Chapter 1

[ 1 ]



THE FAME OF YOUR MOST GLORIOUS NAME. AS IT IS EXALTED QUITE DISTINCTLY BY YOUR BRIGHTNESS TO A SUPERLATIVE SUMMIT HIGHER THAN THE [CEDAR] (note 1) OF LEBANON. proclaimed more widely than the earth's broad out-stretched length and spacious out-spread breadth. is publicly prominent. No one who understands the words of the lord speaking to Nichodemus. the spirit blows where it will. does not know; for. as is made evident to human sights by your revealing lustre. you surpass the loftiness of all other prelates through the seed of your high birth and the bounty of your merit; having become for everyone an adequate relief and having been made all things to all people. Wherefore are you. pontifical apex. illustrious ideal of rectitude. incomparable model of a crystal-clear life. sacerdotal ornament. indescribable light of the entire church. distinguished summit of sanctity. unbending column of all goodness. worthily hallowed for your merits with this truth-telling assertion. For you. whom eminent deeds celebrate as such and so great a person. the right hand of the one enthroned on high has indeed disposed to exalt with the office of such and so great a prelacy; since divine charity. with its manifold offspring. abides in the grottos of your innocent breast and in the depths of your uncensured heart. Whichever of the multifarious virtues. daughters of that same charity. is acquired by the continual and vigilant zeal of each and every servant of god. the illuminator of minds. namely the divine holy spirit. is there as an inciter; whatever can result from the most holy service to those virtues is seen to reign in you by divine influence. and the source of all charity has wonderfully placed the entire pile of those same virtues in the residence of your breast. Since. indeed. it is known as certain to all who have the capacity for theory. that you have. my father and lord. from the squallings of a tender boyish age. whole-heartedly sacrificed the living host to the eternal priest with internal contrition of your heart. have. in the fullness of your virtues. dedicated your breast as a throne for the supernal spirit. have. in your mind. lived in heaven for. as is evident to this time. the outstanding intention of your delightful spirit is not considered to have turned away from the straight road. from the beginning until now. as the result of any inundation or of the wickedness of any vices. Thus. you seem to have been besprinkled from heaven with the nectar of the holy spirit. in its singular marvelousness and its marvelous singularity. while like a mystical torch you. among the bishops of this world. are inflamed by a solar light. But who bears a breast so stony. and has a heart muffled by such a great covering of darkness that. having considered your marvelous deeds. he would not turn away immediately from his perversity to a celibate life? Indeed. since you have certainly been perceived as having at many times. past and future. neither like chief nor follower. to become comrades in your way of life is the sole aim of all who endeavor to deliver themselves from the crooked road of that most bitter foot-path whereby many are harshly led to death and to which the deceiving wisdom of this world directs the way of those whose disposition substitutes the joys of fleshly delight. Nor is it astonishing. most reverend bishop. if this has been granted to you by divine influence. that you be made the greatest exemplar of good for the whole world; for from the very cradle of life itself you have been seen to ascend. through the grades of the virtues. to the sanctuaries of the starry fatherland; and to abide in a star-filled residence through the magnitude of your exploits. But indeed. oh pontiff of marvelous wonder. from such deeds is something astonishing understood. that you felt such concern for your zealous exertions that. if anywhere on earth some fear of god reigned and it burst upon your ears by report of some native man. you never suffered an interval of one hour to pass; no sooner said than done. you labored to perform it yourself in order that. having embraced the precepts of that life which struggles always towards the steeps. you be unable to be faulted by the perverse whisperings of unjust sophists. Indeed you. a good servant and fidelis about to enter into the joy of your lord as the result of a few things. that is as a result of the gift of the five talents faithfully stewarded and of the victual stewardship judiciously apportioned; you will be set over many things when your lord has come for. joined to the company of the supernal virtues. you will have joys that will endure without end. Indeed when the lord has come back the single mina (note 2) entrusted to you will bring back through your sacred trade ten minas to the treasury of the highest master of the house. that is because through the commands of the decalogue you. bearing in your right hand the maniples of justice. converted yourself to god. a worthy table companion. you will bring back to the table of the invisible and immortal bridegroom a hundredfold fruit. just as a mina is valued at one hundred drachmas. Deservedly have you been alloted the rank of apostolic merit. and exalted by divine allotment to the summit of that rank that is within the number twelve; for if the secrets of that very number are considered. it is in every way destined for your loftiness. In reality twelve is called by mathematicians. (note 3) odd even; composed equally out of what is even. and out of what is uneven. (note 4) For just as that number possesses both the same signification as do those of which it is composed and another which they do not have. so do you gain both the strength of the way of life which they have. who are destined for the number of all bishops. and another from god. And just as a thing is said to be odd because of one part. even because of another. so will you yourself be found to be both equal and unequal. to the others who are exalted to the height of that number. Unequal in sanctity; but equal in name. A thing is correctly asserted to overflow its own parts. that is if its qualities are reduced into one; just as those qualities surpass the sum of the origina quantity. so with the surpassing of merits; if the marks of your sanctity are bound together. you will be found to be greater than the others within that number waging war for god. But what is represented by the same reckoning in musical measures. if not the loftiness of so great a patron? What else is that very number twelve wont to signify by some proof of its own. if not the perfecting of the number six. itself perfect. something which through multiplication by two achieves the concordant harmony of the whole octave? And what is proven through your climbing. by an accumulated multiplication by two. of