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The only known MS extant of La vie Seint Edmunt of Denis 
Piramus is in the British Museum (Cott. MS Domit. A. XI) written 
in a hand of the thirteenth century.^ The Vie Seint Edmunt numbers 
three complete editions:^ the first by Thomas Arnold, in the Memori- 
als of St. Edmund's Abbey, 1892, in the Rolls Series^ the second by 
Florence Leftwich Ravenel in Bryn Mawr College Monographs, 
1906;* the third is included in the Corolla Sancti Eadmundi edited by 
Lord Francis Hervey, New York, 1907. This is based upon a new 
copy of the MS made under the supervision of Mr. J. A. Herbert of 
the British Museum.^ 

The present work on the language of Denis Piramus rests mainly 
upon Lord Hervey 's edition; the two others have also been carefully 

As it is stated by the author (11. 3261 ff.), the French Life of 
Saint Edmund is a translation from English and Latin originals. 
The Latin sources most probably are: 

1. From the end of the prologue to 1. 432, Geoffrey of Monmouth, 
Historia regum Britanniae, chiefly Book I, 16; Book XII, 15, 16, 19; 
Book VI, 15, 16, etc.; and Abbo of Fleury's Passio.^ 

2. From 11. 433 to 2018, De infantia Sancti Eadmundi, by Gal- 
fridus de Fontibus, written in the time of Abbot Ording, between 
1148 and 1156.' 

1 For another French Life of Saint Edmund, cf . Paul Meyer, Hiat. litt. de la France, 
XXXIII, 346, and Romania, XXXVI, 533 ft. 

' The prologue of the poem was published by F. Michel in his Rapports au ministre 
in the Collection de documents inSdita sur I'histoire de France, pp. 258—61, Paris 1839, and 
also by H. L. D. Ward in the Catalogue of Romances, I, 701 IT. 

> Reviewed by G. Paris, Romania, XXII, 170. 

•Reviewed by T. A. Jenliins, Modern Language Notes, XXII (1907), 194-96; by 
E. Faral, Romania, XLI, 446; by J. Vising, Vollmaller's kritischer Jahresbericht, XII, I, 
211. II, 135; by Ed. Stengel, ibid., IX, I, 145; and by J. Bonnard, ibid., X, II, 106. 

5 Reviewed by J. Vising, Vollmoller's kritischer Jahresbericht, XII, II, 136. 

• Cf. Memorials, I, 6-7. 

' Cf. Memorials, I, 93-103; and Introd., pp. xxxiv and xxxv. 

345] 85 [MoDEKN Philology, December, 1914 

86 Henry E. Haxo 

3. From 11. 2019 to 3260, Passio Sandi Eadmundi, by Abbo of 
Fleury, composed near the end of the eleventh century.' 

4. From 11. 3261 to 3696, Liber de miraculis Sandi Eadmundi, by 
Herman the archdeacon, who probably was a monk at Bury.^ 

5. From 1. 3697 to the end, Denis Piramus gives an account of 
Sweyn's invasion which is different from that of Herman. Outside 
of the Saxon Chronides and Florence mentioned by Arnold,' he may 
have drawn his material from Symeon of Durham, Historia regum* 
or from Henry, archdeacon of Huntingdon,^ or finally from a com- 
pilation made between 1148 and 1161 and known in the monastic 
world as the Historia Saxonum vel Anglorum post obitum Bedae.* 

Thus far nothing is known of the English sources which Denis 
Piramus may have used. We have, however, in old English, a version 
of Abbo de Fleury's Passion of Saint Edmund by Aelfric, edited by 
Skeat, Early English Text Society, 1900, and reprinted in Lord 
Francis Hervey's Corolla Sandi Eadmundi, p. 60; yet, judging from 
the contents, the Latin original is the more probable source. As 
regards some possible English source of the De infantia, Arnold 
remarks' that " there must have . been an English version of the 
Infancy lying before him, which is not now extant. This English 
l/ife may perhaps be indicated by some one among the titles of the 
works on the Edmundian story, not now existing, which are written 
on the margin of MS Bodl. 240,* e.g., the book of Bliburgh or Alia 
Legenda, or Nicholaus of Warengford, or H. Norwicensis." 

We have no right to question the author's own statement as 
regards his use of English sources. Various details and passages 
which do not occur in the Latin may possibly have stood in the 
English. Considering the Latin sources only, Denis appears to have 

■ Cf. Memorials, I, 3-25, and Introd., pp. xxii-xxiv. 

2 Cf. Memorials, I, 26-92, and Introd., pp. xxviii-xxix. 

3 Cf. Memorials, II, 242 and 240, notes. 

* Cf. Semeonis Monachi opera omnia, II, 139 &., ed. by Arnold, London, 1885, Rolls 

5 Cf. History of the English, Book VI, chap, iii St., pp. 175 fl., ed. by Arnold, London, 
1879, Rolls Series. 

" Cf . W. Stubbs, Chronica Rogeri de Hoveden, I, xxvi, London, 1868, Rolls Series; 
this Historia Saxonum appears almost lilteratim in Roger of Hoveden's own Chronicles. 
Cf. W. Stubbs, op. cit., I, xxvii, and 71 fl. 

' Cf . Memorials, II, 228, note. 

* Memorials, I, Introd., Ixvi. 


Denis Piramus: "La vie Seint Edmunt" 87 

made a clever paraphrase of his original, and a good part of originality 
in handling his material must therefore be conceded to him. While 
he preserves the main outline, Denis adds interesting details or pas- 
sages, as for instance, descriptions of sear-voyages (cf. 11. 175-218, 
1365-1492, 2029-52, etc.), of battles (cf. 11. 3749-3849, etc.), enumer- 
ations (cf. 11. 83, 811, 965, 2877, etc.), dialogues (cf. 11. 857, 925, 1015, 
1308, 1332, etc.); he introduces appropriate changes (cf. the mes- 
senger's speech and Edmund's reply, 11. 2247, 2303, 2319), and, as 
was to be expected in a work which was intended primarily to be 
recited, Denis indulges in lengthy narratives and in repetitions. 

With regard to the foundation of St. Edmund's legend. Lord 
Hervey's illuminating preface to the Corolla Sandi Eadmundi 
ought to be consulted. 

The Abbey of St. Edmund's Bury, a convent of Benedictine 
monks, became so prominent that most chroniclers between the 
eleventh and fifteenth centuries make mention of it.^ Its celebrity 
was not confined to England: Crestien de Troyes bears witness to 
this fact in the prologue to Guillaume d'Angleterre (11. 11-17): 

Qui les estoires d'Angleterre 

Voldroit ancerchier et anquerre, 

Una, qui mout fet bien a croire 

Par ce que pleisanz est et voire. 

An troveroit a Saint Esmoing. [variant: Esmont C] 

Se nus m'an demande tesmoing. 

La I'aille querre se il viaut. 

Wace also mentions it in several passages: 

Cil de Surree e de Sussesse 
De Saint Edmunt e de Sufoc 
E de Norwiz e de Norfoc. 

—R. de Ron, III, 11. 773&-38. 
and also with regard to Sweyn's death : 

Ceo dient cil de Saint Aedmund, 
Ki en lur livres escrit I'unt, 
Ke Saint Aedmund le flaela 
Pur ses terres, que il greva. 

—R. de Ron, III, 11. 1315-18. 

> Cf. Memorials, I, xii. Only facts which concern the 12th century and bear upon 
our subject are mentioned here. 


