De re metrica: regarding



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De re metrica: regarding the Libro de Alexandre and the Bercean corpus
A Juan Casas Rigall, rëy de los editores
This article does not propose to enter into the debate over the counting of syllables in thirteenth-century poetry. I accept the truism, which has existed at least from the time of Fitz-Gerald, that thirteenth-century cuaderna vía verse is characterised by monorhymed stanzas of (almost always) four lines, each one of which is divided by a central caesura after the sixth stressed syllable (whether or not this is followed by any further unstressed syllables); the second half of the line is composed of five syllables (in any order of stress, as in the first half of the line), a stressed sixth syllable, which may, or may not, be followed by an unstressed syllable.1 Rhymes are usually full, although some tolerance was extended to rare occasions of assonance. Later poets’ generosity towards synalaepha and elision is not witnessed, although the verse abounds in examples of ecthlipsis, apocopation and apheresis. One may summarise the art by observing that it is a rhyming syllable-count verse with an obligatory stress falling on the sixth syllable within every half-line. I will use this formulation as the unquestioned basis for my following analysis.

Our present subject regards how poets constructed their lines through dieresis and ecthlipsis/apocopation, and takes as its raw material the texts of the Alexandre and of those poems associated with Gonzalo de Berceo, together with the manuscript traditions thereof. For the latter, I have used my own edition as the base text; for the former, that of Juan Casas Rigall.2 The degree of admiration I have for his edition may be seen most clearly by the very few times I find it necessary to disagree with his solutions to textual cruxes. The Bercean texts and the Alexandre have both been prepared with a fundamental principle in mind: that where the manuscript tradition authorizes a metrical solution to a line, this is adopted; where the tradition does not provide the material to arrive at a metrical solution, the text has not been emended to produce metricality. These unmetrical lines (defined as either: hypometric and marked at the hemistich devider as either –| or |–; or hypermetric and marked +| or |+) have always been emended in Bercean textual criticism and generally are in Alexandrine; however, the emendations themselves may falsify the evidence itself.3 In my discussion of the metrical solutions obtained by the thirteenth-century poets, those lines which can be established as metrical from manuscript witnesses are distinguished from those that must be regularized metri causa. Some lines, of course, will offer more than one solution to the problem of hypo- or hypermetry, and these may therefore be fully discussed, which premature emendation would prevent.4 The texts have been prepared for use by a concordance programme, and show notable differences from other editions of the same texts in matters of orthography.5


I.i Citations of Latin

Given the close relation that is often claimed between the vernacular verse of the thirteenth century and contemporary Latin verse,6 it would be as well to begin our journey through the problems of versification by considering how Latin itself is versified in the examples of cuaderna vía that we are discussing. I will make no reference to treatises on metrics from the time, since my interest is in discovering what it is possible to see from the use made by the vernacular poets themselves. In stress-positions, Latin is construed in precisely the manner one would expect, that is, as if it were vernacular: MNS 163c ‘nin priso corpus dómini | nin fizo confessión’ or VSD 71a ‘Diçié el páter nóster | sobre muchas uegadas/et el credo in déum | con todas sus posadas’. It might, however, be argued that these words (Corpus Domini, Pater Noster, Credo in Deum —the Eucharist, the Our Father and the Apostles’ Creed) cannot be claimed precisely as Latin phrases or as examples of code-switching, and may just be domestications within a clerical argot, such as the clearer examples at DV 173a ‘los unos iube dompne | los otros bendiciones’ and VSD 79d ‘diçié el omne bono | páter nostres doblados’.7 However, at least one line does give pause for thought: MNS 262d ‘beati inmaculati +| bien bueno de rezar’, where one must scan be|a|ti_in|ma|cu|lá|ti through elision of the contiguous –i–s. This, of course, is normal within Classical Latin prosody, although was usually avoided by contemporary Latin poets.8 Words ending in –m, although eliding in Classical Latin verse, did not usually do so in medieval, thus MNS 20c ‘post pártum et in partu | fue uirgin de uerdat’ is uncontroversial; and the elision of dipthongs was rare, thus VSD 482d ‘dezir tú áutem dómine | la lección acabar’ (and, further, VSD 752d ‘| tú áutem non diriemos’). Another feature of the Latin used is the maintenance of diaresis, such as at Alex 1995d ‘que dixiesse el otro | Non est in dïe festo’ (and, further, SM 163ab ‘En el sexto capítulo | que es de conmezar/qui pridïe comiença | qui lo quiere rezar’; MNS 99e ‘requïéscant in paze | cun diuina clemencia’), or in the title of the antiphon at MNS 114c ‘transladaron el cuerpo | cantando specïosa’. Te déüm laudamus is always counted as hexasyllabic: Alex 2601d, MNS 460d, 847a, VSD 210d, 568d, VSM 359d; in a similar fashion, one notes the construal of Alex 1011d ‘| con la ira de dëus’ (rhymes in –os and –us), and the distinctly macaronic MNS 702b ‘disso laudetur dëus | e la Uirgo gloriosa’. Dieresis is found in the angelic salutation, ‘Aue gracïa plena’ (MNS 227d, 277b).9 Dieresis and elision are also probably to be observed at SM 38a ‘La gloria in excelsis | que el preste leuanta’ (scanned glo|rï|a_in|ex|cél|sis) and certainly at VSM 87b ‘en santa deï ecclesia | to officio complieres’—the first hemistich probably being scanned en sán|ta dé|ï_ec|clé|sï|a.10 One should also, therefore, understand SM 56a as ‘Esto es sine dúbïo |’.

