andalus, comprising most...

and Saracens.

Saracen was a term used by Europeans in the Middle Ages for Arabs at first, then later for all who professed the religion of Islam.-Etymology:...

To these historical legends, fantasy

Fantasy is a genre that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting. Many works within the genre take place on fictional planes or planets where magic is common...

is gradually added; giants,

The mythology and legends of many different cultures include monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. "Giant" is the English word commonly used for such beings, derived from one of the most famed examples: the gigantes of Greek mythology.In various Indo-European mythologies,...

magic,

Magic, sometimes known as sorcery, is the practice of consciousness manipulation and/or autosuggestion to achieve a desired result, usually by techniques described in various conceptual systems...

and monsters

A monster is any type of legendary creatures which usually appear in legend or horror fiction. The word monster derives from the latin word monstrum, meaning "omen", from the root of monere and also meaning "prodigy" or "miracle"....

increasingly appear among the foes along with Muslims. There is also an increasing dose of Eastern adventure, drawing on contemporary experiences in the Crusades;

The Crusades were a series of religiously-sanctioned military campaigns waged by much of Latin Christian Europe, particularly the Franks of France and the Holy Roman Empire. The specific crusades to restore Christian control of the Holy Land were fought over a period of nearly 200 years, between...

in addition, one series of chansons retells the events of the First Crusade

The First Crusade was a military expedition by European Christians to regain the Holy Lands taken by the Muslim conquest of the Levant, which resulted in the capture of Jerusalem in 1099. It was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the primary goal of responding to the appeal from Byzantine...

and the first years of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The Kingdom of Jerusalem was a Christian kingdom established in the Levant in 1099 after the First Crusade. It lasted nearly two hundred years, from 1099 until 1291 when the last remaining possession, Acre, was destroyed by the Mamluks....

Finally, in chansons of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the historical and military aspects wane, and the fantastic elements in the stories dominate.

The traditional subject matter of the chansons de geste became known as the Matter of France.

The Matter of France, also known as the Carolingian cycle, is a body of legendary history that springs from the Old French medieval literature of the chansons de geste...

This distinguished them from romances concerned with the Matter of Britain,

The Matter of Britain is a name given collectively to the legends that concern the Celtic and legendary history of Great Britain, especially those focused on King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table...

that is, King Arthur

King Arthur is a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defense of Britain against the Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated...

and his knights;

A knight was a "gentleman soldier" or member of the warrior class of the Middle Ages in Europe. In other Indo-European languages, cognates of cavalier or rider are more prevalent suggesting a connection to the knight's mode of transport...

and with the so-called Matter of Rome,

According to the mediæval poet Jean Bodel, the Matter of Rome was the literary cycle made up of Greek and Roman mythology, together with episodes from the history of classical antiquity, focusing on military heroes like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar...

covering the Trojan War,

In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy stole Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including the Iliad...

the conquests of Alexander the Great

Alexander III of Macedon, popularly known as Alexander the Great , was an Ancient Greek king of Macedon who created one of the largest empires in ancient history...

, the life of Julius CæsarJulius CaesarGaius Julius Caesar , , was a Roman military and political leader. He played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

and some of his Imperial

The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean. The term is used to describe the Roman state during and after the time of the first emperor,...

successors, who were given medieval makeovers as exemplars of chivalry.

Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood. It is usually associated with ideals of knightly virtues, honor and courtly love. The word is derived from the French word chevalier, indicating one who rides a horse Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of...

The poems contain a small and unvarying assortment of character types;

A character is the representation of a person in a narrative or dramatic work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr through its Latin transcription character, the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its...

the repertoire of valiant hero, brave traitor, shifty or cowardly traitor, Saracen

Saracen was a term used by Europeans in the Middle Ages for Arabs at first, then later for all who professed the religion of Islam.-Etymology:...

giant, beautiful Saracen princess, and so forth is one that is easily exhausted. As the genre matured, fantasy elements were introduced. Some of the characters that were devised by the poets in this manner include the fairy

A fairy is a type of mythological being or legendary creature, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural.The word fairy derives from the term fae of medieval Western...

Oberon, who made his literary debut in Huon de Bordeaux; and the magic horse Bayard,

Bayard is a magic bay horse in the legends derived from the chansons de geste, renowned for his spirit, and possessed the supernatural ability to adjust his size to his riders.Bayard is a redhead with a heart of gold and the mind of a fox. Bayard first appears as the property of...

who first appears in Renaud de Montauban.

Renaud de Montauban, was a fictional hero who was introduced to literature in a 12th century Old French chanson de geste also known as the Quatre Fils Aymon . His exploits form part of the Doon de Mayence cycle of chansons...

Quite soon an element of self-parody

A parody , in contemporary usage, is a work created to mock, comment on, or poke fun at an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

appears; even the august Charlemagne was not above gentle mockery in the Pèlerinage de Charlemagne.

Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne or Voyage de Charlemagne à Jérusalem et à Constantinople is an Old French chanson de geste dealing with a fictional expedition by Charlemagne and his knights. The oldest known written version was probably composed around 1140...

Origins

The origin of the chanson de geste as a form is much debated. The nineteenth century medievalist Gaston Paris,

Bruno Paulin Gaston Paris , known as Gaston Paris, was a French writer and scholar.-Biography:Paris was born at Avenay...

recognising that they drew on an oral epic tradition, identified this with narrative songs (sometimes called cantilenae)

Cantilena is the oldest known literary text in the Maltese language. It dates from the 15th century but was not found until 1966 or 1968 by Prof. Godfrey Wettinger and Fr. M. Fsadni . The poem is attributed to Pietru Caxaro, and was recorded by Caxaro's nephew, Brandano, in his notarial...

that are occasionally mentioned by contemporary authors in other genres.

Such songs about important events were sometimes being sung very soon after the military events described. As a first example, a contemporary historian records that the names of those who fell at the very minor ambush at Roncesvalles

The Battle of Roncevaux Pass was a battle in 778 in which Roland, prefect of the Breton March and commander of the rear guard of Charlemagne's army, was defeated by the Basques...

were on everyone's lips sixty years after the event, indicating the growth of a legend quite out of proportion to the original incident—a legend that would result, long afterwards, in the various versions of the Song of Roland that are now known. As a second example, there are references to contemporary songs on the subject of the First Crusade

The First Crusade was a military expedition by European Christians to regain the Holy Lands taken by the Muslim conquest of the Levant, which resulted in the capture of Jerusalem in 1099. It was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the primary goal of responding to the appeal from Byzantine...

in two historical sources on that Crusade, supporting the statement by Graindor of Brie, composer of the surviving Chanson d'Antioche,

The Chanson d'Antioche is a chanson de geste in 9000 lines of alexandrines in stanzas called laisses, now known in a version composed about 1180 for a courtly French audience and embedded in a quasi-historical cycle of epic poems inspired by the events of 1097 – 1099, the climax of the First...

that he had drawn on the original work of the jongleur and participant Richard le Pèlerin. The Spanish Cantar de Mio Cid

El Cantar de Mio Cid , also known in English as The Lay of the Cid, is the oldest preserved Spanish epic poem . The Spanish medievalist Ramón Menéndez Pidal included the "Cantar de Mío Cid" in the popular tradition he termed the mester de juglaría...

shows that a comparable narrative tradition existed in Spain at the same period.

Gaston Paris also believed that the early singers followed the courts of kings and military leaders, as did Norse skalds

The skald was a member of a group of poets, whose courtly poetry is associated with the courts of Scandinavian and Icelandic leaders during the Viking age, who composed and performed renditions of aspects of what we now characterise as Old Norse poetry .The most prevalent metre of skaldic poetry is...

(lyric poets) and some Celtic bards,

In medieval Gaelic and British culture a bard was a professional poet, paid by a monarch to praise the sovereign's activities....

but the evidence on this is less conclusive.

Another school of thought, championed by Joseph Bédier,

Joseph Bédier was a French writer and scholar and historian of medieval France.-Biography: Bédier was born in Paris, France to Adolphe Bédier, a lawyer of Breton origin, and spent his childhood in Réunion. He was a professor of medieval French literature at the Université de Fribourg, Switzerland ...

holds that the poems were the invention of the poets who wrote them. Bédier further suggests that some of the stories were first invented by monks,

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, whilst always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

who used them to advertise pilgrimage

In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance. Sometimes, it is a journey to a shrine of importance to a person's beliefs and faith. Members of many major religions participate in pilgrimages...

sites by connecting them not only with saints

Saints, individuals of exceptional holiness, are significant in many religions, particularly Christianity.-General characteristics :Though the term is mostly used for Christians considered holy or virtuous, many religions use similar concepts to elevate people worthy of respect, e.g. see Hindu...

but also by legendary heroes of folklore.

Folklore is the body of expressive culture, including stories, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, and so forth within a particular population comprising the traditions of that culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which...

Magical relics

A relic is an object or a personal item of religious significance, carefully preserved with an air of veneration as a tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of some forms of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Shamanism, and many other religions....

frequently appear in the tales. This point of view has fewer proponents since the development of Oral theory; it is additionally problematic because monks were specifically forbidden to dabble in the literature of the jongleurs.