88 Henry E. Haxo 

Jordan Fantosme tells us: 

Kar n'ad meillur viandier de Saint Edmund en terre. 

— Chronique, 1005. 

Crestien de Troyes mentions St. Edmund's Abbey as the place 
where his estoire was found, and he adds: La matiere si me conta, Uns 
miens conpainz, Rogiers, li cointes, Qui de maint preudome est acointes 
{Guillaume d'Angleterre, 11. 3364-66). As to Crestien's reference to 
the English monastery, Foerster is of the opinion that it is "eine 
ganz allgemeine: da der Held ein Konig von England sein soil, so ver- 
weist er die Zweifier an das englische Konigsarchiv, genau so wie ein 
Spielmann in einem karolingischen Heldengedicht seine Zuhorer 
auf die Chroniken von St. Denis verweist."' In regard to Rogier, 
Grober supposed him to be the poet Rogier de Lisais.^ Crestien's 
statement, however, could be taken literally, and Rogier may have 
been a wandering clerk, an inmate of St. Edmund's Abbey itself, 
for the following reasons: 

In 1182' there was Hving at St. Edmund's Abbey a monk by the 
name of Rogerus de Hingham, or Hengheham, who was acting in the 
capacity of cellerarius. Toward 1159-1162* this Rogerus went to 
Rome in company of Samson, the future abbot. About 1160-61, 
or rather as Arnold thinks toward 1170,* Rogerus together with 
Samson, Dionisius, and Hugo are said to have been sent into exile to 
the priory of Castle Acre, founded by William de Warenne, first Earl 
of Surrey. 

In view of these facts, either of two suggestions may be made: 
first, Rogerus, a Bury monk, on his way to Rome may have traveled 
through Flanders and stopped at the court of Thierri, or of Matthew, 
or of Philip, where he could have met the author of Yvain and 
acquainted the latter with St. Edmund's Abbey, the estoire, and with 
English place-names; second, in consideration of the fact that the 
House of Flanders was related to the Warennes,* Crestien may have 

I Cf. Christian von Troyes Werke, Wilhelmsleben, IV, clxx. 

i Cf. Grundriss, II, 524; W. Foerster, Withetm von England, pp. xxiv-xxv, Romanische 
Bibliothek, 1911. 

' Cf. Memorials, I, 223 fl., 212, 254. 

< Cf. ibid., 254 and xliii. » Cf. ibid., 212 and xllv and note. 

' Mary, Abbess of Romsey, a sister of Earl William of Warrenne, last surviving son 
of King Stephen of Blois, married Matthew d'Alsace, younger brother of Thierri, Count 


Denis Piramus: "La vie Seint Edmunt" 89 

followed some prince connected with the Warennes over to England 
and resided for some time at Castle Acre where he came in contact 
with Rogerus then in exile. However this may be, the probable 
presence in Flanders or Champagne of Rogerus, a clerk of St. Ed- 
mund's Abbey at the time when Guillaume d'Angleterre was pre- 
sumably written, is certainly significant. 

St. Edmund's Abbey was above all a place where people went on 
pilgrimage. To mention only the frequent royal visits: in 1157, 
Henry II was crowned at Bury St. Edmund, the same king went 
there again in 1177, and also in 1188.' King John visited Bury in 
1199, shortly after his coronation, and, says Jocelin,^ Hospitium sus- 
cepit, magnis celebratum expensis. King John paid other visits in 
1201 and in 1203.' In fact, the foundation and the subsequent 
growth of St. Edmund's Bury were mostly due to the generosity of 
English kings: Edmund, Canute, Edward the Confessor, WiUiam the 
Conqueror, and Stephen.'* 

Under such circumstances, close relations must have existed 
between the English kings and the Abbey, and the inmates of the 
convent may have been intimately connected at some time with 
the court and may of course have been of the same nationality as the 
kings. For, as J. H. Ramsay remarks:* "not only were all the upper 
classes of society essentially French, but their ranks were per- 
petually being recruited by foreigners imported from abroad. These 
people entered every chapter and convent, they filled the Episcopate, 
the Treasury, and the Bench, and found themselves completely at 
home there." 

The latter statement is especially applicable, as it seems, to St. 
Edmund's Abbey. Some of the abbots who lived during the period 
that interests us are as follows: Baldwin (1065-98), the physician of 
Edward the Confessor, came from St. Denis, near Paris; Robert 
(1100), a son of Henry I's cousin, Hugh Lupus, was a monk of 

of Flanders, and uncle of Philip, the protector of Crestien (cf. K. Norgate, England 
under the Angevin Kings, I, 469; R. W. Eyton, Court, Household, and Itinerary of King II, 
p. 50 [London, 1878]). 

> Cf. Eyton, op. cit., pp. 26, 213, 285. 

2 Cf. Cronica, Memorials, I, 314-15. 

3 Cf. Memorials, Annales Sancti Eadmundi, II, 8, 12. 

« Cf. Memorials, I, vli, xxvi, xxvlli; Wace, B. de Rou, III, 5563. 
5 Cf. The Angevin Empire (London, 1903), Pref., p. vi. 


90 Henry E. Haxo 

St. Evroult, in Normandy; Albold (1114-19) had been a prior of St. 
Nicasius, at Meaux; Anselm (1121-48) was a nephew of Saint 
Anselm; Galfridus, in the De infantia Sandi Eadmundi, mentions 
that Ording, the next abbot (1148-56), was "attendant on the person 
of the king from boyhood." Arnold conjectures that the king 
referred to must have been Stephen of Blois.' Abbot Samson (1182- 
1211), whose hfe Thomas Carlyle retold so vividly in Past and Present, 
is said to have been confessor to King Henry 11.^ But the relations 
of the St. Edmund's monks and the kings of England are illustrated 
best in Jocelin's Chronicles and in the Electio Hugonis, both of which 
record the interference of Henry II, and later of King John, with the 
elections of Abbot Samson and of Abbot Hugh (1215).* 

In 1193, when Richard I was in captivity in Germany, Abbot 
Samson visited the king and brought him many presents.'* 

That St. Edmund's Abbey was famous for its library, we have 
already learned from Crestien de Troyes. From Jocelin's interesting 
Chronicles it appears that the Latin classics were read by the monks. 
In Jocelin's work, along with frequent allusions to the Scriptures, 
there are quotations from Terence's Phormio, Horace's Odes, Epodes, 
Ars poetica, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Tristia, Ars amatoria, Hero'ides, 
Lucan's Pharsalia, Virgil's Aeneid, and Cicero's Tusculanae dis- 
putationes. Needy clerks or scholars were also welcomed by Abbot 
Samson and found a pleasant home at the Benedictine Abbey.* 

The authorship of La vie Seint Edmunt is claimed by Denis 
Piramus in two passages in his poem (11. 16, 3279). Denis Piramus 
was at one time regarded as the author of the important romance 
Partonopeus de Blois;^ but it was shown long ago that this was an 
error due to a misinterpretation.' Furthermore, a comparison of 
the language of La vie Seint Edmunt with that of Partonopeus would 
show that La vie Seint Edmunt and Partonopeus could not have been 

' C{. Memorials, I, XXX, xxxvi, xxxvii; 93, xxxv. 
2 Cf . Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicarmm (London, 1846), III, 104. 
> Cf. Memorials, I, 223-29; II, 29 ft. 
< C{. ihid., I, 259. 
5 Cf. ibid., I, 209 ft., 247-49. 