The evidence by which we may construe citations of Latin within the constraints of the verse is by no means conclusive; but it does suggest that the versification being essayed when it came to the vernacular was not exactly that applied to Latin words when directly cited as Latin. Or, rather, any claim that poets applied Latin metrical measures to the vernacular should also allow that they metre was governed by the poetic and metrical necessity of ‘fit’, and that the metre is an example of verse successfully domesticated to the linguistic conditions of the early- to mid-thirteenth century.11 We may now move from Latin to the Latinate vocabulary used by the poets, and which is marked by dieresis.


I.ii Dieresis in polysyllabic words

I.ii.1 Latinisms

Various forms taken directly from Latin are also characterized by diaeresis. These may be categorized as

(a) liturgical Latinisms:

ascensïón (LV 124b, MNS 794a),

lesïón ( LV 7d, 208b, VSD 24c, 305d, 541b, VSM 136d) – lisïón (Alex 1229b, 1618b, LV 202b, MNS 367a, 454a, PSL 60b, VSD 706d, VSM 119d, 160d; but lisionad–: VSD 549a, 639d; which should be compared with the equally always trisyllabic uisïón: 5x Alex, 42x in the Bercean corpus),12

mençïón (Alex 1193d; LV 207a ‘Madre la tu memoria | e la tu mencïón’—probably itself a liturgical echo—, SM 140b),

reconcilïada/o (LV 210b; MNS 520c),

responsïón (Alex 798c, 1291d; MNS 546d, SM 214b; the form responso is also witnessed: SM 42c, 45a, VSD 240d),

uénïe (DV 68c),

unçïón (HI 2d, LV 15b),

tridüano (MNS 307c, 810a, 824d, VSD 579b, VSM 198d);

(b) technical ascetic and theological terms, again from Latin:



aflictïón (MNS 56a, 765a, 812b, VSD 68d, 397d, 414a, VSM 189d),

cïencia (MNS 225a, 707d, VSM 23a),

condiçïón (where it means ‘way of life’/‘grade of sanctity’—from conditio, status: SM 116d),13

deuoçïón (Alex 333c, 1183a; LV 73d, MNS 164c, 269b, 305b, 618c, 667a, 807a, SM 290b, VSM 136a, VSO 14d, 23d, 26b),

deïdad and the related deïficada (MNS 792d, VSD 534ad; and SM 186c),

dilectïón (VSD 503c, a rare word used otherwise from the late fourteenth century onwards),

discreçïón (JF 75c ‘poral dïablo sean | tales discrecïones’, PSL 23a ‘Omne era perfecto | de grand discrezïón’),14

ne(s)cïedat (MNS 224b, SM 213d—although nescia at MNS 92a),

materïal (MNS 610b),

perfectïón (VSM 21d, VSD 118d),

regeneracïón (MNS 794c),

sacïedad (DV 76c),

specïal(es) (SM 50c, 187b, VSM 483b),15

senïores (LV 219a—a rank of angelic beings),

unïón (SM 257d);

(c) straightforwardly ecclesiastical terms or biblical nomenclature:



arcïagnados (PSL 4c),

Baláäm (LV 31b),

Belëem (DV 199c),

bestïario (VSD 220c),

breuïario (Alex 653d, 1957a), Danïel (Alex 1145a, 1339a, 1800b, LV 15a, SM 24b),

Cassïán (a monastery: MNS 330d ‘dicién Sant Cassïán | ond’ él canonge era’),

dïác(h)ono(s) (PSL 16b, 34c, 91d, VSD 269c),

Eçechïel (LV 12a),

Gabrïel (DV 3d, 88b, HII 2a, LV 12d, 21a, MNS 52d, 53a),

genuflecçïón (Alex 1142c) – genuflexïón (MNS 301b),

Iosüe (Alex 1245b),

medïanita (2236d),

Moïsés (Alex 1243c, 1245a, 1554ab, 2106d, LV 17a, MNS 455b),

pacïencia (LV 69a, MNS 573d, PSL 77c, VSD 119a, 224a, 256c, 326b, 277d),

parroquïal (MNS 312a),

prouincïales (VSD 269a),

religïoso (MNS 218b) and religïón (MNS 308a, 350b, 561d, 886d, VSM 312b),16

reliquïario (SM 14a),17

Sïón (MNS 37a, Alex 991c), 18

täú: «tau» is always bisyllabic in SM—once its form is clearly täú (151a ‘Blago es el täú |’) at other times, it is used mid-line (149c, 151c), as it also is at Alex 1242d ‘el täu (leg. täú?) en las puertas |’.