Versification

Early chansons de geste are composed in ten-syllable lines grouped in assonanced

Assonance is refrain of vowel sounds to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences, and together with alliteration and consonance serves as one of the building blocks of verse. For example, in the phrase "Do you like blue?", the is repeated within the sentence and is assonant. Assonance...

stanzas

In poetry, a stanza is a unit within a larger poem. In modern poetry, the term is often equivalent with strophe; in popular vocal music, a stanza is typically referred to as a "verse"...

(meaning that the last stressed vowel is the same in each line throughout the stanza, but the last consonant differs from line to line). These stanzas are typically called laisses.

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 assonanced verses, although the appearance of rhymed laisses was increasingly common in later...

Stanzas are of variable length. An example from the Chanson de Roland illustrates the technique. The assonance in this stanza is on e:

Desuz un pin, delez un eglanter

Un faldestoed i unt, fait tout d'or mer:

La siet li reis ki dulce France tient.

Blanche ad la barbe et tut flurit le chef,

Gent ad le cors et le cuntenant fier.

S'est kil demandet, ne l'estoet enseigner.

Under a pine tree, by a rosebush,

there is a throne made entirely of gold.

There sits the king who rules sweet France;

his beard is white, with a full head of hair.

He is noble in carriage, and proud of bearing.

If anyone is looking for the King, he doesn't need to be pointed out.

Later chansons are composed in monorhyme stanzas, in which the last syllable of each line rhymes fully throughout the stanza. A second change is that each line now contains 12 syllables instead of 10. The following example is from the opening lines of Les Chétifs, a chanson in the Crusade cycle

The Crusade cycle is an Old French cycle of chansons de geste concerning the First Crusade and its aftermath.

The cycle contains a number of initially unrelated texts, collated into interconnected narratives by later redactors...

The rhyme is on ie:

Or s'en fuit Corbarans tos les plains de Surie,

N'enmaine que .ii. rois ens en sa conpaignie.

S'enporte Brohadas, fis Soudan de Persie;

En l'estor l'avoit mort a l'espee forbie

Li bons dus Godefrois a le chiere hardie

Tres devant Anthioce ens en la prairie.

So Corbaran escaped across the plains of Syria;

He took only two kings in his company.

He carried away Brohadas, son of the Sultan of Persia,

Who had been killed in the battle by the clean sword

Of the brave-spirited good duke Godfrey

Right in front of Antioch, down in the meadow.

Performance

The songs were recited (sometimes to casual audiences, sometimes possibly in a more formal setting) by jongleurs, who would sometimes accompany themselves, or be accompanied, on the vielle,

The vielle is a European bowed stringed instrument used in the Medieval period, similar to a modern violin but with a somewhat longer and deeper body, five gut strings, and a leaf-shaped pegbox with frontal tuning pegs. The instrument was also known as a fidel or a viuola, although the French name...

a mediæval fiddle

The term fiddle may refer to any bowed string musical instrument, including the violin. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music...

played with a bow. Several manuscript texts include lines in which the jongleur demands attention, threatens to stop singing, promises to continue the next day, and asks for money or gifts. Since paper was extremely expensive and not all poets could read, it seems likely that even after the chansons had begun to be written down, many performances continued to depend on oral transmission. As an indication of the role played by orality in the tradition of the chanson de geste, lines and sometimes whole stanzas (especially in the earlier examples) are noticeably formulaic

Oral poetry can be defined in various ways. A strict definition would include only poetry that is composed and transmitted without any aid of writing. However, the complex relationships between written and spoken literature in some societies can make this definition hard to maintain, and oral...

in nature, making it possible both for the poet to construct a poem in performance and for the audience to grasp a new theme with ease.

The poems themselves

Approximately 80 chansons de geste survive, in manuscripts that date from the 12th to the 15th century. Several popular chansons were written down more than once in varying forms. The earliest chansons are all (more or less) anonymous; many later ones have named authors.

About 1215 Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube,

Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube was an Old French poet from the Champagne region of France who wrote a number of chansons de geste. He is the author of Girard de Vienne, and it is likely that he also wrote Aymeri de Narbonne...

in the introductory lines to his Girart de Vienne, subdivided the Matter of France, the usual subject area of the chansons de geste, into three cycles,

Literary cycles are groups of stories grouped around common figures, often based on mythical figures or loosely on historic ones. Cycles which deal with an entire country are sometimes referred to as matters...

which revolved around three main characters (see quotation at Matter of France). There are several other less formal lists of chansons, or of the legends they incorporate. One can be found in the fabliau

The fabliau is a comic, But not true often anonymous tale written by jongleurs in northeast France in the 12th and 13th centuries. They are generally bawdy in nature, and several of them were reworked by Giovanni Boccaccio for the Decamerone and by Geoffrey Chaucer for his Canterbury Tales...

entitled Des Deux Bordeors Ribauz, a humorous tale of the second half of the 13th century, in which a jongleur lists the stories he knows. Another is included by the Catalan troubadour Guiraut de Cabrera in his humorous poem Ensenhamen,

An ensenhamen was an Occitan didactic poem associated with the troubadours. As a genre of Occitan literature, its limits have been open to debate since it was first defined in the 19th century...

better known from its first words as "Cabra juglar": this is addressed to a juglar (jongleur) and purports to instruct him on the poems he ought to know but doesn't.

The listing below is arranged according to Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube's cycles, extended with two additional groupings and with a final list of chansons that fit into no cycle. There are numerous differences of opinion about the categorization of individual chansons.

Geste du roi

The chief character is usually Charlemagne or one of his immediate successors. A pervasive theme is the King's role as champion of Christianity. This cycle contains the first of the chansons to be written down, the Chanson de Roland or "Song of Roland".

Chanson de Roland (c. 1100 for the Oxford text, the earliest written version); several other versions exist, including the Occitan

Occitan , known also as Lenga d'òc in Occitan or Langue d'oc in French is a Romance language spoken in Occitania, that is, Southern France, the Occitan Valleys of Italy, Monaco and in the Aran Valley of Spain...

Ronsasvals, the Middle High German

Middle High German , abbreviated MHG , is the term used for the period in the history of the German language between 1050 and 1350. It is preceded by Old High German and followed by Early New High German...

Ruolandsliet and the Latin Carmen de Prodicione Guenonis

Carmen de Prodicione Guenonis is an anonymous poem in medieval Latin, written in the first half of the 12th century. Composed in elegiac couplets by an unskilled versifier, it is a version of the legendary history of the Battle of Roncevaux Pass...

Entrée d'Espagne

Galiens li Restorés known from a single manuscript of about 1490

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...

Anseïs de Carthage (c. 1200)

Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne or Voyage de Charlemagne à Jérusalem et à Constantinople is an Old French chanson de geste dealing with a fictional expedition by Charlemagne and his knights. The oldest known written version was probably composed around 1140... or Voyage de Charlemagne à Jérusalem et à Constantinople dealing with a fictional expedition by Charlemagne and his knights (c. 1140; two 15th century reworkings)

Fiërabras or Ferumbras is a Saracen knight appearing in several chansons de geste and other material relating to the Matter of France... (c. 1170)

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.... (c. 1190); a later version formed the basis of Aspramonte by Andrea da Barberino

Andrea Mangiabotti, called Andrea da Barberino was an Italian writer and cantastorie of the Quattrocento Renaissance. He was born in Barberino Val d'Elsa and lived in Florence...

Aiquin or Acquin

Chanson de Saisnes or "Song of the Saxons", by Jean Bodel

Jean Bodel, who lived in the late twelfth century, was an Old French poet who wrote a number of chansons de geste as well as many fabliaux. He lived in Arras.... (c. 1200)

Otuel or Otinel

Berthe aux Grands Pieds by Adenet le Roi (c. 1275), and a later Franco-Italian reworking

Mainet

Basin is a chanson de geste about Charlemagne's childhood. While the Old French epic poem has been lost, the story has come down to us via a 13th century Norse prose version in the Karlamagnús saga.-Plot:...

Les Enfances Ogier by Adenet le Roi (c. 1275)

Ogier the Dane is a legendary character who first appears in an Old French chanson de geste, in the cycle of poems Geste de Doon de Mayence.-Possible historic basis:The 12th c...by Raimbert de Paris

Jehan de Lanson (before 1239)

Gui de Bourgogne

Gaydon, named for a parish and village in Warwickshire, England, close to Leamington Spa. In the 2001 census, the parish had a population of 376.The village is at the junction of the B4100 and B4451 roads, a mile from Junction 12 of the M40 motorway, and is two miles north-east of Kineton.Close by is the... (c. 1230)

Macaire. The name "Macaire" was first documented as an Irish Saint in the Bible. It is appears to have several claims of origin. It was a male name and currently is considered a female name... or La Chanson de la Reine Sebile

Huon de Bordeaux originally c. 1215-1240, known from slightly later manuscripts. A "prequel" and four sequels were later added:

Auberon

Chanson d'Esclarmonde

Clarisse et Florent

Yde et Olive is an Old French chanson de geste. It is a sequel to Huon de Bordeaux and follows the Chanson d'Esclarmonde, the story of Huon's wife, and Clarisse et Florent, the story of Yde's parents, in the cycle. It is perhaps the earliest Old French adaptation of the myth of Iphis...