• Ward, op. oil., I, 700 ft., gives a list of scholars who had adopted this view. 
'Cf. G. Paris, Romania, IV, 148; Ward, op. oil., I, 700ft.; Paul Meyer, Hist. lift. 
de la France, XXXIII, 346, note. 


Denis Pibamus: "La vie Seint Edmttnt" 


written by the same author. Of Denis' other poems alluded to in 
11. 5 and 7, none, so far as we know, have come down to us. All 
that is now known about Denis Piramus is found in the prologue of 
his poem (11. 1-94), and in another prologue to the second part which 
apparently was left unfinished (11. 3261-86). These two interesting 
prologues are re-edited here: 

I (11. 1-94) 

Mult ai us6 cume pechiere 
Ma vie en trop fole maniere, 
E trop [par] ai us6 ma vie 
[E] en pechi6 e en folic. 
5 Kant curt hanteie of les curteis, 
Si feseie les servanteis, 
Chanceunetes, rimes, saluz 
Entre les drues e les druz; 
Mult me penai de tels vers fere, 

10 K'assemble les peiisse trere 
E k'ensemble fussent justez 
Pur acomplir lur volentez. 
Ceo me fist fere I'enemi, 
Si me tine ore a malbaili. 

15 Jam^s ne me burdera plus. 
Jeo ai nun Denis Piramus; 
Les jurs jolis de ma joenesce 
S'en vunt, si trei jeo a veilesce; 
Si est bien dreit ke me repente; 

20 En altre ovre mettrai m'entente 
Ke mult mieldre est e plus nu- 

[Si] Deus m'ait espiritable, 
E la grace Seint Espirit 
Seit ovek mei e si [m'] ait! 

25 Cil ki Partonopi trova 

E ki les vers fist e rima, 
[Forment] se pena de bien dire; 






Si dist bien de cele matire 
Cume de fable e de menceunge; 
La matire ressemble sunge, 
Kar ceo ne pout unkes [mais] 

estre ; 
Si est il tenu pur bon mestre, 
E les vers [en] sunt mult amez 
E en cez riches curz loez. 
E Dame Marie altresi 
Ki en rime fist e basti 
E compassa les vers de lais 
Ke ne sunt pas de tut verais; 
E si en est el mult lo6e 
E la rime par tut am6e, 
Kar mult I'aiment, si I'unt mult 

Cunte, barun e chevalier; 
E si en aiment mult I'escrit, 
E lirel funt, si unt delit, 
E si le funt sovent retreire. 
Les lais suelent as dames pleire; 
Les oient de joie e de gr6, 
Qu'il sunt sulum lur volenti. 
Li rei, li prince e li curtur, 
Cunte, barun e vavassur 
Aiment cuntes, chanceuns e 

E bons diz qui sunt delitables. 

MS 1 cum, pechere; 2 manere; 4 peohe; 5 courte, hantey; 6 fesei; 7 chance- 
unettes; 9 teles; 10 puise, treire; 13 fit; 14tynt; 15 burderay; 16 noun; 17 jolifs, 
joefnesce; 20 metterai; 22 Dieus, me ayde; 24 of, moy; 27 mult; 28 il; 29 cum, 
menteonge; 30 resemble, suonge; 31 put; 34 ces, curtes; 35 autresi; 37 com- 
pensa (see List of Words); 39 ele; 41 cher; 42 cunt, ohivaler; 44 lire le; 45 les; 
46 soleient; 47 De joye les oyent; 49 courtur; 50 cunt, vavasur; 52 bon, dilitables; 



Henky E. Haxo 

Kar il ostent e getent puer 

Doel, enui e travail de quer, 75 

55 E si funt ires ublier 

E del quer ostent le penser. 

Kant oil e vus, segnur trestuit, 

Amez tel ovre e tel deduit, 

Si vus volez entendre a mei, 
60 Jeo vus dirai par dreite fei 

Un deduit qui mielz valt asez 

Ke cez altres ke tant amez, 

E plus delitable a oir; 

Si purrez les almes garir 
65 E les cors garantir de hunte. 

Mult deit hom bien oir tel cunte; 

Horn deit mult mielz a sen en- 

K'en folie le tens despendre. 

Un deduit par vers vus dirai 
70 Ke sunt de sen e si verai 

K'unkes rien ne pout plus veir 90 

Kar bien le virent nostre an- 

E nus en apr^s d'eir en eir 



Avum bien veli que c'est veir, 
Kar a noz tens est avenu 
De ceste oevre meinte vertu. 
Ceo que hom veit, ceo deit hom 

Kar ceo n'est pas sunge n'arveire. 
Les vers que vus dirai si sunt 
Des enfances de Seint Edmunt 
E des miracles altresi; 
Unkes hom plus beals n'[en] oi. 
Rei, due, prince e emperetir, 
Cunte, barun e vavassur 
Deivent bien a ceste oevre en- 
Kar bon ensample i purrunt 

Reis deit bien oir d'altre rei 
E I'ensample tenir a sei, 
E due de due e quens de cunte, 
Kant la reisun a bien amunte. 
Les bones genz deivent amer 
D'oir retreire e recunter 
Des bones gestes les estoires 
E retenir en lur memoires. 

II (11. 3261-86) 


Translate avum I'aventure, 
Solum le livre e I'escripture, 
De Seint Edmund, coment il 

En Engleterre que il tint, 
Dunt rei f u tant cum il vesqui, 
E del martire qu'il sufri. 
Translate I'ai desqu'a la fin 
E de I'engleis e del latin 



Qu'en franceis le puissent en- 
li grant, [li meien] e li mendre. 
Uncor volum avant aler 
E les granz miracles cunter 
Que nostre sire Jhesu Crist 
Pur sue amur mustra e fist. 
Dit en ai [une] grant partie 
En sun martire e en sa vie. 

63 hostent, gettent, penser; 54 travaile; 56 hostent; 60dreit; 61 milez; 62 ces, 
autres; 65 garaunter; 66 homme; 67 homme; 69 dedut, dirray; 70 verray; 73 de 
eyr; 74 ceo est; 75 nos, aveneu; 76 cestre, verteu; 77 crere; 78 ne arveire; 
79 dirray; 80 enfantes; 81 de, autresi; 82 homme, ne oy; 83 emperur; 84 cunt, 
vavasur; 86 il purrunt; 87 rei, de autre; 91 bons; 92 de oir; 93 bons gestes 
e les estoyres; 94 e retenir e lur. 

MS 3264 Engletere; 3265 vesquit; 3266 martir, suffrit; 3267 desque; 3269 que 
en, poent; 3270 E li grant e li mendre (6 syll.); 3271 unoore; 3274 s'amur (7 syll.); 


Denis Pieamus: "La vie Sbint Edmtjnt" 93 

Meis ore vus dirai la sume; Ke jeo resnablement la face, 

Nel tine pas a fais n'a grant E gri me sache de ma peine 

sume. E Deus e Seint Edmund de- 

Denis Piramus kil translate meine 

3280 Nel tient pas a fais n'a barate. 3285 E de I'eglise li segnur 

Li Seint Espirit me [dunt grace] Ki m'unt enchargi6 cest labur ! 

3277 dirrai, summe; 3278 tint, ne a, summe; 3279 ad translate; 3280 ne a 
baratte; 3281 me seit grante; 3282 renablement; 3283 sace; 3284 Dieus; 3286 
me unt. 