(d) Legalisms are also found:



abusïones (Alex 2373c),19

audïencia (MNS 93b, 208d),

constitucïones (VSM 203c),

dissensïón (Alex 2107c ‘mas boluieron en cabo | con Dios dissensïón’; MNS 308c ‘| en tal dissenssïón’, 574b ‘amató la contienda | e la dissessïón’),20

familïares (VSD 228a, 276c—familia can only be found in SM 132b, 140d, 141a, 165d, always at the end of the first hemistich and thus possibly famílïa, although note the trisyllabic theological vice, acçidia, at Alex 2387b),

priuilegïado (LV 104b, 162a, VSM 432d),21

proprïedad (Alex 359d, 2488b, 2586d, SM 161d),

qüestïones (DV 67b, SM 214d) – qüistïones (Alex 2083c),

tractïones (VSM 216d),

uïolencia (probably MNS 782d, although muy could be müy, but cp. uïolenta at VSD 262c, and uïolar etc., Alex 2368c, MNS 384b, 387d, VSM 166d);

furçïón is not strictly speaking a direct Latinism, but rather a deturpation of functio (according to the RAE’s dictionary), and yet is always trisyllabic: MNS 132b, VSM 397d, 429c.

(e) Scientific terms:



astrïón (Alex 1487c, from astrio, cp. Isidorus Hispalensis, Etymologiarium, xvi.xiii.7, PL 82, 578B; the word can be compared with the names of two warriors: Astrio 2056a, and Astrión 2238c),

dïamantas (Alex 287b),

meridïana (VSD 37c, VSO 161c) – meredïana (Alex 939b, 2041c, 2157c; MNS 113c),

defecçïón (Alex 1224d),

dïonisia (Alex 1485a),

düodena (Alex 1874b),

lectüario (Alex 906b, 2401a, MNS 162b, SM 35d);

(f) specific military vocabulary:



çenturïones: (Alex 1551b),

decurïones (Alex 1551c: officers commanding cavalry squadrons),

defensïón (MNS 37b),

destruçïón (Alex 122c),

legïón and legïonarios (Alex 1551d),

subiecçïón (Alex 2430d).22

The insult, idïota (MNS 221b), is thrown but once–and perhaps not uttered again until Nebrija’s dictionary. There is, finally, the single witness of prosiçïón (Alex 2139d), whose meaning or origin is not clear (perhaps <prosa?). Such dieretic pronunciation is not particularly troubling, since it is consistent to the word, or at least the specific sense (as in the case of SM 116d ‘condiçïón’, above).



Other classes of words are subject to a certain amount of variation. Let us begin with those whose roots lie in ecclesiastical Latin, and more precisely with God and Satan. Crïador is the normal form in all works,23 although bisyllabic criador is found in Alex 192a, 193a, 575d (and possibly 235d: see below, § II.ii.5). Similarly, dïablo(s) is the default form (10x Alex 427d … 2404a; DV 83c, 87b; JF 75c; 9x LV; 30x MNS; SM 210b; 8x VSD; 5x VSM; VSO 12c, 17d), once dïabla (describing Venus: Alex 544b) and dïablería (2619a) and the derived adjective dïablad– (MNS 361c, 467a, 727c, 827c). Alex 637d ‘dixieron este diablo |’ and 2355d ‘por onde ouo ’l diablo |’ may indeed offer diablo, but in these cases it is more likely that este and onde should be assumed; however, diablessa (2367a ‘Pare esta diablessa | un fiio traïdor’) seems certain; JF 73c Mq «en derredor de diablos» is to be contrasted with the hypometric If version «derredor dïablos», from which one should probably extract en derredor dïablos (cp. MNS 490b).24 So far, so relatively consistent. Yet dios may be found bisyllabically a number of times: with bendiga (Alex 591b, 1730ad, 1841d, DV 133d —which may be a contraction of benediga, as found at Alex 2522a ‘| que dios lo benediga’ (P] bendiga O); or VSO 120d ‘| ’sí dios te benediga’) or with an apocopated pronoun (Alex 164c, 1698a, 2159d) or by another apocopation; some others may be explained by the postposition of dios: 497c ‘Quando dïos non quier’ |’ (OP), 600c ‘e si dïos me dexa |’ (P, O def.), 1566b ‘dixo dïos lo sabe |’ (OP), 2051b ‘dixo dïos lo sabe |’ (cp. Alex 1518c ‘Quando lo quiso Dios |’—the word-order lo sabe dios is not found, although the interjection ‘Sabe dios (que)’ is found at 1319d, 1862a, 2468c, VSD 64c). Nevertheless, one line confirms the dieresis of dïos (1534c ‘| Dïos grant caridat’), and in others it is likelier than transposition 2289b ‘| que Dïos ouo dado’, 2302c ‘Fizo Dïos grant cosa |’, 2328a ‘Auiéle Dïos dado |’. There are three possibilities in the Bercean corpus: MNS 315a ‘| dïos nuestro sennor’; Q’s reading of MNS 257a ‘| dïos nuestro sennor’ (although F offers dios el nuestro sennor); and VSM 484d ‘luego da dïos pluia |’. There is one certainty, in Eya uelar (DV 178c), where dïos rhymes with iudíos.