the rank of this number. if not the immense perfection in you of the double increase? Indeed that number maintains the harmonies of the fifth. and the fourth. through proportions of one-and-one-half to eight. and one-and-one-third to nine. for at that time when promotion to that very number raised you up to pastoral rule; it increased the eight beatitudes in your life. and joined you to the nine companies of angels. But by the same procedure whereby the number twelve itself through multiplication by two passes through to the total twenty-four; so the twin observation of twin precepts namely love of god and neighbor. has added you to the twenty-four supernal elders with whom you. crowned by an unfading crown will sing a new canticle to the one residing on the throne. Just as the number twelve itself grows into the number eighteen once its half has been added to it; that is the number six which as has been said lacks superfluity and defect. among those elders you. hearing nothing defective. nothing superfluous. as they render an office of honey-flowing song with sweet-sounding harmonies of complete harmonic modulation; likewise will efficaciously delight in the charms. woven from eighteen different lyres. according to the five tetrachords. Where all this is leading. this is the cause. Having searched through all the parts of gaul having surveyed the territories of all christians in every quarter I ascertain no one to whom the tributes of total esteem should be assigned with equal dignity as they should be to you. For that reason after an illustrious report wrung out from your astonishing actions burst upon my ears. memorable father; it incessantly afforded my spirits with incentives to turn aside to you. so that you might become the consolation of my exigency. for you will satisfy desires as I have learned from the very spreading abroad of your name everywhere. But from the very beginning until the present time I am suffering this exigency. that I have not hit upon anyone to whom I might display this despicable and contemptible trifle of a composition for correction; beyond you whose praise seems to touch the heavens. and to whom as was said above all esteem is owed. I am brooding in my heart on an esteem that is so great and of this type and I am determined in my own mind. that it is fitting to have so great a patron in order that the obscurities resulting from its own darkness which are seen in this book. should be brought to light through you; so that not a name for the penurious and inglorious composer: But praise for the eminent corrector might be obtained. However much it be imputed to me as folly. laying hold of the ardor of boldness through my confidence in this letter; I am approaching the sight of your majesty; and having approached with lowered neck of both body and heart. not just once. nor twice. nor three times. nay rather repeatedly am I joining entreaties to entreaties. that every jagged edge of wrongful uncertainty. be lopped off utterly and from the root. by your sharpest battle axes which are composed of the purest steel of complete wisdom. Almost the half part of this work. seems to have the least regard for any useful pursuit unless it be weeded by you the reaper of the wild thistles of superfluity. for as long as I am overwhelmed by bodily infirmity and as long as I am hindered by the unavoidableness of secular affairs. my mind's eye is stifled embracing of its own accord blindness rather than light. and is bereft of desires for bodily joys. and is plunged into a vast whirlpool of darkness. I greatly wish that eye which since I am saying it is destitute of the assistance of the right light; to be illuminated by you (note 5) who busy yourself with the precepts of sacred speech. I want to render you certain. so that you do not suppose that I willingly stuck to this work; Or that I began it of my own free-willed will. Two years before his death. as frequently was my habit I was with the exceptional duke RICHARD. son of MARQUIS WILLIAM. wanting to render to him my obligation of service; because of the innumerable boons. which without any merit of my own he had deigned to bestow upon me. Approaching me one day. he began to embrace me with the arms of a most compassionate love; And to attract me with his most charming speeches. and to soften me up with delightful entreaties; nay rather to denounce me and to swear in charity that if I had been capable of any consideration. I would have attended to his long-desired intentions. that is to say that I would have described in writing the customs and deeds of the Norman land. yea indeed the rights which [Richard's son Richard] (note 6) asserted in the realm of his great-grandfather ROLLO. I was astounded as though out of my senses. and denying these requests for a number of days I refused. But at length moved by so much beseeching. and fatigued by so many entreaties; with difficulty I bent my intention to having the weight of so great a burden layed on my shoulders. And although it kept being publicly declared that it was beyond the possibility of my strength to recount all this; I did lay the yoke of that great burden on my neck. become an imitator of that command; which instructs us to stand firm to act manfully and to be strong moreover that all our deeds be done in charity. Our inexperienced pen. had not yet reached the first parts of the work. when alas what grief a tearful report announced that Richard a leader for the whole world. had died. In grief for this leader I would have postponed this entire project because of the very great weeping. and unbearable wailing. which were not only tormenting my heart. but also battering the limbs of my whole body. had it not been hurried on by his most distinguished son the still surviving patrician RICHARD and by the extraordinary count Rodulf. Both keep persisting in entreaties. that I carry out what duke Richard of memorable life had enjoined by his own entreaty. and keep calling me to witness lest the intention which I had pledged to him seem to be defiled. transformed into the vice of double-tonguedness by any filth of falsehood. rather than to be valued in the deep marrow of my understanding. Assenting to their injunctions and entreaties I have carried out the labor although it boasts neither the dialectics of syllogism. nor rhetorical arguments. I have disposed to send it to your majesty. so that the falsities might be lopped off; and if there be any truthfulness in it. it be confirmed by your authority in order that the marvelous recompenser of rewards. who has placed the exceptional marquis Richard (note 7) in the paradise of his glory. might establish you adorned with an everlasting garland among the choruses of all the saints as a senator of the heavenly court. just as he has raised you up as a pillar of his holy church.


