1-24: The nuns of Remiremont hold a unique Council on the
subject of Love.
1. Veris: ver, veris: "spring."
1. sub: with words of time, either
"just before" or "just after."
2. Romarici montium: Remiremont; see Introduction.
3. contio = conventio; in
Classical Latin, typically a political assembly. Here the subject
3. coenobio: < coenobium,
from two Greek words meaning "shared" and "life"; hence "a
commune, monastery, convent."
4. Tale: Forms of this word occur
often in the Concilium Romarici Montis. It is
characteristic in Medieval Latin of formal and technical
language, especially that of law and philosophy; consequently
elsewhere it tends to lend an air of pretentiousness.
6. sed neque: This
somewhat redundant combination ( = simply neque) is a
favorite of the poet; it occurs again in ll. 65, 80, and 166 (in
this last instance, the neque is omitted in R).
7. negotio: here the equivalent of
"agenda" or "subject."
8. Amoris: See Introduction.
8. tractatum est: < tracto,
"handle," frequentative of traho, "pull." Impersonal verb;
translate "there was discussion."
8. nullo: sc. alio concilio.
9. Evangelio: < Evangelium, "the
Gospel"; from a Greek word meaning literally "good news."
11. de longe: "from afar." The
preposition de in Medieval Latin develops a great many new
uses, which parallel developments in the Romance languages.
12. laici: "laymen" ( = nonmembers of
the clergy). From a Greek word meaning "the people."
13. Tullensibus: the people (here men;
see quorum in following line) of Toul, a town about 55
miles from Remiremont.
14. quorum: clearly so in both T and
R; Meyer queries the possibility of emending to quarum,
which makes sense, but would change the scenario drastically and
unnecessarily. Retaining the reading of the manuscripts suggests
that the Tullenses here are the same as the laici
of the preceding stanza.
solacium: a common euphemism in
Medieval Latin love poetry that refers to pleasure rather than
more narrowly to solace; see ll. 69, 92, 187, 190.
15. I have moved this line here from
its position in TR after l. 12. Other editors are satisfied to
leave it where it is, although it then refers back to the
preceding stanza and not to what follows in this one, contrary to
the usage elsewhere in the poem.
15. intus et: = et
intus. The author of the Concilium Romarici Montis
favors postponing conjunctions and other introductory words
within their clauses. The matter is obscured by variant readings
of the manuscripts in several of the possible instances. Still
there remain enough clear cases to justify calling attention to
the phenomenon; the textual vacillation can be explained as
scribal attempts to avoid what was felt as awkwardness. See
below, with notes on the problematical cases, ll. 32 (in R only),
33 (in T only), 47 (probably, but only by emendation), 51, 87
(twice, the second instance in T only), 212, and 237 (where there
is a variant reading in both T and R).
16. For the assumption of a lacuna
here, see Introduction.
19. custodia: The abstract noun here
by metonymy = custos; or perhaps the author regards it as
the feminine agent noun.
19. haec: hardly a true demonstrative;
it adds the sense of "familiar" or "well known."
20. miles: an ironic
word in the context of this poem.
21. In R, the two halves of this line
appear in reverse order.
21. invita: < invitus,
22. Veteranae: a term with military
associations (like its English derivative); see above.
arcentur: < arceo, "bar,
23. taedium: "annoyance, disgust"; a
somewhat stronger word than the English derivative, "tedium."
25-48: The opening ceremonies of the
Council are described.
27. This and the following line are
omitted in R.
28. Lectrix: In T, the only witness to
the text here, this word is garbled, but enough is legible to
support this emendation by Waitz.
29. Danubrio: Danubrium was a medieval
market village near Remiremont; it survives today only in the
personal name Deneuvre.
officio: From its literal meaning in
Classical Latin, "duty," this word comes to refer in Medieval
Latin to a prayer or church service. "Office," in this sense,
will do as a translation, or "service, ceremony, performance."
30. artis amatoriae: the name of
Ovid's work referred to in l. 27. It occurs again just below, in
31. Cantus: genitive singular, with
32. satis et: See
note on intus et above. R here reads satisque.
33. non quaelibet: "not just anyone."
33. duae sed: See
note on intus et above. R here reads Eva et.
34. latuit: < lateo, "be
hidden from, be a secret from"; with accusative. Its subject here
is quicquid Amor statuit.
36. opere: "from experience," the
equivalent of the Greek praxis; contrasts with
notitia in the previous line which is to be understood as
facere: object of sciat; "what
a man knows (how) to do."
37. oblectamina: "delights" <
oblectamen < oblecto.