Godin

Hugues Capet (c. 1360)

Huon d'Auvergne, a lost chanson known from a 16th century retelling. The hero is mentioned among epic heroes in the Ensenhamen of Guiraut de Cabrera, and figures as a character in Mainet

Geste de Garin de Monglane

The central character is not Garin de Monglane

Garin de Monglane, or Montglane, the creation of Conrad von Stöffler in 1280, is a fictional aristocrat who gives his name to the second cycle of Old French chansons de geste, La Geste de Garin de Monglane...

but his supposed great-grandson, Guillaume d'Orange.

Saint William of Gellone was the second Count of Toulouse from 790 until his replacement in 811. His Occitan name is Guilhem, and he is known in French as Guillaume d'Orange, Guillaume Fierabrace, and the Marquis au court nez.He is the hero of the Chanson de Guillaume, an early chanson de geste,...

These chansons deal with knights who were typically younger sons, not heirs, who seek land and glory through combat with the Infidel (in practice, Muslim) enemy.

The Chanson de Guillaume or Chançun de Willame is a chanson de geste from the first half of the twelfth-century 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 The Chanson de Guillaume or Chançun de...(c. 1100)

Couronnement de Louis (c. 1130)

Le Charroi de Nîmes (c. 1140)

La Prise d'Orange (c. 1150), reworking of a lost version from before 1122

Aliscans is a chanson de geste of the late twelfth century. It recounts the story of the disastrous but fictional battle of Aliscans in France, between Christian and pagan armies. The name 'Aliscans' presumably refers to the Alyscamps in Arles... (c. 1180), with several later versions

La Bataille Loquifer by Graindor de Brie (fl. 1170)

Le Moniage Rainouart by Graindor de Brie (fl. 1170)

Foulques de Candie, by Herbert le Duc of Dammartin (fl. 1170)

Simon de Pouille or "Simon of Apulia", fictional eastern adventures; the hero is said to be a grandson of Garin de Monglane

Floovant (late 12th); the hero is a son of Merovingian King Clovis I

Clovis was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one king. He also introduced Christianity. He was the son of Childeric I and Basina. At age 16, he succeeded his father, in the year 481...

Aymeri de Narbonne, named for 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...

by Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube

Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube was an Old French poet from the Champagne region of France who wrote a number of chansons de geste. He is the author of Girard de Vienne, and it is likely that he also wrote Aymeri de Narbonne...

(late 12th/early 13th)

Girart de Vienne is a late twelfth-century 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 heros Olivier and Roland.The poem comprises...

by Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube (late 12th/early 13th); also found in a later shorter version alongside Hernaut de Beaulande and Renier de Gennes

Les Enfances Garin de Monglane (15th century)

Garin de Monglane, or Montglane, the creation of Conrad von Stöffler in 1280, is a fictional aristocrat who gives his name to the second cycle of Old French chansons de geste, La Geste de Garin de Monglane...(13th century)

Hernaut de Beaulande; a fragment of the 14th century and a later version

Renier de Gennes

Les Enfances Guillaume (before 1250)

Les Narbonnais (c. 1205), in two parts, known as Le département des enfants Aymeri, Le siège de Narbonne

Les Enfances Vivien (c. 1205)

Le Covenant Vivien or La Chevalerie Vivien

Le Siège de Barbastre (c. 1180)

Bovon de Commarchis (c. 1275), reworking by Adenet le Roi of the Siege de Barbastre

Guibert d'Andrenas (13th century)

La Prise de Cordres (13th century)

La Mort Aymeri de Narbonne (c. 1180)

Les Enfances Renier

Le Moniage Guillaume (1160-1180)

Geste de Doon de Mayence

This cycle concerns traitors and rebels against royal authority. In each case the revolt ends with the defeat of the rebels and their eventual repentance.

Gormont et Isembart or Gormond et Isembart or Gormund et Isembard is an Old French chanson de geste from the second half of the eleventh or first half of the twelfth century...

•Girart de Roussillon, named for Girart de Roussillon, also called Girard, Gérard II, Gyrart de Vienne, and Girart de Fraite, was a Burgundian chief who became Count of Paris in 837, and embraced the cause of Lothair I against Charles the Bald... (1160-1170). The hero Girart de Roussillon also figures in Girart de Vienne, in which he is identified as a son of Garin de Monglane. There is a later sequel:

Auberi le Bourgoing

Renaud de Montauban, was a fictional hero who was introduced to literature in a 12th century Old French chanson de geste also known as the Quatre Fils Aymon . His exploits form part of the Doon de Mayence cycle of chansons...or Les Quatre Fils Aymon (end of the 12th century)

Raoul de Cambrai is a 12th -13th century French epic poem concerning the eponymous hero's battles to take possession of his fief and of the repercussions from these battles..., apparently begun by Bertholais; existing version from end of 12th century

Doon de Mayence was a fictional hero of the Old French chansons de geste, who gives his name to the third cycle of the Charlemagne romances, those dealing with the feudal revolts.There is no real unity in the geste of Doon de Mayence...(mid 13th century)

Gaufrey

Doon de Nanteuil current in the second half of the 12th century, now known only in fragments which derive from a 13th century version. To this several sequels were attached:

Aye d'Avignon, probably composed between 1195 and 1205. The fictional heroine is first married to Garnier de Nanteuil, who is son of Doon de Nanteuil and grandson of Doon de Mayence. After Garnier’s death she marries the Saracen Ganor

Gui de Nanteuil, evidently popular around 1207 when the troubadour Raimbaut de Vaqueiras

Raimbaut de Vaqueiras or Riambaut de Vaqueyras was a Provençal troubadour and, later in his life, knight. His life was spent mainly in Italian courts until 1203, when he joined the Fourth Crusade....

mentions the story. The fictional hero is son of the heroine of Aye d'Avignon (to which Gui de Nanteuil forms a sequel)

Tristan de Nanteuil. The fictional hero is son of the hero of Gui de Nanteuil

Parise la Duchesse. The fictional heroine is daughter of the heroine of Aye d'Avignon. Exiled from France, she gives birth to a son, Hugues, who becomes king of Hungary

Maugis d'Aigremont

Vivien l'Amachour de Monbranc

Lorraine cycle

This local cycle of epics of Lorraine traditional history, in the late form in which it is now known, includes details evidently drawn from Huon de Bordeaux and Ogier le Danois.

The 12th century chanson de geste of Garin le Loherain is one of the fiercest and most sanguinary narratives left by the trouvères. This local cycle of Lorraine, which is completed by Hervis de Metz, Girbers de Metz, Ansis, fils de Girbert, and Von, appears to have an historical basis...

Hervis de Metz

Gerbert de Metz

Anseïs fils de Girbert

Crusade cycle

Not listed by Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube, this cycle deals with the First Crusade

The First Crusade was a military expedition by European Christians to regain the Holy Lands taken by the Muslim conquest of the Levant, which resulted in the capture of Jerusalem in 1099. It was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the primary goal of responding to the appeal from Byzantine...

and its immediate aftermath.

The Chanson d'Antioche is a chanson de geste in 9000 lines of alexandrines in stanzas called laisses, now known in a version composed about 1180 for a courtly French audience and embedded in a quasi-historical cycle of epic poems inspired by the events of 1097 – 1099, the climax of the First..., apparently begun by Richard le Pèlerin c. 1100; earliest surviving text by Graindor de Douai c. 1180; expanded version 14th century

Les Chétifs telling the adventures (mostly fictional) of the poor crusaders led by Peter the Hermit;

Peter the Hermit was a priest of Amiens and a key figure during the First Crusade.-Before 1096:According to Anna Comnena, he had attempted to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem before 1096, but was prevented by the Seljuk Turks from reaching his goal and was tortured. Sources differ as to whether he...

the hero is Harpin de Bourges. The episode was eventually incorporated, c. 1180, by Graindor de Douai in his reworking of the Chanson d'Antioche

Matabrune tells the story of old Matabrune and of the great-grandfather of Godefroi de Bouillon

Le Chevalier au Cigne tells the story of Elias, grandfather of Godefroi de Bouillon. Originally composed around 1192, it was afterwards extended and divided into several branches

Les Enfances Godefroi or "Childhood exploits of Godefroi" tells the story of the youth of Godefroi de Bouillon and his three brothers

Chanson de Jérusalem

La Mort de Godefroi de Bouillon, quite unhistorical, narrates Godefroi’s poisoning by the Patriarch of Jerusalem

Baudouin de Sebourg (early 14th century)

Le Bâtard de Bouillon (early 14th century)

Others

Gormont et Isembart

Amis et Amiles is an old French romance based on a widespread legend of friendship and sacrifice. In its earlier and simpler form it is the story of two friends, one of whom, Amis, was smitten with leprosy because he had committed perjury to save his friend. A vision informed him that he could only..., followed by a sequel:

Jourdain de Blaye

Beuve de Hanstonne, and a related poem:

Daurel et Beton, whose putative Old French version is lost; the story is known from an Occitan version of c. 1200

Aigar et Maurin

Aïmer le Chétif, a lost chanson

Aiol (13th century)

Théséus de Cologne, possibly a romance

Legacy and adaptations

The chansons de geste created a body of mythology that lived on well after the creative force of the genre itself was spent. The Italian epics of Torquato Tasso

Torquato Tasso was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata , in which he depicts a highly imaginative version of the combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem...