Book lacking in all theory of rhetorical sweetness.
When I examine you with my inward little eye.
You are perceived to be arranged according to a very weak plot.
And because you are mocked by an arrogant and crafty uproar.
It pains my soul that you long to bring to the masses
The shapes which have been fruitlessly arranged by our pen.
And though seals should hold you back in modest places of study
Loathing for secrecy is pulling mischievous you out to us
For the bronze tower hardly protected danae from the golden shower.
As fulgentius relates in the myth
Whether you proceed now nimble to norman schools.
Or linger yet shut up in frankish schools
I fear that a facetious mocking grimace will rise up before us
Were impatient you to resist the key now that the bolt has been removed
Let you not also rush into the mouths of a mentally-acute populace
The normans would crush the unwilling bard with a lashing.
If foolhardy you come now among the multitude with nimble step
You will be discussed in the face of a great commotion as so many scorn you.
One will spit out the foul thing from puckered lips
And will chime in revise this unspeakable thing
And another will clap out great disapproval with impious hands.
And with lifted feet. will repeatedly toss up (note 10) soil
Another investigating one will note its minor faults aloud
If still nothing irreproachable ever appears once its squalors have been driven off by the hissing
Then some learned one will certainly turn his attention to the falsities
As a result of which he will become even more profligate and impious
And out of his senses he will rave more vehemently than the other ones against all this madness
And you will be contradicted (note 11) willy-nilly and finally cut
Beneath all the derision of his mocking grimace.
For in your error you did not know whether you were to bring forward
All clothed in writing ginger or a small amount of nard-balsam
And costum and pepper from the unguent-shop (note 12)
The instructor stood aloof (note 13) and moved away from our deliberations
Recall by perpetually remembering that he did not attend to you with concern
Cheated you seek protection
Let outstanding quintinus whom I honor first of all approach
The stinging outer side of the volume where a wavering title sits up in front
Let him make known the road which he created like the heavens out of ruins
Let him as duke seal the commencement with these these his own merits
hereby you will perhaps be able to defy defenseless masses
Of brawling common people or even a thousand hazards
For the arrogant hosts would hardly dare to have rejected you
Given the barrier of a name flashing with such merits
Before such a duke their frenzy grows sleek and they refrain
From becoming very raw with spit. drawn-back lips (note 14) and bared teeth.
Go (note 15) with that sacred duke to the seven-fold holy spirit
A fortunate book perpetually protected. fortified and aided.
By the resounding (note 16) merits of the bountiful martyr quintinus
Do not feel vexed that you once went away uninstructed
And entrust yourself to the fates because a suppliant should not yield to doubts
And oh that better things would ensue for me with your wished-for goodwill.