Further words drawn from the stock of ecclesiastical Latin are passïón compassïon, which occur in the Alexandre (2382b and 1618c respectively) but not in the Bercean corpus (passión occurs 19x, of which 5x in PSL and 8x in SM; compassión at MNS 164a). Obedïençia/obediencia is quite unruly: obediençia at Alex 1606b, VSM 79d (VSD 215a F][abbadia S); but obedïençia at Alex 1307c, 2516d, VSD 81c, 101a, 119b, 211d, 224b, 240c, 256a, 497a, 765c, VSM 76d); but the adjective obedïent’ is only found with dieresis: SM 219a, VSM 90a). The parallel with pacïencia (above) is striking. Patrïarc(h)a(s) are usually treated in Latinate fashion (Alex 1241a, PSL 74c, SM 197a, 204a, VSD 27a, 523a, VSM 304a), and rarely as patriarc(h)a(s): Alex 285a, LV 5a (the adjective, patrïarchales, is found only at SM 109c). Petiçïón(es) (Alex 1882d, DV 4c, MNS 779a, SM 223b, VSD 620d), are only slightly less common than petiçión(es) (Alex 1183c, DV 80d, 209b, MNS 181c, SM 37d, 257a, 265a, 258a, VSD 198d, 604d VSM 59b). Eleccïon is resolutely quadrisyllabic (Alex 1825a, MNS 308d, 716b, 717b) apart from MNS 715d ‘en fer tal electión |’—since the speaker is Teófilo, the failure to pronounce the word ‘correctly’ or ‘Latinately’ with dieresis may be a sign of his humility. In contrast, leccïones is only found at DV 173a, whereas lección is used in hagiographical works (VSD 567a, 645c, 752d, VSM 482d). Regïón/regïones is almost always used (Alex 2490d, MNS 660d, 870b/Alex 852a, VSO 48c), apart from the plural regiones at Alex 2459c. Bendicïón occurs at least twice, at MNS 499a ‘Ella nos dé su gracia | e su bendicïón’ (F), and SM 40d ‘| la bendicïón pida’; it may further be hypothesised for SM 41d, where one could read ‘semnar bendicïón’ following B, rejecting I’s variant, ‘semnar la bendición’.25 Dicïón (meaning ‘sin’ or ‘guilt’, from dictio, one of whose meanings is ‘judgement’) is found once at MNS 228a; its other occurrence is in a line whose structure is difficult to establish: MNS 181b ‘es plena de gracia –| e quita de dición’.26 Promissïón is similarly found only once (VSM 429b ‘querría que ficiéssemos | otra promissïón’ – where it rhymes with furcïón); but is probably promissión at Alex 1949c ‘quiso complir a Dario | la fecha promissión’, and 2107a ‘Dixo·l cómo entraron |+ en Tierra de Promissión’ (om. ‘en’?). The word for rent, benefice or allowance, raçión, appears once in trisyllabic form, raçïón (Alex 2359b ‘| la raçïón doblada’), as does redençïón (Alex 1291c ‘| prender redençïón’ where P «rredepnçion», O def); but redención at Alex 1277b (P «redepnçion», O def. .; for P’s spelling, cf. VSD 358b ‘| la media redenpción’), MNS 793b, and SM 93c, 98a, 117c, 178c, 192d, ‘redemción’ (although I —reproducing Q— at 98a «redencion»). Missïón is definitely found twice: Alex 1277c ‘| sobra grant missïón’ and MNS 627b ‘| fazié grand missïón’; it is often registered by editors at MNS 301d, VSD 503b, VSM 219a ‘| a muy grant missïón’; but that, as we shall see below (§ I.iii.4), is to beg an important question. Missión is found 11x in the Alex (48b, 404d, 437b, 578d, 650c, 1118b, 1183b, 1275b, 2102b, 2543d, 2552b) and at MNS 660c, PSL 5a, VSD 358a, VSM 21a, 225a, 397c. Further dieresis may be found in the etymological gloss to Babylon, which is always quadrisyllabic: confusïón (e.g., Alex 1511cd ‘Por la confusïón | que fue entr’ ellos dada/es toda essa tierra | Babilonna clamada’, 1522cd ‘por tanto es de nombre | de confusïón dada/ca Babilón confúsïo | es en latín clamada’, and further 2552c and VSM 219d). But other occurrences of confusion are trisyllabic: Alex 1508a, MNS 870c, VSM 160b. The legalism seruiçïales (Alex 1714d; JF 36d, SM 47d, VSD 553a) is contrasted by seruicial at MNS 651c. Notable too is cutïan– (Alex 2566d ‘| ella muy cutïana’, VSM 172c ‘| prendiénlos cutïano’); there are numerous examples of cutian–; the dieresis may be explained by its root in the Latin quotidiano. Glorïos–, too, is witnessed 20x (only once in the Alex, at 1950a; but frequently in the Bercean corpus: DV 109ab, MNS 19c, 25b, 63a, 73a, 130a, 149a, 228a, 669a, 822c, 831b, 865a, SM 253a, VSD 529a, VSM 359b, VSO 28c, 129b, 134a, 198a; only DV 109b is not at hemistich end). Of the 152x that glorios– appears in the corpus, only four times is it also not at hemistich end (MNS 45c, 514d, 600d, SM 62d). The explanation for this dieresis may be found in the Latinate usage of glorïa (e.g., SM 38c) and the verb glorïar (Alex 2401d, VSD 721a).27 Cambïad– (Alex 1628b, MNS 338a, SM 77a) may owe its dieresis from the medieval Latin cambiare; but cambiar and cambiad– are found throughout the corpora. However, not all examples of dieresis can be ascribed to Latinate pronunciation. The spur may from the possibilities offered by a learned, rather than narrowly ecclesiastical, pronunciation of certain words. So the Latin sanguineus may be linked to the formation of sangrïenta (Alex 816b ‘| con tinta sangrïenta’; sangrient– Alex 177c, 543c, VSM 220b). Yet not all the occurrences of dieresis can be explained in this way, or as characterizing the versification as an application of Latinate conceptions upon a differing Romance. Rather it would be better to consider that the early-thirteenth century Romance spoken by the poets maintained diereses against competing forms in which continguos vowels were being reduced to dipthongs.