(Rinaldo), Orlando innamorato

Orlando Innamorato is an epic poem written by the Italian Renaissance author Matteo Maria Boiardo. The poem, written in the ottava rima stanza rhythm, consists of 68 cantos and a half. Boiardo began the poem when he was about 38 years old, but interrupted it for a time because of the Venetian war...

(1495) by Matteo Boiardo, and Orlando furioso

Orlando Furioso is an Italian romantic epic by Ludovico Ariosto which has exerted a wide influence on later culture. The earliest version appeared in 1516, although the poem was not published in its complete form until 1532...

by Ludovico Ariosto

Ludovico Ariosto was an Italian poet. He is best known as the author of the romantic epic poem Orlando Furioso . The poem, a continuation of Matteo Maria Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato, describes the adventures of Charlemagne, Orlando, and the Franks as they battle against the Saracens with...

are all founded on the legends of the paladins of Charlemagne that first appeared in the chansons de geste. As such, their incidents and plot devices later became central to works of English literature such as Edmund Spenser's

Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem celebrating, through fantastical allegory, the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognized as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy.-Life:Edmund Spenser was born in London around 1552...

The Faerie Queene;

The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590, and a second installment was published in 1596. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza and is the longest poem in the English...

Spenser attempted to adapt the form devised to tell the tale of the triumph of Christianity over Islam to tell instead of the triumph of Protestantism over Roman Catholicism. The German poet Wolfram von Eschenbach

Wolfram von Eschenbach was a German knight and poet, regarded as one of the greatest epic poets of his time. As a Minnesinger, he also wrote lyric poetry.-Life:...

based his (incomplete) 13th century epic Willehalm, consisting of 78 manuscripts, on the life of William of Orange (William of Gellone). The chansons were also recorded in the Icelandic saga, Karlamagnús .

Indeed, until the 19th century, the tales of Roland and Charlemagne were as important as the tales of King Arthur and the Holy Grail,

According to Christian mythology, the Holy Grail was the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, said to possess miraculous powers...

and the Italian epics on these themes were still accounted major works of literature. It is only in the later nineteenth and twentieth century that the Matter of France was finally eclipsed by the Matter of Britain.

Narrative structure

The narrative structure

Narrative structure is generally described as the structural framework that underlies the order and manner in which a narrative is presented to a reader, listener, or viewer....

of the chanson de geste has been compared to the one in the Nibelungenlied

The Nibelungenlied, translated as The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem in Middle High German. The story tells of dragon-slayer Siegfried at the court of the Burgundians, how he was murdered, and of his wife Kriemhild's revenge....

and in creole legends by Henri Wittmann

Henri Wittmann is a Canadian linguist from Quebec. He is best known for his work on Quebec French.-Biography:Henri Wittmann was born in Alsatia in 1937...

on the basis of common narreme

Narreme is the basic unit of narrative structure. According to Helmut Bonheim , the concept of narreme was developed three decades ago by Eugene Dorfman and expanded by Henri Wittmann, The narreme is to narratology what the morpheme is to morphology and the phoneme to phonology. The narreme,...

structure as first developed in the work of Eugene Dorfman and Jean-Pierre Tusseau

External links

La Chanson de Geste, with useful references

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.

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From the Wikipedia page on St-Guilhelm-le-Desert:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Guilhem-le-D%C3%A9sert

Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert (in Occitan Sant Guilhèm dau Desèrt) is a commune in the Hérault department in Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France.

Situated in the narrow valley of the Gellone river where it meets the steep sided gorge of the Hérault River, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is essentially a mediaeval village located on the Chemin de St Jacques (St James' Way) pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella.

History

The village has maintained its historic state. Because of its isolation, in 806 Saint Guilhem established here the monastery of Gellone.

Miscellaneous

Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France ("The most beautiful villages of France").

A part of the cloister of the monastery was moved to The Cloisters museum of Manhattan.

A new sculpture museum, containing stone works from the abbey, is to be dedicated on June 26, 2009. In coordination with this event, a weekend of music and a colloquium, organized in large part by the Camerata Mediterranea, are planned for June 26 and June 27.

-------------------------

From the Wikipedia page on "Le Geste de Garin de Monglane":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Geste_de_Garin_de_Monglane

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 around Garin de Monglane.

One of its main characters is the Merovingian hero of war and religion, Saint William of Gellone (or Guillaume d'Orange).

The cycle

The cycle of Guillaume has more unity than the other great cycles of Charlemagne or of Doon de Mayence, the various poems which compose it forming branches of the main story rather than independent epic poems. There exist numerous cyclic manuscripts in which there is an attempt at presenting a continuous histoire poétique of Guillaume and his family. Manuscript Royal 20 D xi. in the British Museum contains eighteen chansons of the cycle.

The conclusions arrived at by earlier writers are combated by Joseph Bedier in the first volume, "Le Cycle de Guillaume d'Orange" (1908), of his Legendes epiques, in which he constructs a theory that the cycle of Guillaume d'Orange grew up round the various shrines on the pilgrim route to Saint Gilles of Provence and Saint James of Compostella—that the chansons de geste were, in fact, the product of 11th and 12th century poets exploiting local ecclesiastical traditions, and were not developed from earlier poems dating back perhaps to the lifetime of Guillaume of Toulouse, the saint of Gellone.

As established in the various texts, the Monglane family tree is generally as follows (spelling of names varies from text to text):

Garin de Monglane (4 sons)

1. Hernaut

1a. Aymeri de Narbonne (7 sons, 5 daughters)

1a1. Guibert

1a2. Bernart

1a3. Guillaume d'Orange

1a4. Garin d'Anseun

1a4a. Vivien

1a5. Hernaut de Girone

1a6. Beuve de Comarchis

1a7. Aymer

1a8. Blanchefleur (marries Louis the Pious)

2. Girart de Vienne

3. Renier

3a. Olivier

3a1. Galien

3b. Aude (betrothed to Roland)

4. Milon

Tradition and historical roots

No less than 13 historical personages bearing the name of William (Guillaume) have been thought by various critics to have their share in the formation of the legend. William, count of Provence, son of Boso II, again delivered southern France from a Saracen invasion by his victory at Fraxinet in 973, and ended his life in a cloister. William Tow-head (Tête d'étoupe), duke of Aquitaine (d. 983), showed a fidelity to Louis IV paralleled by Guillaume d'Orange's service to Louis the Pious.

The cycle of twenty or more chansons which form the geste of Guillaume reposes on the traditions of the Arab invasions of the south of France, from the battle of Poitiers (732) under Charles Martel onwards, and on the French conquest of Catalonia from the Saracens. In the Norse version of the Carolingian epic Guillaume appears in his proper historical environment, as a chief under Charlemagne; but he plays a leading part in the Couronnement Looys, describing the formal associations of Louis the Pious in the empire at Aix-la-Chapelle (813, the year after Guillaume's death), and after the battle of Aliscans it is from the emperor Louis that he seeks reinforcements.

This anachronism arises from the fusion of the epic Guillaume with the champion of Louis IV, and from the fact that he was the military and civil chief of Louis the Pious, who was titular king of Aquitaine under his father from the time when he was three years old. The inconsistencies between the real and the epic Guillaume are often left standing in the poems. The personages associated with Guillaume in his Spanish wars belong to Provence, and have names common in the south.

The most famous of these are Beuves de Comarchis, Ernaud de Girone, Garin d'Anseun, Almer le chetif, so called from his long captivity with the Saracens. The separate existence of Almer, who refused to sleep under a roof, and spent his whole life in warring against the infidel, is proved. He was Hadhemar, count of Narbonne, who in 809 and 810 was one of the leaders sent by Louis against Tortosa. No doubt the others had historical prototypes. In the hands of the poets they became all brothers of Guillaume, and sons of Aymeri de Narbonne, the grandson of Garin de Monglane, and his wife Ermenjart. Nevertheless when Guillaume seeks help from Louis the emperor he finds all his relations in Laon, in accordance with his historic Frankish origin.

The poem of Aymeri de Narbonne contains the account of the young Aymeri's brilliant capture of Narbonne, which he then receives as a fief from Charlemagne, of his marriage with Ermenjart, sister of Boniface, king of the Lombards, and of their children. The fifth daughter, Blanchefleur, is represented as the wife of Louis the Pious. The opening of this poem furnished, though indirectly, the matter of the Aymerillot of Victor Hugo's La Légende des siècles. The central fact of the geste of Guillaume is the battle of the Archamp or Aliscans, in which perished Guillaume's heroic nephew, Vezian or Vivien, a second Roland. At the eleventh hour he summoned Guillaume to his help against the overwhelming forces of the Saracens. Guillaume arrived too late to help Vivien, was himself defeated, and returned alone to his wife Guibourc, leaving his knights all dead or prisoners.