O you as magnanimous compassionate moderate
O you as extraordinary god-fearing
O you as eminent upright kind
O you as wonderful good and righteous
O you as peace-making and as the progeny of god
O you as generous Sacred moderate
O you as very bright merciful Richard
O you as patient judicious Richard
O you as extremely celebrated graceful Richard
O you as a judge mild Richard
O you as deserving charming Richard
All nations do fittingly celebrate
Discreetly remember what you perceive in this book.
Feed your heart and breast on what has been recounted
So that you might have the strength to fasten upon these things

At this the mind. uneasy. hesitating with great sobbings.
Wavers amidst varied whirlpools and countless misfortunes
And the inopportune vicissitudes of volatile affairs
And the changeable flights of a harassing fate.
And the very alarmed heart also withers with its very fibres damaged
And the benumbed spirit sighs in its bitter wailing
And now the silly tongue shudders stammers
Babbles sticks within the slightly hoarse passages of the gullet
And parched through inactivity barely prates some noisy words
And how will I a slothful (note 17) talent puny in intelligence
And hard of understanding. and alas filled with folly.
Be able to recount in elegant speech.
Be able to heap up this accomplishment which is being entrusted
To me by divine will and supernal command
I who can neither in private nor by misfortune in public
Utter with my little mortal lips accomplishments arranged in order
Whoever takes up a weight that is heavy beyond his ability
Suffering very great and facetious derision
Expends himself in capricious chattering
Often both his own audacity and the impassibility of the thicket
Undoes the hunter who is heedless of the art of hunting wild beasts
Thus does the young recruit bear his shield as a souvenir of war.
Toiling in the easy effort of some frolicsome use
But he does not know how to fight when a duel arises
The bird whose mother has not gone before it as a duke will
Nonetheless depart it will not remain in the space conceded to it (note 18)
Someone unacquainted with the erudition and art of sailors
Who rushes into the open marine main in a little skiff
Will move to and fro. either hither. or thither. or often be swallowed up
The horseman who is usually accustomed to sitting on a wild ass [without horse-trappings
Is now cast down headlong by a nimble course.
It is useless for someone bereft of all art theory and advice
To go to the marketplace to buy who does not know
What he wants to bid having carefully weighed his gain.
Thus is he who repeats what he has not been able to terminate with moderation
Torn in some different direction by everything that floats by.
Unless he be sustained by the erudition and goodwill of teachers
Therefore am I again now being pricked by the foulness of my ignorance (note 19)
Not knowing what I shall do about this lest I accomplish it lest I leave it undone
Nevertheless the author's sluggish sense of innate chattiness may
Relying on no one else's strength. arrange in order
Something of a plot that is unpleasant coarse unseemly.
May I approach and accomplish whatever I shall be able
Trusting in the lord ruling the world with his authority
And doing whatever he wills in heaven earth and sea.
He forced one accustomed to braying fully to produce words
And to carry on a dialogue with her rider
And he revived lazarus after the sepulchral office
And commanded the dead man to run alive after his funeral.
And he redeemed the world after he submitted to the brands of the cross.