The name Piramus coming from the classical story of Piramus 
and Thisbe already occurs in Crestien de Troyes, Lancelot 3821; 
otherwise this name is unusual. It appears also, however, in Geoffrey 
of Monmouth's Historia regum (IX, 8), where we are told about a 
"Piramus capellanus," Arthur's chaplain; Wace (Brut 9842) repro- 
duces it as Pyram. It is found also as Pyrannus in Matthew of 
Westminster, as Pyramos in the Pseudo-Gildas.^ Piramus may 
possibly be a variant of Piranus: St. Piranus, in turn, seems to be 
identical with the Irish saint, Kiranus.^ We also find mention of a 
"Hugo Pirramus and Idonia his wife," as Ward pointed out, in the 
Rotuli curiae regis for 1199-1200.' It is, therefore, evident that 
Piramus with the Latin ending was used as a family name.* 

Was Denis Piramus a courtier, a good knight, and a clever versi- 
fier of light songs who repented in his later years ? Was he a clerk 
serving at court in the capacity of tutor or chaplain to some noble 
man or noble lady ? Did he later withdraw from the court, possibly 
at the time of Henry ll's troubles with Becket, and take refuge in 
St. Edmund's Abbey? Was he a wandering trouvere who finally 
stranded at St. Edmund's and was given a lodging there ? 

Judging from the contents of his Vie Seint Edmunt, Denis Piramus 
appears to have been a man of attainments. Not to mention his 
literary activities at court and his familiarity with Marie's Lais 
and with Partonopeus de Blais, Denis was conversant with Latin 

' Cf. Gottfried von Monmouth, Hist. Reg. Brit., ed. San Marte, Halle, 1854, p. 379, 

' Cf. Diet, of Christ. Biogr., Diet, of Nat. Biogr., and San Marte, op. eit., p. 379, note. 

' Cf. Catalogue of Romances, I, 704; Record Commission, II, 146. 

* Cf. The Rotuli Seaccarii Normanniae, ed. Th. Stapleton, London, 1844, and other 
Rolls of that time, show such names as Eudo Ruffus, Rlcardus Canutus, Robertus Bal- 
duinus, etc. Cf. also Hugh Lupus, Duffus, etc. 


94 Henry E. Haxo 

and English (cf. 1. 3268). His enthusiastic eulogy of la clergie (cf. 
11. 1581-88) and his use of words such as besorder, tresvasez (cf. List 
of Words) may also point to a clerk. 

Denis claims (1. 3285) that li segnur de I'eglise engaged him to 
write his work. The eglise referred to is evidently St. Edmund's 
Abbey. There he could most readily obtain the necessary data con- 
cerning St. Edmund's life. Jocelin' speaks of it in the same terms — 
ecclesia Sandi Eadmundi. "Li segnur" (Domini ecclesiae) were 
apparently the abbot, the prior, and the sub-prior, in short, the heads 
of the abbey. 

The poem was apparently intended to be read or recited 
(cf. ore oez, Cristlene gent 95, and so 11. 3074, 60, 79, 126, 3320, etc.) 
to an audience of nobles (cf. 11. 49-65). It was translated from the 
English and Latin: 

Qu'en franceis le puissent entendre 
Li grant, [11 meien] e li mendre. 

The intention of the segnurs is obvious: the translation may be 
said to have been ordered with a view to acquaint the Norman, 
Angevin, or Poitevin nobles with an English saint and martyr's life 
and deeds. The Abbey had become a well-known place of pilgrimage 
and was accustomed to receive guests of note. Was the Life written 
and read on the occasion of the visit of a particular prince ? This is 
not impossible. A reading in the royal guests' language on St. 
Edmund's life would appear to be a most appropriate entertainment: 
it would advertise the abbey and prompt the French-speaking listen- 
ers to make valuable gifts. 

To obtain further data about Denis, we should naturally examine 
closely the collected "Memorials of St. Edmund's Abbey." But 
as Arnold remarked,^ "the history of the community, and of any 
remarkable men who may have arisen in it from age to age is less 
easily ascertained"; and, further, "we rarely obtain any insight into 
the characters of the individual men who carried on the work from 
generation to generation." Yet it has escaped notice that mention 
is made of a certain "Magister Dionisius" in Jocelin's Chronicles,^ 
where events are recorded which took place in the Abbey between 
1173 and 1202, in the time of Abbots Hugh and Samson. 

' Cf. Memorials, I, 209. ' Cf. ibid., I, vi. s Cf. ibid., I, 209-336. 


Denis Piramus: "La vie Seint Edmunt" 95 

The omission of the surname "Piramus" need not surprise us. 
In Jocelin's Chronicles, the monks are usually mentioned by their 
first names only, for instance: Ricardus, Jocelinus, Robertus. This 
Magister Dionisius rose to such importance as to become a rival 
of Magister Samson at the time of the election of a new abbot, in 
1182. He is spoken of on several occasions: 

About 1173, during Abbot Hugh's time, Dionisius is said to have 
just returned from banishment — possibly from the priory of Castle 
Acre, a Cluniac institution, if my interpretation of Samson's speech 
be right — where he had been sent, along with Samson and others, 
because, as Samson is reported to have said, "locuti sumus pro 
communi bono ecclesiae nostrae contra voluntatem abbatis."' 

In 1176 Dionisius performed the office of "cellerarius" and he is 
said to have reduced the convent debt "per providentiam suam et 

In 1182 Dionisius was one of twelve monks who appeared before 
Henry II at Waltham for the purpose of electing a new abbot. At 
the king's order, the monks nominated three candidates. Samson 
was one ofthese, but as the king did not know any of the three, he 
bade them nominate three others, and so the nomination of Dionisius 
ensued. Later on, Samson and the prior were left as the only suit- 
able nominees. Dionisius, acting as spokesman for all the deputies, 
commended both of them, but "semper in angulo sui sermonis Sam- 
sonem protulit," whereupon Samson was elected.' 

The last mention of Dionisius appears in 1200. Here he is plainly 
opposed to Abbot Samson's misdeeds. It is recorded that Samson 
had sold a certain office to one of his own servants, and to quote 
Jocelin's words: "Unde et magistro Dionisio monacho dicenti, tale 
factum inauditum esse, respondit abbas, ' Non desinam facere volun- 
tatem meam magis pro te, quam pro juvencello illo.' "* There is also 
a further mention of Magister Dionisius as appearing before the 
Curia regis in 1191.' 

It seems permissible to identify Dionisius of the Chronicles with 
Denis Piramus of La vie Seint Edmunt for the following reasons : 

1 Cl. ibid.. I, 212. s Cf. ibid., I, 223-29. 

2 Cf. ibid.. I, 213. < Cf. ibid., I, 327-28. 

' Cf. "Pedes Finium," Publications of the Pipe Roll Society (London, 1894), XVII, 10. 


96 Henry E. Haxo 

1. The dates offer no objection. Denis may have left the Court 
and have entered St. Edmund's Abbey when Henry II had troubles 
with the church and Becket, in or about 1170. 

2. In the Chronicles, Dionisius is mentioned as "Magister" and 
"Monachus," while in La vie Seint Edmunt, Denis Piramus appears to 
have been a court poet in his youth, and, later, a clerk and a scholar 
who wrote his poem at the request of the heads of the abbey. 

3. In 1200, Dionisius must have been an elderly person, and 
Samson's reply leads one to make the same inference, since Dionisius 
is contrasted with a "juvencellus." In La vie Seint Edmunt, Denis 
Piramus tells us: 

Les jurs jolis de ma joenesce 
S'en vunt, si trei jeo a veilesce. 