This event is related in a Norman transcript of an old French chanson de geste, the Chançun de Willame--which only was brought to light in 1901 at the sale of the books of Sir Henry Hope Edwardes—in the Covenant Vivien, a recension of an older French chanson and in Aliscans. Aliscans continues the story, telling how Guillaume obtained reinforcements from Laon, and how, with the help of the comic hero, the scullion Rainouart or Rennewart, he avenged the defeat of Aliscans and his nephew's death. Rainouart turns out to be the brother of Guillaume's wife Guibourc, who was before her marriage the Saracen princess and enchantress Orable.

Two other poems are consecrated to his later exploits, La Bataille Loquifer, the work of a French Sicilian poet, Jendeu de Brie (fl. 1170), and Le Moniage Rainouart. The starting-point of Herbert le duc of Dammartin (fl. 1170) in Foucon de Candie (modern Fr: Foulque de Candie, Sp:Fulco de Gandia, It:Folco de Candia, Eng: House of Candia) is the return of Guillaume from the battle; and the Italian compilation I Nerbonesi, based on these and other chansons, seems in some cases to represent an earlier tradition than the later of the French chansons, although its author Andrea di Barberino wrote towards the end of the 14th century. The minnesinger Wolfram von Eschenbach based his Willehalm on a French original which must have differed from the versions we have. The variations in the story of the defeat of Aliscans or the Archant, and the numerous inconsistencies of the narratives even when considered separately have occupied many critics.

Aliscans (Aleschans, Alyscamps, Elysii Campi) was, however, generally taken to represent the battle of Villedaigne, and to take its name from the famous cemetery outside Arles. Wolfram von Eschenbach even mentions the tombs which studded the field of battle. Indications that this tradition was not unassailable were not lacking before the discovery of the Chançun de Willame, which, although preserved in a very corrupt form, represents the earliest recension we have of the story, dating at least from the beginning of the 12th century. It seems probable that the Archant was situated in Spain near Vivien's headquarters at Tortosa, and that Guillaume started from Barcelona, not from Orange, to his nephew's help.

The account of the disaster was modified by successive trouvères, and the uncertainty of their methods may be judged by the fact that in the Chançun de Willame two consecutive accounts (11. 450-1326 and 1r. 1326-2420) of the fight appear to be set side by side as if they were separate episodes. Le Couronnement Looys, already mentioned, Le Charroi de Nîmes (12th century) in which Guillaume, who had been forgotten in the distribution of fiefs, enumerates his services to the terrified Louis, and Aliscans (12th century), with the earlier Chançun, are among the finest of the French epic poems. The figure of Vivien is among the most heroic elaborated by the poets, and the giant Rainouart has more than a touch of Rabelaisian humour.

Components chansons

The chansons de geste of the cycle of Guillaume are:

Enfances Garin de Monglane (15th century) and Garin de Monglane (13th century), on which is founded the prose romance of Guerin de Monglane, printed in the 15th century by Jehan Trepperel and often later

Girars de Viane (13th century, by Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube), ed. P. Tarbe (Reims, 1850)

Hernaut de Beaulande (fragment 14th century)

Renier de Gennes, which only survives in its prose form

Aymeri de Narbonne (c. 1210) by Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube, ed. L bemaison (Soc. des anc. textes fr., Paris, 2 vols, 1887)

Les Enfances Guillaume (13th century)

Les Narbonnais, ed. H. Suchier (Soc. des anc. textes fr., 2 vols, 1898), with a Latin fragment dating from the 11th century, preserved at the Hague

Le Couronnement Looys (ed. Ernest Langlois, 1888)

Le Charroi de Nîmes

La Prise d'Orange

Le Covenant Vivien

Aliscans (the previous five titles were edited by WJA Jonckbloet in vol. i. of his Guillaume d'Orange (The Hague, 1854); a critical text of Aliscans (Halle, 1903, vol. 1.) is edited by E Wienbeck, W Hartnacke and P Rasch)

Loquifer and Le Moniage Rainouart (12th century)

Bovon de Commarchis (13th century), recension of the earlier:

Siege de Barbastre, by Adenet le Roi, ed. A Scheler (Brussels, 1874)

Guibert d'Andrenas (13th century)

La Prise de Cordres (13th century)

La Mort Aymeri de Narbonne, ed. J Couraye de Parc (Paris: Société des anciens textes français, 1884)

Foulque de Candie (ed. P Tarbe, Reims, 1860)

Le Moniage Guillaume (12th century)

Les Enfances Vivien (ed. C Wahlund and H von Feilitzen, Upsala and Paris, 1895)

Chançun de Willame (Chiswick Press, 1903), described by P Meyer in Romania (xxxiii. 597-618).

The ninth branch of the Karlamagnus Saga (ed. C. R. Unger, Christiania, 1860) deals with the geste of Guillaume. I Nerbonesi is edited by J. G. Isola (Bologna, 1877, etc.).

References

C. Révillout, Etude hist. et litt. sur la vita sancti Willelmi (Montpellier, 1876)

W. J. A. Jonckbloet, Guillaume d'Orange (2 vols, 1854, The Hague)

Ludwig Clarus (Wilhelm Volk), Herzog Wilhelm von Aquitanien (Munster, 1865)

Paulin Paris, in Hist. litt. de la France (vol. xxii., 1852)

Emile Theodore Léon Gautier, Epopees françaises (vol. iv., 2nd ed., 1882)

Raymond Weeks, The newly discovered Chançun de Willame (Chicago, 1904)

Antoine Thomas, Etudes romanes (Paris, 1891), on Vivien

Louis Saltet, "S. Vidian de Martres-Tolosanes" in Bull. de 1itt. eccles. (Toulouse, 1902)

P. Becker, Die altfrz. Wilhelmsage u. ihre Beziehung zu Wilhelm dem Heiligen (Halle, 1896), and Der südfranzösische Sagenkreis und seine Probleme (Halle, 1898)

Alfred Jeanroy, "Études sur le cycle de Guillaume au court nez" (in Romania, vols 25 and 26, 1896–1897)

Hermann Suchier, "Recherches sur ... Guillaume d'Orange" (in Romania, vol. 32, 1903)

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

--------------------------

And from the Catholic Encyclopedia on William of Gellone:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15633a.htm

St. William of Gellone

Born 755; died 28 May, c. 812; was the second count of Toulouse, having attained that dignity in 790. He is by some writers also given the title of Duke of Aquitaine.

This saint is the hero of the ninth-century "Roman de Guillame au court nez", but the story of his life is told in a more reliable form by the anonymous author of the biography which was written soon after the saint's death, or before the eleventh century according to Mabillon, or during the eleventh century according to the Bollandist Henschen.

His father's name was Theoderic (Thierry I), his mother's Aldana (Alda), and he was in some way connected with the family of Charles the Great (Charlemagne), at whose court he was present as a youth. The great emperor employed him against the Saracen invaders from Spain, whom he defeated at Orange.

In 804 he founded a Benedictine monastery, since called S. Guilhem le Desert, in the valley of Gellone, near Lodeve in the Diocese of Maguelonne, and subjected it to the famous St. Benedict of Aniane, whose monastery was close at hand.

Two years later (806) he himself became a monk at Gellone, where he remained until his death. his testament, granting certain property to Gellone, and another subjecting that monastery to the Abbot of Aniane, are given by Mabillon.

His feast is on 28 May, the day of his death.

Sources

MABILLON, Acta SS. O.S.B. saec. IV, I (Venice, 1735), 67-86; Acta SS., VI May, 154-72.

--------------------

William of Gellone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saint William of Gellone (755 – 28 May (traditional) 812/4) was the second Count of Toulouse from 790 until his replacement in 811. His Occitan name is Guilhem, and he is known in French as Guillaume d'Orange, Guillaume Fierabrace, and the Marquis au court nez.

He is the hero of the Chanson de Guillaume, an early chanson de geste, and of several later sequels, which were categorized by thirteenth-century poets as the geste of Garin de Monglane. Another early product of oral traditions about William is a Latin Vita ("Biography"), written before the 11th century, according to Jean Mabillon, or during the 11th century according to the Bollandist Godfrey Henschen.

William in history

William was born in northern France in the mid-8th century. He was a cousin of Charlemagne (his mother Aldana was daughter of Charles Martel) and the son of Thierry IV, Count of Autun and Toulouse. As a kinsman and trusted comes he spent his youth in the court of Charlemagne. When William was made Count of Toulouse in 790, Charlemagne placed his young son Louis the Pious, who was to inherit Aquitaine, in his charge. As Count he successfully subdued the Gascons.

In 793, Hisham I (called by the Franks Hescham), the successor of Abd ar-Rahman I, proclaimed a holy war against the Christians to the north. He amassed an army of 100,000 men, half of which attacked the Kingdom of Asturias while the other half invaded Languedoc, penetrating as far as Narbonne.

William met this force and defeated them. He met the Muslim forces again near the river Orbieux, at Villedaigne, where he was defeated, though his obstinate resistance exhausted the Muslim forces so much that they retreated to Spain. However, Narbonne was garrisoned and remained under Muslim control. In 803, William took part in the campaign that took Barcelona from the Moors.

In 804, he founded the monastery of Gellone (now Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert) near Lodève in the diocese of Maguelonne, which he placed under the general control of Benedict of Aniane, whose monastery was nearby. He retired as a monk there in 806 where he eventually died on the 28 May 812 (or 814). His feast is on that date.