Thus contarïo (Alex 2393c ‘| un contrarïo mot’’), desfüello (Alex 226d ‘si yo no·l desfüello | otrament’ la pelleia’), nouns and adjectives in –ïent–: çinïentes (1532c ‘| espadas çinïentes’), combatïentes (1532b); mugïer(es) (Alex 968b and LV 110a); diminutives: 283b ‘aún un poquïello |’; 1954b ‘son los passarïellos |’; 2239d ‘ouo ya quantïello |’. The humble sparrow (Passer domesticus) is dieretic the two times it is spotted: gorrïón (Alex 669d), gurrïones (DV 172a); as are escorpïones (JF 39a); but so is the proud adjective emperïal (Alex 290b).28 This feature is undoubtedly linked to popular speech: fiel (wormwood: Alex 2418a, DV 40b, JF 40c, MNS 36c) is distinct from fïel (faithful, Alex 638d, 2116b, HII 2c, LV 12b) which co-exists with fidel (Alex 441d); and the following are only ever found in dieretic form: crüel (Alex 1242c, SM 149d, VSDf 353d), pïel (Alex 2418c), ençïente (Alex 1919d) – esçïent (Alex 1265d, 2509a), esfrïada (Alex 1484c), süeras (Alex 2088d), rucïada and rucïaua (MNS 249c, SM 87d). It is difficult to know whether pïe (Alex 1608b ‘| el pïe o la mano’) and pïes (2672d, 1394c) are modernization of piede (witnessed in apocopated form at DV 202b, 203c pied’ and as piedes elsewhere) or a maintenance of bisyllabic pronunciation after lenitition—although pie is found (Alex 267a, 268b, etc., VSD 291b, VSM 3b), but not pies.29 Uïola was always sounded trisyllabically (Alex 232c, 1545d; cp. uïolero, MNS 9a).30