4. Dionisius and Denis Piramus stand out as upright, worthy 
persons. If. at the time of Abbot Samson's election, the proceedings 
at court were carried on in French, Dionisius may have been chosen 
as spokesman by his fellow-monks on account of his fluency in French, 
and because of his self-confidence, acquired during his stay at court. 

5. It is also possible to admit that because of the friction which 
arose between him and Abbot Samson in or before 1200, Dionisius, 
if he be the same person as Denis Piramus, lost interest in his work, 
and, contrary to the desire of his segnurs, left unfinished the second 
part of his poem. 

After 1200 no more is heard of Dionisius. In a list which men- 
tions all the monks — 62 in all — ^who stood for or against the election 
of Abbot Hugo, in 1214, the name Dionisius does not appear.^ It 
may, therefore, be conjectured that Magister Dionisius either left 
the abbey or, what is more probable, died before 1214. 

In the prologue we are told something about the author's stay 
at court and about his writing love-songs for the nobles. Apparently 
the court Denis refers to was that of Henry II and Alienor; it is 
less likely that he refers to some baronial house of the period. 

The genres of poetry which Denis claims to have written are 
worth examining. They plainly denote a Provencal origin or 
influence, and, considering the social relations between Anjou and 

> Cf. Memorials, Eleciio Hugonis, II, 75—76. 


Denis Piramus: "La vie Seint Edmunt" 97 

Aquitaine, these poems are such as one might expect to find at the 
court of Anjou. 

According to Grober^ serventds, chansonetes {rimes), et saluz 
are supposed to mean "lyrische Texte von hofischer Art." The 
serventeis, to quote P. Meyer^ "parait designer d'abord des po6sies 
d'agr6ment, non pas, comme plus tard, des chansons religieuses. 
Comme en provengal, on a appliqu6 cette denomination h des chan- 
sons ayant un caract^re politique." "Poesie d'agrement" is evi- 
dently what serventeis means to Denis. It is found with this 
meaning as early as Wace and as late as Eustache Deschamps, who 
leaves out the serventeis in his Art de dictier^ "pour ce que c'est 
ouvrage qui se porte aux puis d' amours et que nobles hommes n'ont 
pas acoustum6 de ce faire." As regards the origin of the serventeis, 
P. Meyer remarks that "le mot a dti 6tre cr^^ dans le Midi," and 
further adds, "s'il en est ainsi, le mot serventeis serait I'un des plus 
anciens exemples de I'influence de la po6sie des troubadours sur celle 
des trouv^res." To write serventeis, as it seems, was a common thing 
early in the West, and Wace's verses justify this view : 

Mais or puis je lunges penser, 
Livres escrire e translator, 
Faire rumanz e serventeis. 

—R. de Rou, III, 11. 151-53. 

Similarly in R. de Rou, II, 1. 4148. As is known, Richard Cceur 
de Lion, the son of Alienor, composed some.* Denis Piramus appears 
to have been one of the first western writers to mention these lyrical 

The Salut, or Salut d' amour, is defined by Raynouard* as "une 
pidce qui commengait par une salutation k la dame dont le poete 
faisait I'^loge." This genre is common to both French and Pro- 
vencal literatures, but, as P. Meyer thinks,^ it is unknown elsewhere, 
and, to quote his words, "je doute m6me qu'il ait 6te frequent en 
Angleterre." He adds in a note, "le seul texte anglo-normand que 

' Cf. Grundrias, II, 661. 

2 Cf. Romania, XIX, 28, 29. 

' Cf. CEuvres, p. p. G. Raynaud, VII, 281. 

« Cf. Grundriaa. II, 661, 675. 

* Cf. Poeaiea dea troubadoura, II, 258. 

" Cf. Biblioihique de I'ecole dea chartea, 6» sfirie. III (1867), p. 124. 


98 Henry E. Haxo 

j'aie rencontr^ sur les Saluts est d'un poSte du XIII® siScle, Denis 
Piramus." The Salut appeared first in Provengal in the twelfth 
century (before Rambaud d'Orange), and in French poetry a century 

In Proveng§[,l, the chansonette^ appears with the first troubadour 
poet, William IX, Count of Poitiers, and later with Peirol, Raimon 
de Miraval.' In French, mention of it is made by Crestien de Troyes : 

Aussi con maint home divers 
Pueent ou chancenete ou vers 
Chanter a une concordance. 

—Cliges, 11. 2843-45. 

We have chansonettes composed by Guiot de Provins, a prot6g6 of 
William V, Count of Macon, by an anonymous author, and later by 
Raoul de Soissons, a friend of King Thi^baut of Navarre,* etc. 

According to F. Wolf, rime appears to denote the octosyllabic 
riming couplet, and he thinks, "es scheint dass sie [the trouveres] 
durch rime vorzugsweise diese kurzen hofischen Reimpaare und die in 
dieser Form abgefassten Gedichte liberhaupt bezeichnet haben."* 
Wolf admits that rimes in our poem is represented "als eine eigene 
besondere [Form]," but he adds " worunter wohl nur die hofischen 
Reimpaare zu verstehen sind." Yet rim^s may have here a techni- 
cal meaning and may refer to a special genre of love-song or Hght 
poem. The following instances would tend to support such a 

J'ai fait fabliaus et contes, rimes et servantois 

Pour desduire la gent environ cui j'estois. 

— Chastie Musart, 1, A. Tobler, Zeitschrift fur 
rom. Phil, IX, 329. 

Et les legons que chanter on y ose, 
Ce sont rondeaulx, ballades, virelais, 
Motz a plaisir, rithmes et triolletz, 
Lesquelz Venus apprend a retenir 
A un grand tas d'amoureux nouvelletz. 

— C. Marot, Le temple de Cupido, 327-31; 
CEuvres, ed. G. Guiflfrey, II, 89. 

> Cf. p. Meyer, op. cit., pp. 138, 127. 

2 Cf. Diez, Poesie der Troubadours, pp. 110, 251; Raynouard, Poesies des troubadours, 
II, 169. 

' Cf. Raynouard, op. cit.. Ill, 1; V, 284, 287; II, 164, 169. 

* Cf . Hist. litt. de la France, XXIII, 611; W. Wackernagel, AUfranzSs. Lieder und 
Leiche, pp. 25, 9; Matzner, AU/ramds. Lieder, pp. 20, 163. 

» Cf. tjber die Lais, pp. 177-81, 162, 16. 


Denis Piramus: "La vie Seint Edmunt" 99 

In Provencal, rim, rima, and rimeta have the meaning of "po^me," 

"petit polme." Rimeta occurs as early as Rambaud d'Orange: 

En aital rimeta prima 
M'agradon leu mot e prim. 

— Raynouard, Lex. roman. 

In Spanish and Italian, as is known, rima, pi. rimas, rime, may refer 
to a metrical composition. 

Our author's testimony as to the popularity of Partonopeus de 
Blois and of Marie's Lais corroborates the assumption that Henry 
ll's court is the one referred to here. It was no doubt in courtly 
circles that Denis obtained his familiarity with the works of his con- 
temporaries. As regards Marie de France, we know now with a 
high degree of probability in what relations she stood to Henry II 
and the royal family,^ and we may suppose that her Lais were in 
vogue during the latter part of her half-brother's reign. Was Denis 
a fellow-poet in the royal circles where his more gifted rivals were 
outshining him in wit and genius ? It is not impossible, for we find 
that when Denis is writing La vie Seint Edmunt, it is with a bit of 
spite mingled with regret that he looks upon the success of Dame 
Marie (cf. 11. 39-40), and of him qui Partonop6 trova (cf. 11. 32-34). 