Among his gifts to the abbey he founded was a piece of the True Cross, a present from his cousin Charlemagne, who reportedly wept at his death. Charlemagne had received the relic from the Patriarch of Jerusalem according to the Vita of William. When he died, it was said the bells at Orange rang on their own accord. He mentioned both his family and monastery in his will. [1]. He granted property to Gellone and placed the monastery under the perpetual control of the abbots of Aniane. It became a subject of contention however as the reputation of William grew. So many pilgrims were attracted to Gellone that his corpse was exhumed from the modest site in the narthex and given a more prominent place under the choir, to the intense dissatisfaction of the Abbey of Aniane. A number of forged documents and assertions were produced on each side that leave details of actual history doubtful. The Abbey was a major stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Its late 12th century Romanesque cloister, systematically dismantalled during the French revolution, found its way to The Cloisters in New York. The Sacramentary of Gellone, dating to the late 8th century, is a famous manuscript.

[edit]William in romance

Main article: La Geste de Garin de Monglane

William's faithful service to Charlemagne is portrayed as an example of feudal loyalty. William's career battling Saracens is sung in epic poems in the 12th and 13th century cycle called La Geste de Garin de Monglane, some two dozen chansons de geste that actually center around William, the great-grandson of the largely legendary Garin.

One section of the cycle, however, is devoted to the feats of his father, there named Aymeri de Narbonne, who has received Narbonne as his seigniory after his return from Spain with Charlemagne. Details of the "Aymeri" of the poem are conflated with a later historic figure who was truly the viscount of Narbonne from 1108 to 1134. In the chanson he is awarded Ermengart, daughter of Didier, and sister of Boniface, king of the Lombards. Among his seven sons and five daughters (one of whom marries Louis the Pious) is William.

The defeat of the Moors at Orange was given legendary treatment in the 12th century epic La Prise d'Orange. There, he was made Count of Toulouse in the stead of the disgraced Chorso, then King of Aquitaine in 778. He is difficult to separate from the legends and poems that gave him feats of arms, lineage and titles: Guillaume Fièrebras, Guillaum au Court-Nez (broken in a battle with a giant), Guillaum de Narbonne, Guillaume d'Orange. His wife is said to have been a converted Saracen, Orable later christened Guibourc.

[edit]Later references

In 1972 historian Arthur Zuckerman published A Jewish Princedom in Feudal France, a book about the dynasty of Makhir of Narbonne published by Columbia University Press. In that book Zuckerman argued that it was possible that William of Gellone was in fact one of the sons of Makhir, who he identified with the individual known in medieval sources as "Theodoric, King of the Jews of Septimania." Zuckerman made no definitive conclusions on this point, and the suggestion has since been refuted. (Graboïs, Aryeh, "Une Principaute Juive dans la France du Midi a l'Époque Carolingienne?", Annales du Midi, 85: 191-202 (1973); N.L. Taylor, "Saint William, King David, and Makhir: a Controversial Medieval Descent", The American Genealogist, 72: 205-223.)

William, listed under the name Guillem de Gellone, is a prominent figure in the pseudohistorical book Holy Blood Holy Grail. The book claims that William was the son of Theodoric, and that since Theodoric was Merovingian, that meant that William was Merovingian as well, and plus was a "Jew of royal blood". The book goes on to state that "modern scholarship and research have proved Guillem's Judaism beyond dispute." It should be noted, however, that many other claims in the book which were listed as "fact", were later proven to be false (such as the existence of the Priory of Sion), because the authors were basing much of their researches on "medieval documents" which were later shown to be forgeries.

The importance of citing William's noble heritage and Judaism, was so that the authors could prove a genealogical link between the House of David, the Merovingian nobility, and France, in order to make a case that the Holy Grail was actually the bloodline of Jesus that had worked its way into the bloodline of Frankish royalty. This line of reasoning was later incorporated into the plot of the bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code and from there into various television documentaries.

[edit]References

Catholic Encyclopedia: St William of Gellone

"L'Abbaye de Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert" (in French)

Metropolitan Museum:The Saint-Guilhem Cloister

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

William I Count of Toulouse, Saint 1 2

Alias: William I Count of /Autun/

Born: ABT 751 in Toulouse, Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrenees, France 3

Died: 28 MAY 812 in Gellone Monastery, Aniane, Herault, Languedoc, France 4 3

Died: 844 5

Father: Thierry (Theodoric) Count of Autun b: ABT 720 in Autun, Saone-et-Loire, Bourgogne, France

Mother: Auda (Aldane) Martel b: BEF 724 in Heristal, Liege, Belgium

Marriage 1 Gilbour of Hornbach b: ABT 760 in Hornbach, Prussia

Married: as 1st wife

Children:

Bertha of Toulouse b: 777 in Toulouse, Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrenees, France

Wialdruth of Toulouse b: ABT 793 in Orleans, Loiret, Orleanais/Centre, France

Marriage 2 Kunigunde (Auberge) b: ABT 775 in France

Married: BEF 796 as 2nd wife 6

Children:

Bernard I Count of Autun, Margrave Septimania b: BEF 804 in Autun, Saone-et-Loire, Bourgogne, France

Notes [JW]

Count of Toulouse, Margrave of Septimania (Narbonne).

It is possible that Vulgrin I is the son of some other William, Count de Toulouse.

--------------------

"A beautiful Villa in the south of France"

Saint Guilhem le Desert

Saint Guilhem was the man who gave his name to the beautiful monastery in the Gellone valley, 30 kilometres northwest of Montpellier. Born sometime in the late 8th century, Guilhem was the grandson of Charles Martel, the Duke of Aquitane, and one of the Emperor Charlemagne's chosen knights. He fought bravely against the Saracens of Spain and became famous as the hero of medieval ballads of knightly prowess and chivalry. A devout Christian who ended his days (died 812 AD) in the monastery at Gellone, he endowed the abbey with a relic of the True Cross, given to him by Charlemagne.

Sources:

Title: Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists, 7th Edition, by Frederick Lewis Weis, additions by Walter Lee Sheppard Jr., 1999

Page: 48-16

Text: father of Wialdruth

Title: The Plantagenet Ancestry, by William Henry Turton, 1968

Page: 10

Text: father of Bernard

Title: Newsgroup: soc.genealogy.medieval, at groups - google.com

Page: Alan B Wilson, 12 Jun 1998

Title: Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists, 7th Edition, by Frederick Lewis Weis, additions by Walter Lee Sheppard Jr., 1999

Page: 48-16

Text: 812

Title: The Plantagenet Ancestry, by William Henry Turton, 1968

Page: 10

Title: The Plantagenet Ancestry, by William Henry Turton, 1968

Page: 10

Text: no date, 2nd wife

The first William of Gellone is the son of Makhir Theodoric Count of Autun and Aude (or Aldana) the daughter of Charles Martel, as it is generally accepted that William supervised a young Louis the Pious in the court of Charlemagne in 790, having just then been named Count of Toulouse. Theodoric is the above-mentioned Makhir Theodoric I, also known as Count of Autun and Toulouse, Jewish King of Septimania, Nasi' or Prince of Narbonne, Thierry, Machir, as well as by a number of other names and titles as befit the Duke of Narbonne and an uncle of Charlemagne. Use of various names and titles is as true of royalty today as it ever was. It should be noted however that Davidic royalty has always been perceived as a most desirable lineage among European noble houses, and the Machir family was no exception in the many privileges which were granted them over a number of centuries in France. The story of how Makhir (Machir) first came to Narbonne has the status today of legend.

The legend which was preserved by Abraham ibn Daud was that Then King Charles sent to the King of Baghdad [Caliph] requesting that he dispatch one of his Jews of the seed of royalty of the House of David. He hearkened and sent him one from there, a magnate and sage, Rabbi Makhir by name. (Jewish Encyclopedia) This has been interpreted by many as meaning Charlemagne as he was the only King' Charles of that era, but it has been revised by Athol Bloomer to mean Charles Martel, who served as Mayor of the Palace in his time while king of the Franks in all but official title. This revision repositions Machir in history slightly while allowing the introduction of some further details.

The Eudes who served as Duke to Charles Martel at the siege of Narbonne prior to a Franks' defeat of the Muslims in 739 left in 735 in order to return to Babylon and take his post as Babylonian Exilarch Judah Zakkai. He married his own son Machir to Alda the daughter of Charles Martel (The Hammer). The later siege of Narbonne in the days of Pepin the father of Charlemagne occurred as a result of the Muslim recapture of the city and ended in 759 with Makhir's appointment over one third of the city. The Cortada Regis Judæorum was the Makhirs' family dwelling in Narbonne, meaning Court of the King of the Jews (Jewish Encyclopedia, quoting Saige, "Hist. des Juifs du Languedoc," p. 44).

Charlemagne's mother was the sister of Theodoric Makhir. Incredibly, Charlemagne's Jewish name was David Kalonymus. By this do we end a cycle of genocide of family names which have been wrongfully erased from history. May we recognize with regard to many families a need for the rewriting of portions of genealogical history, noting particularly the Dark Age from 1500 BCE until now. It is daunting, but this is in stark contrast to those who exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25). The work of that restoration is beginning.