A small set of nouns are used with or without dieresis: agua/agüa (Alex 1914d ‘Agüa es cabdal |’ and potentially 2627d ‘| del agüa del río’; for 1914d, one may cite in support 1435b ‘agua era cabdal |’ against Nelson’s emendation to Un agua es cabdal; with regards to 2627d, however, one should note a consistent vacillation between el/la a– (see below, § II.ii.1), which does make de la agua del río (Nelson’s emendation) attractive), cirio/cirïo (VSD 553c ‘| de cirïos cabdales’—and see further below, lirïo), cuer/cüer (Alex 18d ‘sabet que en las paias | el cüer non tenié’, 1676c ‘| con un cüer andamos’; and further 339d ‘yo·l metré en coraçón +|+ auerte ha a querer’, cp. 912b en cuer), diestra/dïestra (2055c ‘Poro a la dïestra |’ and cp. VSO 58c ‘cáliçes en diestras –|’, although the latter line is generally emended to cáliçes en las diestras, and indeed the omission of the definite article seems unknown in the middle ages when referring to the hand), espuelas/espüelas (Alex 661c ‘calçó·s las espüelas |’ where calçós’ O] calcaronli P; similar hemistichs are found, however, at 1968b ‘calçóse las espuelas |’, where calçose las P] calço sus O—here O’s reading would give again espüelas—and 1773c ‘calçáronle espuelas |’ (OP), which echoes P’s variant for 661c; furthermore, calçar is not necessarily reflexive: cp. Alex 456a/661a ‘calçó sus/las brafoneras’), fazienda/fazïenda (1964c ‘todas las fazïendas |’, and possibly, if one does not use füe, 1232c ‘Fue por la fazïenda |’), fiesta/fïesta (Alex 1133d ‘dar·l ié mala fïesta |’), fuerça/füerça (Alex 1836d ‘de la mi grant füerça |’—one might suggest the emendation to grande, but grande is not found before a noun in the Alexandre, although it may be in the Bercean corpus),31 lirio/lirïo (Alex 2602d ‘| que lirïo nin rosa’; lirio only occurs elsewhere at hemistich end at Alex 2530d1*, and lirios at Alex 568c2*, where it rhymes with çirios, çiliçios and quirios: although çirios and quirios are bisyllabic at Alex 1183b, MNS 734b, and MNS 697c, SM 34c respectively, cirïos is found at VSD 553c; the only occurrence of çiliçios is in rhyme position in stanza 568), maysón/maÿsón (VSM 189c ‘| los d’ essa maÿsón’ and VSD 444c (S) ‘| en essa mäysón’; maysón at VSD 444c (F), 686d), miedo/mïedo (Alex 589b ‘Áyaz con el mïedo |’ P; O def.),32 puercos/püercos (Alex 2566a ‘Mataua los püercos | Diziembre por mannana’ OP; perhaps, as Nelson suggests, the hemistich offers a case of haplography, and one should read Mataua a los puercos), tiendas/tïendas (Alex 1330b ‘eran de las tïendas |’ P; O def.; Nelson, Ya eran…in order to to follow 1330a which begins with Ya, cp. 87ab, 251d–252a, where this technique is used), traspuesto/traspüesto (1574b),33 and possibly priessa/prïessa, although all examples occur in hemistichs where another dipthong may well undergo dieresis: 267b1* ‘subién a grant prïessa |’ (P; O sobian …, which would also produce a metrical hemistich), 750a1* ‘Diéronles grant prïessa |’ (O; P def.; possibly Dïéronles grant priessa), 2233c1* ‘mas tan fiera prïessa |’ (OP; but possibly fïera; 26x priessa Alex, of which 17x 1*); a related problem is found with aprïessa: Alex 1569b ‘| aprïessa corriendo’ (which could be apriessa corrïendo).