Is there anything outside of the language which would tend to 
show that Denis Piramus had sojourned in France? 

Evidently La vie Seint Edmunt was composed in England, yet it 
seems highly probable that the author must have lived on the Conti- 
nent at some time for the following reasons: 

1. His acquaintance with four tjrpes of love-songs of Provengal 
origin would be rather remarkable otherwise. 

2. His knowledge of nautical terms and his delight in dwelling 
on the details of sea voyages indicate that he may have crossed the 
Channel more than once. 

3. Another remark, of more doubtful value, may also be made. 
Success in the lyric poetry of a cultured and literary society pre- 
supposes on the part of the poet a familiarity with the nuances of the 
language, and also possibly the same dialectical pronunciation as the 
audience he is addressing. Conon de Bethune records for us the 
taunts he had to endure at the court of Philippe Auguste's mother. 

' Cf. J. C. Fox, English Historical Review, XXV (1910), 303-6; XXVI (1911), 317- 
26; E. Faral, Romania, XXXIX, 625. 


100 Henry E. Haxo 

It is not too much to claim that only a young poet bom of Norman 
or Angevin parents, whether in France or in England, would have met 
such requirements as these. 

La vie Seint Edmunt has always been considered an Anglo- 
Norman poem.^ The presence of the following traits supports this 
view: (1) silencing of pretonic e in hiatus; see below, § 71; (2) non- 
agreement of the predicate adjective and participle, §§40-43; 
(3) substitution of the object for the subject not in the predicate, 
§§ 40-43; (4) reduction of ie to e, § 12; (5) use of que for qui, § 53. 

Some reservations should be made for (1) and (4). As for (2) 
and (3), they are also found in continental writers. Here follows 
a summary of other linguistic traits shown by our text: (6) separa- 
tion of o and from w, § 8; (7) separation of o from checked open d, 
§ 7, § 8; (8) confusion of o < checked o (t) and ou <free o (tJ) and 

(tJ)+y, § 8; (9) ■ue< short 6 rimes only with itself, § 16; (10) 6+ 

1 becomes uimuit, § 17; (11) no reduction of ui to w or i, § 17; 
(12) E+i becomes i:delit, §6; (13) ier<-ider rimes with e only: 
afier :jurer 878, § 12 ; (14) after i, e < Latin tonic a becomes ie : otreiier, 
§ 12; (15) separation of infinitives in eir<EEE from those in er< 
ARE, § 10, § 55; (16) separation of ei from ai, save in vait:dreit, § 9, 
§ 10; (17) ai rimes with g in the groups -aistre -ait -ais only, § 9; 
(18) separation of g< checked £ (ae) from ^< checked £ (1) save 
before nasals, § 2 § 3; (19) separation of e from g and §, § 4; (20) 
separation of an from en, § 18; (21) confusion of ain and ein, but not 
before n, § 22; (22) ien rimes with ien, § 23; (23) uen rimes with 
en, § 25; (24) separation of final -z and -s, § 30; (25) no conclusive 
instance to show that s has become silent before t, § 30; (26) no con- 
fusion of n and n, § 27; (27) disappearance of I in tiZ+con., t in il'-\- 
con. ; no evidence as to other groups, § 26 ; (28) no e in the ind. pres. 
I of conj. I, § 54; (29) no e in the subj. pres. 3 of conj. I, § 57; (30) 
endings iiim, iez of the impf. and cond. are dissyllabic, § 54; (31) save 
in two doubtful cases, impfs. of conj. I. do not mix with those of other 
conjs., § 58; (32) preterite HI in -ie, § 59; (33) subj. pres. in -ge, § 57; 
(34) enclitic use of the pronoun Ie after a verb, § 70. 

•Of. G. Paris, La IM. frang. au M.-A. (1905), §148; Suchier, St.-Auban, p. 3; Vising, 
£<ud«, pp. 16-62; Menger, The Anglo-Norman Dialect, p. 43. 


Denis Piramus: "La vie Seint Edmunt" 101 

The foregoing summary shows that, upon the whole, the language 
of Denis Piramus does not differ essentially from that of western 
continental poets. The phonology of our author, if it be compared 
with that of Anglo-Norman writers between approximately 1170 and 
1210, as for instance Adgar, Fantosme, Simund de Freine, Chardri, 
stands out as remarkably pure. 

I. In many respects Denis' language is similar to that of Marie 
de France. The following traits are also represented in her works: 
(2), (3), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), 
(18), (19), (20), (21), (22), (24), (25), (26), (27),i (28), (29), (30), (31). 

II. Some traits appear in Benoit de Sainte-Maure: (2), (3), (4), 
(23), (32), (33), (34). 

III. Guillaume le Clerc shows no reduction of ui to i, (11). 

IV. Partonopeus de Blois shows the confusion of ai and ei, (16). 
Considering the purity of Denis' phonology, which led Suchier 

to include La vie Seint Edmunt in the first Anglo-Norman period, 
considering also the facts which have been brought out with reference 
to the life of the author, it may be justifiable to conjecture that Denis 
Piramus, like Fr6re Angler, was a continental who went to England in 
his youth. In England he may have acquired the Anglo-Norman 
traits found in his language (the silencing of pretonic e in hiatus, 
and the use of que for qui), or he may have preserved native char- 
acteristics which possibly became more marked during his stay on 
English soil (the reduction of ie to e and the disorganization of the 
case-flexion). We have a similar instance in Marie de France, whose 
language (I refer to the Espurgatoire Saint Patriz) shows to what 
extent the poet of the Lais fell under the influence of the Anglo- 
Norman environment. 

The attempt to determine Denis' dialect thus offers some diffi- 
culties, and may appear idle. Yet another suggestion may be made : 
as the language of our author agrees in many respects with that of 
Marie de France, it may be supposed that Denis Piramus came from 
the same region as Marie. If the latter be the same person as the 
Abbess of Shaftesbury, she was probably born in Maine, as her half- 
brother Henry II was. Hence, in such a case, Denis Piramus would 

' In Marie, (' has disappeared in il'+ cons., and I is vocalized in sous <88nj8, genuz< 
*QENi)ccLOs. There is no evidence as to other groups. 


102 Henet E. Haxo 

come from Maine. Other traits, which have been indicated above, 
found also in southwestern authors, would tend to corroborate this 

However tempting this conjecture may be, it must be borne in 
mind that in the case of La vie Seint Edmunt we may have to deal 
with a literary language used skilfully by an Anglo-Norman writer 
and that further data on the author's life and origin are not yet 
available. Consequently, for the present, we do not feel warranted 
in excluding La vie Seint Edmunt from the Anglo-Norman dialect. 

Save Suchier, who classes it with the earliest Anglo-Norman 
monuments, that is, in the first period (till after 1150), scholars agree 
in dating La vie Seint Edmunt after 1180.^ 

If what has been said with reference to the life of the author and 
to the contents of the poem be taken into consideration, namely, 
(1) that Denis Piramus may be identified with Magister Dionisius 
of Jocelin's Chronicles, whose presence in the monastery from 1173 
to 1200 is recorded and who probably died before 1214; (2) that 
some years must have elapsed for Marie's Lais to gain their vogue 
(the composition of Marie's poems referred to in the Life is set 
by Wamke at not before 1165, by Suchier between 1160 and 1170, 
and by G. Paris as late as 1180), it may be assumed that La vie Seint 
Edmunt could hardly have been written before 1175, or, if we accept 
G. Paris' dating of the Lais, before 1190. 