Venerable prelate receive the deeds of your greatgrandfather
And receive the deeds of your richly endowed grandfather
And also of your father known for his merits in heaven above
Yea indeed feed your spirit
Upon the good and kind merits of that comrade of christ
And working diligently verse yourself in his good qualities
Contemplating his wonderful actions made known again in speech
And contemplating his wonderful addresses
And recall recall his memorable causes
Now recall recall. what he worthily did
With exceptional efforts be mindful of his habits
And recollect them with exceptional efforts
Reading again willingly imitate his lawful labor
And being diligent examine his lawful labor
You know that he always venerating deeply loved god's strongholds
You know that he venerating esteemed god's strongholds
He himself was his fatherland's defending wall not breakable by a battering ram
And its hard gate. not breakable by a battering ram
The orphan. the exile. the destitute. would obtain a widow's aid
And relief. the orphan the exile the destitute all
He erected churches he made pagans believe
He built shrines. he erected churches
With all his strength he loved the lord god in his heart and
His neighbor as himself. the lord god in his heart.
Like valiant vehement mars he would break fierce peoples.
And he would perchance tread down fierce peoples.
He would command dukes with laws and a friendly word
To the kings and dukes in the realm. he was even dearer
He would enrich honorable ambassadors with various presents
Yet humble ones likewise with various presents.
A steed apportioning draperies gold and pelts
A bountiful one apportioning draperies as a present
He would flatter the untameable dacians with friendly
And severe words. overwhelming the untameable dacians
And through it all as the ornament of our rank and grade
And the prop of our rank and grade
A sleek effigy of the virtues celebrated for his rousing eloquence
Mild in words celebrated for his rousing eloquence
His goodnesses now vanquish me the advocate.
And his abilities vanquish the advocate
A sure sign of his uprightness endures
A sign endures and signals still glow red
Whether I speak further or I remain silent about those deeds which were witnessed
Whether I speak or I remain silent. in time to come.
Behold my account will prate about whatever it can
And my tractate likewise. behold will prate
I will bellow roaring with a vehement cry reconsidering in my heart.
What he recounted when still alive I will bellow roaring with my cry. (note 21)
O venerable compassionate worshipful reverend patron.
O worshipful compassionate. prelate Robert
Examine the mindful and forgetful victories of your father
And hunt down the forgetful actions of your father
And may you sustain yourself on your father's awesome words
And observing sustain yourself on your father's acts
May the present prayer continually succor your father
And may it continually succor his uninterrupted wishes
That you might have strength O might flourish mightily through the ages
O that you might flourish. reigning with christ
That you might abide in the elysian field with your awesome father.
That you might abide in the elysian field of the empyrian fatherland.

Let modern magnates and likewise ancient patriarchs
Such as scipio pompey and cato who each by the glory of rome
Its might made universal everywhere in this flaming world
Dominating an eminent dignity and a glittering empire
Increased his own virtue and renown by the realm's carried-off things
Yield conquered by the uprightness of count Rodulf
The Roman world was skilful when they were consuls
Now the norman apex Richard's summit of honor
Flourishes and is rich in goods as long as you Rodulf survive (note 22) devoting time to it.
Glorified as you are by kind manners and merits.
Being as you are the virtue dignity and power of the whole realm
Extremely strong due to the seriousness of your deep spirit and heart.
An urn that is the source of the nectar of fertile advice
You pour forth from your bountiful mouth the good sense of your tranquil breast
And in this way you also produce victuals of understanding like a billow of salt water
Lively with talent mild with red-glowing eloquence
In this way you warm everyone under your garment-tails as the sun here does the world
In this way you revive (note 23) the hearts of your followers as the nile does egypt
The norman land has deserved you a red-glowing light
Everywhere you radiate brilliance you who flash with your heart's torch.
O you fortunate soul who advise the actions of the fatherland
As an aid prop and ornament of the realm
Based on whose appeal I thunderstruck quivering sluggish uneasy undecided
Have arranged in order whatever stands written (note 24) in this book.
May you have the highest honor as christ reigns through the ages.
And may your present and future life be with the saints