Cadaün–: 25x Alex 253b, 296d, 329cd, 333c, 342d, 415a, 435d, 474c, 750c, 840d, 976c, 1183cd, 1246c, 1325c, 1412b, 1508c, 1553c, 1582c, 2136b, 2459c, 2518b, 2607d, 2664d; JF 37d ‘que cadaüna d’ ellas |’, DV 149a ‘| cadaüno ploraua’, SM 148c ‘en cadaüna casa |’, VSD 637d ‘destas tres cadaüna |’, VSO 60b ‘| cadaüno consigo’. The trisyllabic form, cadauno, is rare in the Bercean corpus: it occurs in metrically acceptable hemistichs only at LV 160b, 229d, VSO 86b, 137c. Both of these works only survive in F, and the scribe of that manuscript at VSD 503d did substitute cadauno for cascuno (as witnessed by S). Thus the details of the presence of cadauno (rather than cadaüno or cada uno) are probably falsified. Nevertheless, the metrical occurrence of cadauno in the Alexandre is much higher (only when one manuscript is deficient or differs do I signal it in the following list: 78b, 99b, 265c (P cascunos), 1302c (P; O def.), 1498b, 1537c, 1823b, 1959d, 2170c, 2554d, 2592c (P cascuno), 2609b. Cadauno is found in hypermetric conditions at 338a, 484c, 691a (P Salleron), 971a (P cascuno), 1241c (P; O def.), 1317cd (P, O def.), 1510d, 1711d, 1746c, 2198c, 2199a, 2202a, 2536a; and, further, LV 32a, 38a, SM 295a, VSO 12b; cadauna at Alex 2114c, 2133d. Cadaunos is always metrical: Alex 656b (P cascunos), 764b (P cascunos), LV 56d. The bisyllabic quisque has only survived once in the Alexandre, 1246d ‘quisque en su escripto |+ de dó era natural’ (P; O def.), but it is better represented in the Bercean corpus: JF 17b, 22cd, PSL 84c, SM 8c, 67c, VSD 604a, VSM 78c, 214c, 253a. Thus varying forms, depending upon the syllabic count, suggest themselves, similar to adjectives describing nationality (as discussed below): quisque, cadauno/cascuno, cadaüno. It is not possible to say that, in all occurrences of cadauno, the scribes are substituting cascuno, but this would seem to be the case in at least part of the Bercean corpus.

Proper names show a marked tendency towards dieresis: Aüsón (1075a), Dïago (VSD 626c; Santïago, similarly: MNS 202a, 203a, 207b, VSM 420c), Dïana (Alex 373b, 2478d), Eubeüs (Alex 445b; or Eübeüs), Eügenia (VSO 25b) Eügenio (VSM 169b),34 Eütiçio (Alex 1614a, 1625a; but Eurípilo, 526c; Eumelenus, 444a), Iulïano (LV 202d), Licrïano (with perhaps a hint coming from the poet on how to pronounce the word, VSD 191b ‘como diz’ el escripto | diçiénle Licrïano’), Mónïo (VSO 84b; a name distinct from Munno, VSO 5a etc), Nïobé (Alex 2390b), Peücostes (Alex 2238b), Sïagrio (MNS 70a, 72b), Thánäis (Alex 1913c1*, 1914ab1i), Timeüs (Alex 2238a), Ualerïano (PSL 88d and 6x more). Yet some names evidence a degree of variation. The most varied is probably Tolomeo (9x) who also appears as the equally quadrisyllabic Tolomeüs (1011c2*, rhymes in –eüs and –eos), but trisyllabically at 2486d ‘| Toloméus el terçero’ (O, P def.). Furthermore, trisyllabic Diomedes is found at Alex 325c1*, 515a1*, 529a1*, 539a1*, and 536c1i, but Dïomedes at 70a1*, 238b1i, 440c1i, 518b1*, 519c1i, 527c1*, 541a1*, 542b1*, 544a1i, 563a1*, 573b1*, 574a1i, 604a1*, 616a1i, 623b1*, 626b2*; Eüménides (1027a, 1411a) is syneresised at 318a ‘El sesto fue Euménides |’). Bisyllabic Rodius (444a P) is later found in a longer form with an orthographic alteration: Rodeüs (525a O).35 The most important name to change its form, however, is Dario; the latter is by far the most usual form of the Persian emperor’s name (198x); but trisyllabic Darío, or possibly Dárïo where the word does not end a hemistich, are also found (903b2i, 1087a1*, 1235a1*, 1348d1*, 1420a1*, 1593c1i, 1747c1*, 1783a1i, 2590a2ii). These examples amounts to roughly 4.5% of the occurrences of the Persian emperor’s name.36 There are few other possibilities: 1777b ‘diziendo Aÿ Dario |’, since aÿ (24c, 1203c, 2456a, 2651a) is as frequent as ay (431c, 1088a, 1378b, 2558b); 1771b ‘cüemo era Dario |’—for which, see below, § I.ii.3; the various lines in which reÿ is found, 802d ‘fueron al reÿ Dario |’, 809b ‘Subió el reÿ Dario |’, 824a ‘Diole el reÿ Dario |’, 874b ‘iua el reÿ Dario |’, 1051c ‘no·l ualïó a Dario |’, 1335b ‘quando al reÿ Dario |’, 1709d ‘Reÿ mató a Dario |’ (it is notable the rarity of the title, rey Dario after trisyllabic Darío is first used at 903b (only 1335b); before this line, reÿ Dario is used 5x. Other possibilities are generated by suggesting an omission (776b ‘fasta que ouo Dario |’) or apocopation: 820a ‘Quando entendió Dario |’ 844a ‘Sópolo luego Dario |’ (P Supolo, O om. lo), 1033d ‘Querrié que fuesse Dario |’, 1194a ‘Assí lo mandó Dario |’, 1250c ‘Dario quando lo uío |’, 1262a ‘Dario quiere contigo |’, 1364a ‘De la parte de Dario |’, 1406a ‘Prometiérale Dario |’, 1359a 1404a 1409d ‘Los de parte de Dario |’, 1723b ‘que sopiesse que Dario |’, 2286b ‘quando Dario uençiestes |’, 2532d ‘lo que uiste en Dario |’.