§ 1. A. — Both at and el from the Latin suffix -alis appear in our poem: 
realihospital 627:estal 731, seneschal ileal 1725 but hostel ■.espiritel 2855. The 
MS shows tel, quel regularly. 

§ 2. ^. — French open q does not rime with short |, or with long e: 
tere:co7iqaere 2Q7:guere 1424, estre:ancestre 71, teste:heste 2751, hateUdamisel 
1385, apres-.ades 3507, descovert:apert 3967, est:est (East) 119. Out of 72 
rimes, 65 are pure and 7 are mixed with at; of. § 9. 

§ 3. -B rimes only with itself: chapeleteipetitete 2829, joefnesceiveilesce 
17, tramettent'.demettent 257, conqueste:ceste 1987, prest: conquest 277, merveil: 

1 Cf. Ueber die ** Vie de Seint Auban," p. 3: G. Paris, Romania, VIH, 38; Litt. frang. 
o«. M.A. (1905), § 148; Grober, Grundriss, 11, 646-47; P. Meyer, Hist, litt, de la France, 
XXXIII, 346; Th. Arnold, Memorials, II, 137; Mrs. Eavenel, La vie Seint Edmund, 
p. 53; Voretzsch, Studium der Altfr. Lit., p. 147. 


Denis Piramus: "La vie Seint Edmunt" 103 

conseil 937. | is found once riming with ai<A+i /ei:nef<NiTiDUM 661. 
This confusion occurs in incorrect lines, and it may be questioned whether 
it belongs to the author. 

§ 4. E. — Save in a few instances where it rimes with ie (see § 12), e 
is not mixed in rime with any other sound: 33, 39, 47, 61, 91, 541, 1451, 
2855,.etc. The imperfect of estre, ert and ererU as usual have e: erent:doterent 
197, er< : pert<PABET 2548. By the side of the usual e, this sound is repre- 
sented by ee: neefes 179, deleez 3548; by ei: siieif 1522, neis 1943, melleies 
3755, espeies 3756; by ie: nief 1067, clier 3029, deliez 1505, martelier 3143; 
by i: til 656, estroyr, 3763. The MS shows miesKMANSiT 1569, remist 165, 
2664, and remistrent 2462. 

§ 5. Atonic e. — Before the tonic syllable: By the side of the regular 
spelling e, as in chevalerie 396, chemin 452, the following spellings are to be 
found: (1) a:chai 390, aparcewent 2751, orfanins ISib; (2) o:bosoigne 1196, 
poUr 2173, roUndes 309; (3) u:sulum 48, sujurner 163, sucurs 2189; (4) 
oi:boisoigne 630; (5) ie:sorcierie 1934; (6) i:chimin 614, gisir 763, chivals 
1054, primier 1674; (7) eiUreissor 912. 

§ 6. / from various sources is found in rime only with itself: vie: folic 3, 
pais:pis 271, plcisir:tenir 523. Latin fi+i rimes with i:escrit:delit 43:lit 
1302. Latin -!tiam and -Jtium become ise (MS ise, ice):eglise:justise 463: 
sacrefice 2505 :semse 3014. Latin MATfiRiAM shows matire:dire 28 and 
matere : artcre 2709 (cf. Suchier, Voyelles toniques, § 15a). The spellings y, ei, ie 
appear by the side of i:ay 1, ayment 51, etc., chevalereie 396, fremierent, 3612. 

§ 7. Q from Latin au and Latin checked 6 rimes with itself only: 
or:tresor 537, fort:mort 667, choses: encloses 1785. As in most continental 
poems, mot<utiTTVM:clot 743 appears with g;' it rimes with QuKnABviT 
2337, cf. § 15. 

In tonic or pretonic position the usual spelling for this sound is o. It 
also appears as om : owre <auratum 190, ouwel 296, vault 840, vouer 1006; 
as uivblier 55, murir 875, etc. 

§ 8. O and Om. — o from Latin checked o (u), om from Latin free 6 (tJ), 
and Latin o ((j)+y have become close o in our text and are found riming 
together: jour:gaaignour 241, estrus:envius 1879, estrus:mis 727, vus:andus 
(MS andews) 1085. 

Here we may associate Denis with Marie (cf. Fabeln, pp. Ixxxii, Ixxxvi), 
Benolt (cf. R. de Troie, pp. 121, 122), Partonopeus (cf. amor:jor 21, vos: 
angoissos 1509, vos:los<htFOS 8535). 

is not found in rune with any other sound. The rime peresceuz 
(perecos) : venuz 3854 is very doubtful and ought probably to be discarded 
because -s and -z do not rime with one another. Perceuz may possibly be 
read instead of peresceuz (cf . List of Words) . 

In the MS the tonic syllable o in or out of rime is represented by ue-, 
surs: curs 1531; by om: pastour:treitour 2117; hy eu: andeus, 1Q86, piteus: 

1 Cf. Walberg, Bestiaire, p. xlv. 


104 Henry E. Haxo 

2447; by oilaborent 239, proz 3245. The spelling u is much the most com- 
mon. In pretonic syllable it appears as u, o, and ou; u being more generally 
used than o. 

§ 8. ty. — The rimes in u from various sources are pure: 15, 75, 145, 
587, 1209, etc. By the side of the usual spelling u, the MS shows twice ui 
(uy):druy 618, murmuire 1534; and sometimes eu:aveneu:verteu 75. The 
parasitic e in the latter spelling may arise by analogy to words which have 
an e etymologically.' 

§9. Ai. — The rimes in ai are mostly pure: mais: /ais<FASCBM 143, 
retreireibon eire 495, enfrez:forfez 1289. Ai in the groups -aistre, -ait, -ais 
rimes with f from Latin checked £: mestreiestre 32, veit:set<SEVTEM 3850, 
mesiapres 1576. 

Here Denis may be associated with Marie de France (of. Fabeln, p. 
Ixxxiii), Benoit de Ste. Maure (cf. R. de Troie, VI, 114), Partonopeus (cf. 
mestre-.estre 929, forest itrest 744, no -ait group, pesiapres 919, baisse:presse 

Ai is found once in rime with ei: vait (MS veii):dreit 785, possibly also in 
Marie de France (espleitifait El. 223 lestait ib. 337), and in the Life of St. 
Osith (vaitidreit 899). These rimes are not necessarily to be discarded as 

According to Suchier (op. cit., § 306) in Anglo-Norman "ei, surtout 
devant s, r, d, t, est pass6 k ai avant que I'ancien ai ne fdt contracts en f." 
With this fact in view, the presence of such rimes in Denis, Marie de 
France, and in the Life of St. Osith may be explained as being due to Anglo- 
Norman influence. On the other hand, these rimes may serve as evidence 
that the western or southwestern French dialect had an influence on the 
language of Denis and Marie. 

The confusion of ei and ai is found frequently in Partonopeus de Blois 
(cf. palais: deis 4143: queis 5093: maneis 1847) .' For the rime fait (MS 
fet) 661; cf. § 3. As regards the spelling in rime-words, 42 appear with 
ai; 34 with ei; 31 with e; and 2 with ie; out of rime, in tonic or pretonic 
positions, ei is more frequently used than ai or e. 

§ 10. Ei. — The rimes in ei are all pure: reiisei 87, dreitiesteit 641, 
anceisireis 1127, aver: saver 1645, creireiarveire 77, veie:desreie 319. 