Extraordinary and venerable prelate
Eminent summit. our highest office
Of the churches. And our patron
Light and distinguished ornament. And the worthy salvation
Of our grade. founder of a holy order.
Receive what has been arranged in order by my understanding
Touch with your sacred hand what I the suppliant offer
Things unattempted by the knowledgeable in grammatical art
And reading examine those accomplishments
Which our sweet love. And greatest concern
For that extraordinary father And charming bountiful
Great patrician. and awesome RICHARD
Celebrated in this tottering world
Mighty by right. in the eternal fatherland
Although for only a short while. made us write
He flourished famed for goodness. And compassion.
Strong with directness. And uprightness.
Flashing with judgment And in justice
More magnificent than that realm
In the time of The great king LOTHAR.
And of duke HUGH. Afterwards king
Wise in heart. and judicious in mind.
Recall his disbursements. Words and deeds.
Whereby you may rightly have the strength To be likened
Now in worthy similar. goodness to a count
So worthy And so celebrated
So equitable and good. And so moderate
So holy compassionate And so worshipful
And justly to obtain. What he enjoys (note 25)
And to advance Into a higher company
As a fortunate beautiful lamb With shining white fleece
Joined to those who dwell in heaven In perennial peace
The pontifical apex and honor
Flashing from an extraordinary summit
With the deserved glory of bishops
The greatest shepherd of the lord's flock
Nobly inflamed by peace-making compassion
To the compassionate obligations
Of the rank and Grade of the church.
The glory and the ornament and the faith the salvation
And the head of the christ-worshipping populace
Eminent aid of the fatherland
A sacred man to be venerated for merits
As you read by reflecting for a long time
Capture and see
The charming generous deeds
Of the eminent warrior the great-grandfather
Of the grandfather Radiating in martyrdom
And of the father An extremely exceptional duke.
Deeds revealed in a truth-telling address
Following the order of a prosaic plotline
With its wavering subject matter
By my stupid dull and sluggish talent
And ignorant inept senseless utterance
Recall the good qualities with which you meet.
Nourish your spirit on these banquets
And on the salvation-giving (note 26) fruit of these grain fields
And verse your heart in such things
So that you might be likened to his actions
Might have the strength to run alongside the older man
Alongside the father alongside the sacred sire
May you have longlasting
Glory life. salvation. uprightness
With a healthy body nay rather a healthy soul
Through the countless ages
And after the ruin of a mournful (note 27) end
May you flourish in the elysian fatherland
Partaking divinely in heaven. (note 28)
And awesome
And venerable
And fearsome prelate
Whose name
This poetical measure
Does not even anywhere embrace.
Unless this line having been released
Is missing
Receive the deeds.
Of the wonderful
Of your forefathers
Of your father and grandfather
And now of your greatgrandfather
Now recalling sufficiently
By the light of shining
The goods which each one
Did in the world
While the limbs of the body
Still thrived with life
The sacred and
Salutary stimulus
For indeed the reverend summits
Of the wonderful
Which your father once
In a beautiful shape
Are flashing
Who has the power to see
All the good things
Which he did.
With a wise heart
And a pure mind
Martial francia
Now bewails him
And a simple meal
Groans and wails
Over the mournful
And grievous and alas
Doleful death
Whatever needed to be gladdened
He would cheer
With his richly-endowed
Alas by his death (note 29)
The order of sacred
Everything which he would refresh
By the sacred gift
Of manifold
Piles of goods
By holy stimulus
And speech
Is now disconsolate
Indeed the crowd
Of wandering widows
And the destitute exile
And the hungry
And those of you who are thirsting
Deprived of light
And of advice
And uncovered by vestments
Overwhelmed by the cold
And plague-ridden
Also the crowd
Of the richly endowed
The good and the evil
Wealthy in everything.
The summit
Of the pontifical office
The king and the magnates
The greek and the indian
The frisian and the breton
The dacian and the angle
The irish scot
The cleric dedicated
By his master's allotment
The reverend order
The beautiful morning star
And the west
And the violent
Sicambrian warrior
Each has wept bitterly
Splendid prelate
Summit and apex
And peak
And light of the generations
Of your family
And high pontifical
Now imitate them. And pray unremitting With stooping prayer And subject heart And pure mind With bountiful strength. Whereby he might rest Enjoying peace In the supernal heaven And advance while exulting A fortunate lamb Of white fleece And may you be saved (note 30) For all time And may you have Long life Through countless years. Your body always Healthy sacred And after your mournful And death-bringing Lamentable loss May you enjoy peace In your everlasting residence.
O triple (note 31) ideal High virgin three one god
Distinguished divine will celestrial pillar
Ornament and sequence of causes in the concord of the world
Deprived of a beginning and abiding without end
Mind and word stimulus patron and author of this outstanding world
Archetype of the terrestrial star-filled world
Desiring to obtain the wishes of my prayers I beg with a humble prayer
That you might approve these quivering beginnings
So that I might make known if I am able in a prosaic plotline
The actions and events of affairs. briefly the ignorant [misfortunes
Which mad barbarism brought about under duke Anstign
And which under ROLLO christ-worshipping in the end
And how his offspring WILLIAM did good IN the entire empire
Having calmed it by means of the law.
And indeed how the fertile land of the norman populace rested by right
Throughout fruitful years in the peaceful time
Of that highest patrician and compassionate christ-worshipper
Richard known for his merit in heaven above
While you god who alone are always at hand perceiving all things
Reign and live and abide without end