A regards toponymy, there are some consistencies. Of note are Carrïón (VSD 130b, VSM 389b, 462b), Sorïa (Alex 2581b), Genüa (VSO 118d) and Uïana (Alex 2583b). Further, Uilladïago is a different place to Uilladiago (VSM 471c and 470b, respectively; perhaps here we see, as with the initial resolution of pl– in Hlantada, VSD 700a, 704a, the possibility of regional differences in the treatment of dipthongs).



Nationalities, where appropriate, are usually defined as –ïan–: thus asturïana (VSD 572a), egipcïana (MNS 783c),37 greçïana(s) (Alex 1967a, 2041d), greçïano (Alex 2023c, 2089d, 2229d), indïan– (Alex 13b, 2007a, 2020d, 2073a, 2078a), libïanos (Alex 1515d), medïanos (1515b), persïan– (259c, 915d, 1948a, 2073b).38 The unchanging length of these words is amply compensated by a range of other words for nationalities composed of three syllables: greçisca(s) (Alex 321d, 407c, 546c, 859b, 2245c), greçisco (1052d), and grïeg– (only ever used as a noun: Alex 272a, 888a, 1380a, 1734c, 1794a, 2085b);39 indïos (1195d); and of two: grieg– (136x Alex), indios (2076a), medos (30c, 919d, 1013d, 1374a, 2073b), persiantes (1409c). The names of regions are subject to dieresis: Asia (265d, 281a, 289a, 1145b, and possibly 1786b) but Ásïa (279a2i, 284a2i, 2467a2ii, 2509a1i, 2578b1i;40 the majority of the occurrences of the word are at hemistich end, 15x Alex, 25c–2586c); Europa (279bc) but Eüropa (25b, 286c, 306c, 1157b, 1503a, 1914c, 2462b, 2511a, 2516c, 2578c, 2650b); Çiçia (Alex 1912d, 1914a, 1916a) but Çiçïa (1942a); Greçia (17x Alex and MNS 446d1ii), but Greçïa (1796c, 2635b; and at hemistich end, 35x Alex and PSL 6c1*); Frigia (1923b, 2590b) but Frigïa (289b; at the end of a hemistich, 321a, 1515d, 2639b); India (287c, 778d, 1169a, 1350a, 1973a, 2000c, 2217b) but Indïa (88b, 256d; end-hemistich 11x, 145b, 239b, 1640b, 1795d, 1945d, 1946a, 1968c, 1974a, 2303c, 2430c, 2179b); Libia (1795a) but Libïa (2639a; end-hemistich, 1168b, 1169b, 1923b, 2639d); Media (1190c, 1643d, 2430d) but Medïa (1923a; end-hemistich, 298c, 823a, 1340c); Persia (289c, 802d, 1961c) but Persïa (1340c; end-hemistich: 16x41). Panfilia is found thrice at the end of a hemistich (289b, 1515c, 2639a), Çiliçia once mid-hemistich (882c), once at hemistich-end (2639c). Finally the river Euphrates is once Eüfrates (1075d), once Eüfraten (1199a), but overflows in two lines which are evidently corrupt: 821a ‘Sobre Eufrates el río +|’ (O; P om. el río), 840b ‘que en Eufrates yazién +|’). Certain toponyms, however, are not subject to diaresis: Alexandria (2467d, 2644a, 2666c, 2667a), Arabia (291a, 1026c, 1398d), Armenia (160c, 165a, 191b, 291c, 1241b), Asiria (289a), Babilonia (290a, 2531c, 2641c), Galizia (1787b), Siria (1356b, 2640c). We may conclude our study of toponomy by saying that bisyllabic terms (e.g., Asia, Frigia, Greçia, India, Libia, Media, Persia) are prone to dieresis to make them trisyllabic (and Siria, the exception in this, is related to the trisyllabic Asiria). But in only two cases are the proportions between dieretic/non-dieretic forms equal (Asia/Ásïa and Libia/Líbïa). Toponyms that are already tri-syllabic, unless they begin Eu–, do not undergo dieresis.42 Of note is the vacillation between orïent(e) and orient(e): the dieresised form is most popular in the Alexandre (278a, 942d, 1218c, 1226b, 1405a, 1919a, 2102c—against 1229d, 2509b, and possibly 869a), and is found in PSL 1b, VSM 90d, whereas possibly oriente at LV 31a and orient’ at VSM 3a.43


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