The four sons of Machir Todros the son of Judah Zakkai were

a. Menachem (Hernaut de Gironde, Harald Hildetand)

b. Nehemiah (Theodoric II/Theuderic of Ripaurien and Saxony, Aymer le Chetif)

c. Nathan Kalonymus (William of Orange/Guillaume de Gellone, William of Septimania)

d. Yakar (Guibelin/ Gui Alberic of Narbonne)

Theodoric, Roderick, Rurik, and Roric are versions of the same name.

--------------------

Saint William of Gellone (755 – 28 May (traditional) 812/4) was the second Count of Toulouse from 790 until his replacement in 811. His Occitan name is Guilhem, and he is known in French as Guillaume d'Orange, Guillaume Fierabrace, and the Marquis au court nez.

He is the hero of the Chanson de Guillaume, an early chanson de geste, and of several later sequels, which were categorized by thirteenth-century poets as the geste of Garin de Monglane. Another early product of oral traditions about William is a Latin Vita ("Biography"), written before the 11th century, according to Jean Mabillon, or during the 11th century according to the Bollandist Godfrey Henschen.

Contents [hide]

1 William in history

2 William in romance

3 Later references

4 References


[edit] William in history

William was born in northern France in the mid-8th century. He was a cousin of Charlemagne (his mother Aldana was daughter of Charles Martel) and the son of Thierry IV, Count of Autun and Toulouse. As a kinsman and trusted comes he spent his youth in the court of Charlemagne. When William was made Count of Toulouse in 790, Charlemagne placed his young son Louis the Pious, who was to inherit Aquitaine, in his charge. As Count he successfully subdued the Gascons.

In 793, Hisham I (called by the Franks Hescham), the successor of Abd ar-Rahman I, proclaimed a holy war against the Christians to the north. He amassed an army of 100,000 men, half of which attacked the Kingdom of Asturias while the other half invaded Languedoc, penetrating as far as Narbonne.

William met this force and defeated them. He met the Muslim forces again near the river Orbieux, at Villedaigne, where he was defeated, though his obstinate resistance exhausted the Muslim forces so much that they retreated to Spain. However, Narbonne was garrisoned and remained under Muslim control. In 803, William took part in the campaign that took Barcelona from the Moors.

In 804, he founded the monastery of Gellone (now Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert) near Lodève in the diocese of Maguelonne, which he placed under the general control of Benedict of Aniane, whose monastery was nearby. He retired as a monk there in 806 where he eventually died on the 28 May 812 (or 814). His feast is on that date.

Among his gifts to the abbey he founded was a piece of the True Cross, a present from his cousin Charlemagne, who reportedly wept at his death. Charlemagne had received the relic from the Patriarch of Jerusalem according to the Vita of William. When he died, it was said the bells at Orange rang on their own accord. He mentioned both his family and monastery in his will. [1]. He granted property to Gellone and placed the monastery under the perpetual control of the abbots of Aniane. It became a subject of contention however as the reputation of William grew. So many pilgrims were attracted to Gellone that his corpse was exhumed from the modest site in the narthex and given a more prominent place under the choir, to the intense dissatisfaction of the Abbey of Aniane. A number of forged documents and assertions were produced on each side that leave details of actual history doubtful. The Abbey was a major stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Its late 12th century Romanesque cloister, systematically dismantalled during the French revolution, found its way to The Cloisters in New York. The Sacramentary of Gellone, dating to the late 8th century, is a famous manuscript.

[edit] William in romance

Main article: La Geste de Garin de Monglane

William's faithful service to Charlemagne is portrayed as an example of feudal loyalty. William's career battling Saracens is sung in epic poems in the 12th and 13th century cycle called La Geste de Garin de Monglane, some two dozen chansons de geste that actually center around William, the great-grandson of the largely legendary Garin.

One section of the cycle, however, is devoted to the feats of his father, there named Aymeri de Narbonne, who has received Narbonne as his seigniory after his return from Spain with Charlemagne. Details of the "Aymeri" of the poem are conflated with a later historic figure who was truly the viscount of Narbonne from 1108 to 1134. In the chanson he is awarded Ermengart, daughter of Didier, and sister of Boniface, king of the Lombards. Among his seven sons and five daughters (one of whom marries Louis the Pious) is William.

The defeat of the Moors at Orange was given legendary treatment in the 12th century epic La Prise d'Orange. There, he was made Count of Toulouse in the stead of the disgraced Chorso, then King of Aquitaine in 778. He is difficult to separate from the legends and poems that gave him feats of arms, lineage and titles: Guillaume Fièrebras, Guillaum au Court-Nez (broken in a battle with a giant), Guillaum de Narbonne, Guillaume d'Orange. His wife is said to have been a converted Saracen, Orable later christened Guibourc.

[edit] Later references

In 1972 historian Arthur Zuckerman published A Jewish Princedom in Feudal France, a book about the dynasty of Makhir of Narbonne published by Columbia University Press. In that book Zuckerman argued that it was possible that William of Gellone was in fact one of the sons of Makhir, who he identified with the individual known in medieval sources as "Theodoric, King of the Jews of Septimania." Zuckerman made no definitive conclusions on this point, and the suggestion has since been refuted. (Graboïs, Aryeh, "Une Principaute Juive dans la France du Midi a l'Époque Carolingienne?", Annales du Midi, 85: 191-202 (1973); N.L. Taylor, "Saint William, King David, and Makhir: a Controversial Medieval Descent", The American Genealogist, 72: 205-223.)

William, listed under the name Guillem de Gellone, is a prominent figure in the pseudohistorical book Holy Blood Holy Grail. The book claims that William was the son of Theodoric, and that since Theodoric was Merovingian, that meant that William was Merovingian as well, and plus was a "Jew of royal blood". The book goes on to state that "modern scholarship and research have proved Guillem's Judaism beyond dispute." It should be noted, however, that many other claims in the book which were listed as "fact", were later proven to be false (such as the existence of the Priory of Sion), because the authors were basing much of their researches on "medieval documents" which were later shown to be forgeries.

The importance of citing William's noble heritage and Judaism, was so that the authors could prove a genealogical link between the House of David, the Merovingian nobility, and France, in order to make a case that the Holy Grail was actually the bloodline of Jesus that had worked its way into the bloodline of Frankish royalty. This line of reasoning was later incorporated into the plot of the bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code and from there into various television documentaries.

[edit] References

Catholic Encyclopedia: St William of Gellone

"L'Abbaye de Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert" (in French)

Metropolitan Museum:The Saint-Guilhem Cloister

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Preceded by

Torson Count of Toulouse

790–811 Succeeded by

Beggo

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_of_Gellone"

--------------------

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~greenefamily/lape/pafg287.htm#14334 -------------------- Aka: Guillaume d'Orange, Guillaume Fierabrace & Marquis au court nez. -------------------- From http://www.rpi.edu/~holmes/Hobbies/Genealogy/ps04/ps04_344.htm

William was Duke of Toulouse. {Ref. Allstrom's "Dictionary of Royal Lineage," 1904, Vol. II, p. 418.} -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_of_Gellone -------------------- Trusted royal courtier under Charlemagne -------------------- William I* TOULOUSE (Count of Toulouse)

0745 - 0813

   * TITLE: Count of Toulouse
   * BIRTH: 0745, Toulouse,France
   * DEATH: 0813, Gellone,France 

Father: Theuderic IV* OF NEUSTRIA

Mother: Alda* OF AUSTRASIA

Family 1 : Guiboar Von Hornbach, Countess of TOULOUSE

  1. +Bernard I* DE AUVERGNE 

Family 2 :

  1. +Herbert* DE TOULOUSSE
  2. +Bertha* OF TOULOUSE 

William I* TOULOUSE (Count of Toulouse)0745 - 0813* TITLE: Count of Toulouse* BIRTH: 0745, Toulouse,France* DEATH: 0813, Gellone,FranceFather: Theuderic IV* OF NEUSTRIAMother: Alda* OF AUSTRASIAFamily 1 : Guiboar Von Hornbach, Countess of TOULOUSE1. +Bernard I* DE AUVERGNEFamily 2 :1. +Herbert* DE TOULOUSSE2. +Bertha* OF TOULOUSE

-------------------- Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists, 7th Edition, by Frederick Lewis Weis, additions by Walter Lee Shippard Jr., 1999

  1. Note: Page: 48-16
  2. Note: Text: father of Wialdruth

-------------------- GUILLAUME D'ORANGE (d. 812), also known as Guillaume Fierabrace, St Guillaume de Gellone, and the Marquis au court nez, was the central figure of the southern cycle of French rmaiice, called by the trouvères the geste of Garin de Monglane. The cycle of Guillaume has more unity than the other great cycles of Charlemagne or of Doon de Mayence, the various poems which compose it forming branches of the main story rather than independent epic poems. There exist numerous cyclic MSS. in which there is an attempt at presenting a continuous histoirepoetique of Guillaume and his family. MS. Royal 20 D xi. in the British Museum contains eighteen cliansons of the cycle. Guilaume, son of Thierry or Theodoric and of Aide, daughter of Charles Martel, was born in the north of France about the middle of the 8th century. He became one of the best soldiers and trusted counsellors of Charlemagne, and in 790 was made count of Toulouse, when Charles’s son Louis the Pious was put under his charge. He subdued the Gascons, and defended Narbonne against the infidels. In 793 Hescham, the successor of Abd-al-Rahman II., proclaimed a holy war against the Christians, and collected an army of 100,000 men, half of which was directed against the kingdom of the Asturias, while the second invaded France, penetrating as far as Narbonne. Guillaume met the invaders near the river Orbieux, at Villedaigne, where he was defeated, but only after an obstinate resistance which so far exhausted the Saracens that they were compelled to retreat to Spain. He took Barcelona from the Saracens in 803, and in the next year founded the monastery of Gellone (now Saint Guilhem-le Desert), of which he became a member in 806. He died there in the odour of sanctity on the 28th of May 812.