1. Preferring to add the "cedris" of Rouen 1173 et. al.

2. A silver Greek coin; Dudo alludes here to the parable of the Good Servant in Matthew 25:14 - 30.

3. Preferring the reading "a mathematicis" of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College ms. 276 (hereafter CC 276), a manuscript of the second half of the eleventh century, from St. Augustine of Canterbury.

4. The numerical and musical theory in which Dudo was trained (and a knowledge of which he took for granted in his audience) included a symbolic or mystical level which has been largely drained from the scientistic understanding of numbers predominant in late-twentieth-century academic circles. Few readers of this translation will be equipped to understand fully the points Dudo is about to make, points which Dudo himself apparently considered to constitute some of the fundamental theory behind his writing. Although I will, as a rule, avoid authoritarian editorial interventions in this translation, I hope it will be a useful and justifiable exception if I attempt to explain a bit of tenth-century musical and numerical theory in this note. My own understanding, set forth here in terms which I hope a contemporary reader can understand, is based on reading Martianus Capella's De nuptiis philologiae et mercurii, the best-known textbook for musical and mathematical theory in Dudo's own lifetime. Tenth-century theory distinguished four kinds of numbers: the even even, the odd even, the odd odd and the even odd. For instance, the number four is an even even because it can be divided only by other even numbers, such as two. A few numbers, such as twelve, were considered perfect because they could be divided either into pairs of other even numbers (thus, two times six is twelve) or into pairs that included odd numbers (thus, three times four is twelve); therefore twelve is both an even even number and an odd even number. Six was also considered a perfect number. Six was both an "odd even" and an "even even" number. Six could be obtained both by adding and by multiplying one, two and three. Six was also considered perfect for other, not purely arithmetical, reasons. There were considered to be six natural properties that everything possessed (shape, color, size, etc.). Six was also the product of three, the number representing the masculine principal, and two, the number representing the feminine principal, so that six, as the conjunction of the two, represented heterosexual love, or Venus. The connection with music (which Dudo makes, after a few lines, through the numbers six and twelve) is that each octave had six tones (and two half-tones), so that any discussion of manipulating the number six effectively symbolized the harmonious manipulation of musical tones. Six, multiplied by the "prime mover" (namely two, the first number that can affect another number), is twelve. Playing then with six and twelve, one finds further evidence of perfection in certain proportionalities and ratios. Nine is crucial as being as much less than twelve as it is more than six, namely three, and also being itself the product of three times three. Twelve divided by three renders four, which turns out to be the difference between twelve and eight, which is the number of sounds in a full octave. Six, and therefore Venus, turns out to be the mother, the engenderer, of all harmonies, for the relation of six to twelve is the octave, of six to nine is one and one half and of six to eight is one and one third. Finally, six multiplied by four, which is the difference between six and twelve, makes twenty-four, the number of hours in a day. The next passage, in which Dudo discusses musical intervals (such as fifths and fourths) alongside Pythagorean proportions (such as 3:2 or 1 and 1/2), is even more difficult to follow; according to the singers in the medieval music group "Gothic Voices," who performed at the 1996 Haskins Society Conference, Dudo has himself at this point become completely confused and attempted to correlate two different types of measurement which are not comparable.