Ai+l' and ei+V are kept separate: soleil: vermeil 1171: conseil 1266, 
asaile:bataile 1617, vilanaik:rascaile 2161. For the rime veit:dreit 785; 
cf. § 9. Excepting a few instances, ei is the usual spelling for this sound; 
e appears occasionally. To be noted are: lay: fay 2677, fi,z 1683, moy 24, 
542, consail:niervail 938:solail 1265. 

' Cf. Stimming, Boeve de Haumtone, p. 180. 

= Cf. Warnke, Fabeln. p. Ixxxiv; A. T. Baker, Mod. Lang. Review (1912), VII, 81. 

' Cf . T. A. Jenkins, Modern Philology (1913), X, 448, who claims that Partonopeus 
de Blois "from trustworthy indications, belongs in the Loire valley, possibly in the region 
of the Sarthe." 


Denis Piramus: "La vie Seint Edmunt" 105 

§ 11. jBm. — Latin DEtJs appears as Dieus in tiie MS. Tiiis spelling is to 
be ascribed to the copyist. The only rime where this word occurs indicates 
that eu is to be expected for the author: Deu:Eliseu<'EhiSEvu 3191. 

§ 12. le. — The rimes in ie are for the most part pure. Out of the 4032 
lines of La vie Seint Edmunt, there are 323 rimes in e, 129 in ie, and 4 in e 
mixed with ie:conseilier:gaimenter 869, justisier:mer 1653, enfundreridrescier 
3133, cessez-.jugiez 3189. 

Of these four cases, justisier and cessez are not sure: justisier appears in a 
doubtful line, and it rimes elsewhere regularly with -ier:mestier 715, drei- 
turiers 771; cesser rimes in the same poem regularly with e:demener 3425, 
and cessiez may, therefore, stand for laissiez. Two other instances of con- 
fusion may be explained: sazees {-.cuntrees) 416 stands for asazees and is 
regular; eslisez (:preisiez) 1061, Imperat 5 {-ez through the influence of the 
preceding i may become iez) ought to be included in the list of words which 
rime now with ie, now with f: cf. conseillez (Imperat 5): eslisez 3525 (Vie 
de St. Gilles), eslisiez 275, 877 (Stengel, Roland), and also prisiez:despisiez 
3564 (Erec et Enide), avillier in Marie de France (cf. Fabeln, pp. Ixxxiv-lxxxv) . 
There are, therefore, apparently only two sure instances of mixed rimes. It 
is to be noted that in these two cases of confusion ie comes from Latin a by 
Bartsch's law, and to quote Miss Pope (Btude, p. 57), "dans les dialectes du 
Sud-Ouest et en partie du Nord-Ouest, la loi de Bartsch ne s'opere pas: ie 
et e se trouvent mel6s dans VEpttre de Saint Etienne, dans le Sponsus, dans 
le Saint Martin et dans I'orthographe des chartes de toute cette partie de la 
France." Suchier (cf. op. cit., § 29e) states that rhymes of ie and e were not 
avoided scrupulously by Benolt and adds: "ce qui pourrait s'expliquer par 
son origine m^ridionale (Touraine)." G. Paris (cf. Vie de St. Gilles, p. xxiv) 
also admits that the confusion of ie and e is found, though rarely, in Norman 
texts of the twelfth century. In view of so small a proportion of mixed 
rimes, Jenkins thought (cf. Modern Language Notes, XXII, 195) that the 
exclusion of La vie Seint Edmunt from Suchier's first group could hardly be 
warranted. Our poem, however, must have been written at a later date. 

-ler from -ider rimes only with e: vblier-.penser 55, after :jurer 878, 
guier:mer 1344, mercie: conquests 2974. In this particular rime Denis 
Piramus is to be classed with Wace, Marie de France, and Guillaume le 
Clerc.i It may be noted that instances of -Her from -ier are already found in 
Benoit, Ambroise, and Gamier. For Simund de Freine (end of the twelfth 
century) -ier in fter appears to count for one syllable. 

After an i, e from Latin tonic a becomes ie:popliS:chaci6 325, chier-.otrier 
1327, li6:enragie 2373, manUr-.entier 3221. The same development is to be 
found in Marie de France. This sound is usually represented by ie and e 
in almost the same proportion; ee, ei, and i appear rarely: greej 158, lee 174; 
breij 689, peiz 1435; milz 3022. 

» Cf. Wamke, Fabeln, p. Ixxxlv; Suchier, op. cit., § 17d. 

106 Henby E. Haxo 

§ 13. lu (ieu). — Our text shows both fie and fiu in rime; fiuiliu 2915, 
fiSileissiS 2850; and this associates Denis with the author of the Roland, 
Marie, Gamier and with the author of Partonopeus (cf. fiu:liu 1718, fiS: 
congie 1195). Lims < l6cus rimes with pit^s < pius 624. The MS shows for 
Latin l6cum, j6cum, f6cum:Km 1531, geu 563, feu 2126. 

§ 14. Qi and oi. — In the few rimes found in our poem, the two sounds 
remain separate: Qi:picois:chois<KAi!SJAT<i 3145; in the learned words 
which have g for o: estoire:gloire 2503, glorie:victorie 3861; oi:croiz:voiz 
2393, 2448. The MS shows conustre for conoistre 589, 1929. 

§ 15. Qu. — The endings -out (-ot) of the imp. of the I conj. and the pret. 
of the III conj. is found in rime mainly with itself. Penout:pout 499, 
parlout:sujournout 1145, desplout:out 831; the MS shows sorent-.orent 1594: 
porent 2820. This sound rimes once with g: mot tout 2337. The same 
confusion appears also in Marie de France, Raoul de Houdan, Gamier 
(WolfenbiXttel MS), etc. and the author of Partonopeus de Blois (cf. mot: sot < 
SAPUIT 187). 

§ 16. Ue. — Ue from Latin free 6 and free o (tt) before p, is found in 
rime with itself only: estuet:puet 1333, foeriquoer 1941, ovre:recovre< 
REcttPERAT 2419, broil: foil 2697. Penser:quer 53 appears to be an incorrct 
rime due to the scribe.' 

The rime vesquens:tens 3541 shows that 6+nasal had diphthongized. 
This sound is denoted by various spellings: by (1) ue:estuet 646, puet 2079; 
(2) oe:estoet 1003, poet 865, poeple 704; (3) o:trovent 219, ovre 1232, iloc 2155; 
(4) u:iluc 345, put 651, murt 652; (5) ou:voult 2223; (6) oe and oi before I: 
rfoei 54, oii: 2331, soi7 2332; (7)e: ne/2060. 

For Latin c6r, the MS shows qwr 56, quoer 1942, quxrr 2284. 

§ 17. Vi. — Uei from Latin 6+i is reduced to ui and rimes regularly 
with ui from other sources. All the rimes in ui are pure: lui:ennui 1391: 
fui: 1696 :ambedui 3444, deduit KdHctcm with w of Dtco :trestuit 58: nuit 
1400, tuit:nuit 3307. 

By the side of the usual spelling ui, u and i also appear. There is no 
evidence in rime-words of reduction of ui to m or to i as we find in Wace, 
Benott, Marie. Guillaume le Clerc does not show any instance of reduction 
of ui to i and here we may class Denis with him. 

Henry E. Haxo 

University op Montana 

\To be concluded] 

I Penser is to be replaced by puer, for (1) the line is too long by one syllable, and 
(2) puer makes better sense; geter puer is a common O. Fr. expression.