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http://craveirolopes.familytreeguide.com/getperson.php?personID=I3830&tree=T1 -------------------- Aka: M. of Setimania. -------------------- http://www.worldroots.com/ged/pomer/dat23.html#7 -------------------- Saint William of Gellone (755-traditionally May 28, c. 812 or 814), in his own day Guilhem, also known as Guillaume d'Orange, Guillaume Fierabrace, and the Marquis au court nez, was the second count of Toulouse from 790 until his replacement in 811.

He is the hero of the Chanson de Guillaume, an early chanson de geste, and of several later sequels, which were categorized by thirteenth-century poets as the geste of Garin de Monglane. Another early product of oral traditions about William is a Latin Vita ("Biography"), written before the 11th century, according to Jean Mabillon, or during the 11th century according to the Bollandist Godfrey Henschen.

William in history

William was born in northern France in the mid-8th century. He was a cousin of Charlemagne (his mother Aldana was daughter of Charles Martel) and the son of Thierry IV, Count of Autun and Toulouse. As a kinsman and trusted comes he spent his youth in the court of Charlemagne. When William was made Count of Toulouse in 790, Charlemagne placed his young son Louis the Pious, who was to inherit Aquitaine, in his charge. As Count he successfully subdued the Gascons.

In 793, Hisham I (called by the Franks Hescham), the successor of Abd ar-Rahman I, proclaimed a holy war against the Christians to the north. He amassed an army of 100,000 men, half of which attacked the Kingdom of Asturias while the other half invaded Languedoc, penetrating as far as Narbonne.

William met this force and defeated them. He met the Muslim forces again near the river Orbieux, at Villedaigne, where he was defeated, though his obstinate resistance exhausted the Muslim forces so much that they retreated to Spain. However, Narbonne was garrisoned and remained under Muslim control. In 803, William took part in the campaign that took Barcelona from the Moors.

In 804, he founded the monastery of Gellone (now Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert) near Lodève in the diocese of Maguelonne, and subjected it to Saint Benedict of Aniane, whose monastery was nearby. He retired as a monk there in 806 where he eventually died on the 28th of May 812 (or 814). His feast is on that date.

Among his gifts to the abbey he founded was a piece of the True Cross, a present from his cousin Charlemagne, who reportedly wept at his death. Charlemagne had received the relic from the Patriarch of Jerusalem according to the Vita of William. When he died, it was said the bells at Orange rang on their own accord. He mentioned both his family and monastery in his will. [1]. He granted property to Gellone and placed the monastery under the control of the Abbot of Aniane. It became a subject of contention however as the reputation of William grew. So many pilgrims were attracted to Gellone that his corpse was exhumed from the modest site in the narthex and given a more prominent place under the choir, to the intense dissatisfaction of the Abbey of Aniane. A number of forged documents and assertions were produced on each side that leave details of actual history doubtful. The Abbey was a major stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Its late 12th century Romanesque cloister, systematically dismantalled during the French revolution, found its way to The Cloisters in New York. The Sacramentary of Gellone, dating to the late 8th century, is a famous manuscript.

William in romance

William's faithful service to Charlemagne is portrayed as an example of feudal loyalty. William's career battling Saracens is sung in epic poems in the 12th and 13th century cycle called La Geste de Garin de Monglane, some two dozen chansons de geste that actually center around William, the great-grandson of the largely legendary Garin.

One section of the cycle, however, is devoted to the feats of his father, there named Aymeri de Narbonne, who has received Narbonne as his seigniory after his return from Spain with Charlemagne. Details of the "Aymeri" of the poem are conflated with a later historic figure who was truly the viscount of Narbonne from 1108 to 1134. In the chanson he is awarded Ermengart, daughter of Didier, and sister of Boniface, king of the Lombards. Among his seven sons and five daughters (one of whom marries Louis the Pious) is William.

The defeat of the Moors at Orange was given legendary treatment in the 12th century epic La prise d'Orange. There, he was made Count of Toulouse in the stead of the disgraced Chorso, then King of Aquitaine in 778. He is difficult to separate from the legends and poems that gave him feats of arms, lineage and titles: Guillaume Fièrebras, Guillaum au Court-Nez (broken in a battle with a giant), Guillaum de Narbonne, Guillaume d'Orange. His wife is said to have been a converted Saracen, Orable later christened Guibourc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_of_Gellone

-------------------- Saint William of Gellone (755 – 28 May (traditional) 812/4) was the second Count of Toulouse from 790 until his replacement in 811. His Occitan name is Guilhem, and he is known in French as Guillaume d'Orange, Guillaume Fierabrace, and the Marquis au court nez.

He is the hero of the Chanson de Guillaume, an early chanson de geste, and of several later sequels, which were categorized by thirteenth-century poets as the geste of Garin de Monglane. Another early product of oral traditions about William is a Latin Vita ("Biography"), written before the 11th century, according to Jean Mabillon, or during the 11th century according to the Bollandist Godfrey Henschen.

William in history

William was born in northern France in the mid-8th century. He was a cousin of Charlemagne (his mother Aldana was daughter of Charles Martel) and the son of Thierry IV, Count of Autun and Toulouse. As a kinsman and trusted comes he spent his youth in the court of Charlemagne. When William was made Count of Toulouse in 790, Charlemagne placed his young son Louis the Pious, who was to inherit Aquitaine, in his charge. As Count he successfully subdued the Gascons.

In 793, Hisham I (called by the Franks Hescham), the successor of Abd ar-Rahman I, proclaimed a holy war against the Christians to the north. He amassed an army of 100,000 men, half of which attacked the Kingdom of Asturias while the other half invaded Languedoc, penetrating as far as Narbonne.

William met this force and defeated them. He met the Muslim forces again near the river Orbieu, at Villedaigne, where he was defeated, though his obstinate resistance exhausted the Muslim forces so much that they retreated to Spain. However, Narbonne was garrisoned and remained under Muslim control. In 803, William took part in the campaign that took Barcelona from the Moors.

In 804, he founded the monastery of Gellone (now Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert) near Lodève in the diocese of Maguelonne, which he placed under the general control of Benedict of Aniane, whose monastery was nearby. He retired as a monk there in 806 where he eventually died on the 28 May 812 (or 814). His feast is on that date.

Among his gifts to the abbey he founded was a piece of the True Cross, a present from his cousin Charlemagne, who reportedly wept at his death. Charlemagne had received the relic from the Patriarch of Jerusalem according to the Vita of William. When he died, it was said the bells at Orange rang on their own accord. He mentioned both his family and monastery in his will. [1]. He granted property to Gellone and placed the monastery under the perpetual control of the abbots of Aniane. It became a subject of contention however as the reputation of William grew. So many pilgrims were attracted to Gellone that his corpse was exhumed from the modest site in the narthex and given a more prominent place under the choir, to the intense dissatisfaction of the Abbey of Aniane. A number of forged documents and assertions were produced on each side that leave details of actual history doubtful. The Abbey was a major stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Its late 12th century Romanesque cloister, systematically dismantalled during the French revolution, found its way to The Cloisters in New York. The Sacramentary of Gellone, dating to the late 8th century, is a famous manuscript.

William in romance

William's faithful service to Charlemagne is portrayed as an example of feudal loyalty. William's career battling Saracens is sung in epic poems in the 12th and 13th century cycle called La Geste de Garin de Monglane, some two dozen chansons de geste that actually center around William, the great-grandson of the largely legendary Garin.

One section of the cycle, however, is devoted to the feats of his father, there named Aymeri de Narbonne, who has received Narbonne as his seigniory after his return from Spain with Charlemagne. Details of the "Aymeri" of the poem are conflated with a later historic figure who was truly the viscount of Narbonne from 1108 to 1134. In the chanson he is awarded Ermengart, daughter of Didier, and sister of Boniface, king of the Lombards. Among his seven sons and five daughters (one of whom marries Louis the Pious) is William.

The defeat of the Moors at Orange was given legendary treatment in the 12th century epic La Prise d'Orange. There, he was made Count of Toulouse in the stead of the disgraced Chorso, then King of Aquitaine in 778. He is difficult to separate from the legends and poe

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St. Guillaume de Gellone, comte de Toulouse's Timeline

755
755
Toulouse, Jura, Franche-Comte, France

Northern France.

755
AFT 755
775
775
Age 20
777
777
Age 22
Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénées, France
780
780
Age 25
792
792
Age 37
795
795
Age 40
Autun, Saone-et-Loire, Burgundy, France
795
Age 40
Auvergne, France
796
796
Age 41
798
798
Age 43