5. Preferring the "a te" of Rouen 1173 and other witnesses.

6. For the text and translation of this passage, see Felice Lifshitz, "Dudo's Historical Narrative and the Norman Succession of 996" Journal of Medieval History 20 (1994) pp. 101 - 120.

7. Preferring the "Richardum" of Rouen 1173 and other witnesses.

8. The "address" is almost entirely copied from Heiric of Auxerre's (841 - 876/77) preface to his metrical biography of the fifth-century bishop, St. Germanus of Auxerre (BHL 3458; ed. L. Traube MGH Poetae 3 (1896) 428 - 517).

9. Preferring the "monokolo monostropho" (in Greek letters) of CC 276. A coriambic verse is one whose metres are composed of one spondee, three coriambs and a pyrrich, all varieties of metrical feet. Metrical feet are defined according to stressed and unstressed syllables. Dudo's verses represent a wide variety of styles and display his metrical erudition. I have made no attempt to reproduce the metres of his verses, and will not regularly identify or comment on the various verse types.

10. Preferring the "succutiet" of Dudo's source, Heiric's vita Germani (p. 437).

11. Preferring the "antilegonta" (Greek) of CC 276 and of Heiric.

12. Preferring Heiric's "myrokopoi" (Greek).

13. Preferring the "abstiterit" of Heiric and CC 276.

14. Preferring the "labraque" of CC 276.

15. Preferring the "liber i" of Rouen 1173 and other witnesses.

16. Reading "retondis" for "_etondis."

17. Preferring the "socors" of CC 276.

18. Preferring the "Ales non quo versetur patulum sibi cessum" of CC 276.

19. Preferring the "inscitiae" of Rouen 1173 and other witnesses.

20. Preferring the title and separation into a new verse of CC 276. The verse is "reciprocal" in the sense that when the words are reversed, the metre remains the same.

21. Preferring the "voce boabo fremens" for both lines of CC 276.

22. Preferring the "temetque" of CC 276.

23. Preferring the "recreas" of Rouen 1173 and other witnesses.

24. Preferring the "conscripta" of Rouen 1173 and other witnesses.

25. Preferring the "fruitur" of Rouen 1173 and other witnesses.

26. Preferring the "salutiferam" of Rouen 1173 and other witnesses.

27. Preferring the "lugubre" of Rouen 1173 and other witnesses.

28. Preferring the "theothen ouranukan" of Rouen 1173.

29. Preferring the "ha nece" of CC 276.

30. Preferring the "salve" of CC 276.

31. Preferring the "trinum" of Rouen 1173 and other witnesses.

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