38. adstitit: < adsto, "stand
38. indicto: < indico, "call
39. qua refloruit: "in which she was
like a flower." In l. 43 she is explicitly identified with a
41. gemmis . . . auro: ablatives of
44. For the placement of this line,
46. talis: sc., as the poet has
47. habens et: See
note on intus et above. Both T and R lack et
here, but a syllable is needed to complete the rhythm.
secundum: functions as a preposition;
"according to, proportional to, in keeping with." She is as
eloquent as if she had studied rhetoric.
48. coetus: "assembly, meeting."
48. ora sic aperuit: Biblical language
(Job 33.2, Ecclesiasticus 51.33, etc.) made additionally
high-flown here by the use of the plural ora.
49-60: The Cardinalis Domina
declares that she has been sent to inquire into the ways
of the women of Remiremont.
49. lascivia: does not
have the derogatory connotation of the English derivative,
but a proper English translation is hard to find. Something like
"sportiveness, fun-loving quality, frolicsomeness" will have to
do. The word occurs again in l. 113.
50. Aprilis cum Maio: = Aprilis et
Maii, used for the sake of the rhyme.
51. facimus: The Cardinalis Domina
here refers to herself with the majestic or royal "we." She
is subsequently inconsistent in this regard, shifting between
singular and plural.
51. ad vos quare: See note on intus et above.
51. venimus: Typically indirect
questions have their verb in the subjunctive in Classical Latin.
Exceptions, as here, are common in colloquial usage; e.g.,
52. quotquot: "however many";
indeclinable. Also in l. 138.
53. visere: The infinitive expressing
purpose as a substitute for ut with the subjunctive (or a
gerund or gerundive construction) is uncommon in Classical Latin
until the later period.
56. obtestor: "implore."
57. vestrum: not the possessive
adjective, but the genitive of the pronoun vos in a
partitive sense, here with nulla: "let no one of you .
. . "
57. quae vos vita teneat: The whole
phrase functions as the object of sileat < sileo,
"keep silent about, suppress, fail to reveal."
58. For the assumption of a lacuna
here, see Introduction.
59. si cui parcendum est: impersonal
passive of an intransitive verb: "if anyone is to be shown
60. meum est: "it is up to me, my
61-108: Several of the women speak of
their devotion to the service of love, exclusively the love of
clerks rather than of knights.
61. ex quo: sc. tempore; "from
the time when, ever since."
63. inscienter: adverb based on
64. servando: The
ablative of the gerund and a simple participle are often
logically interchangeable: "we, by holding to our rule"
="we, holding to our rule." Similarly in l. 240. In Medieval
Latin the use of the gerund sometimes extends even to cases where
it is strictly illogical; e.g., in l. 150. The instance in l. 99
comes after a lacuna, making it impossible to determine to which
class it belongs. See also note on l. 168
65. habendam: sc. esse,
indirect statement with eligimus. The subject of the
indirect discourse is copulam. "We choose not to have an
association with any man." Copulam is also understood as
the object of cognovimus, and it governs talis
65. sed neque: See
note on l. 6 above.
67. This and the following two lines
are omitted in R.
69. nil tardat: Nil is the
inner object of tardat, and solacia is its regular
(outer) object. Translate: "makes no delaying of pleasures."
72. quos: antecedent is
72. scimus affabiles: sc. esse.
73. curialitas: < curialis
< curia, "court, senate house." Curialitas, not a
Classical Latin word, may be translated "courtesy," but in the
special medieval, not in the modern sense; "courtliness" is
73. clericis: dative governed by
prefix of compound verb.
74. fallere: The infinitive in
Medieval Latin comes to function much more readily than in
Classical Latin as a noun, so that posse, for example,
commonly means "power." Here translate, "They do not know how to
75. peritiam: = skill and experience
76. foedera: usually a military or
political term; here pacts of love.
77. quid: for aliquid, after
si. To account for the neuter, this may be construed as an
inner object. An accurate (if somewhat inelegant) translation
then would be, "If they do any loving . . . " For this syntax,
compare l. 105.
78. assumpsimus: < ad + sumo,
"single out, choose."
80. sed neque: See
note on l. 6.
82. Experto: < experior. The
participle is used in both the active and the passive sense:
either "one who has experienced, an expert," or "a thing that has
been experienced, evidence." The gender here calls for the latter
interpretation, while the relative pronoun cuï seems
to call for the former. The general sense is clear enough, and
perhaps we must let it go at that.
84. labilis: < labor, labi,
85. insipientiam: the opposite of
85. notitiam: "acquaintance."
87. dolus ut: See
note on intus et above. The reading of T, in eis
qui, farther on in this line is another instance of the same
pattern; R reads qui in eis.
87. in eis: As here printed (see
preceding note) this could be taken equally with the phrase
before it or after it; it is very likely intended to be felt with
88. nos: accusative.
88. notavimus: < noto,
89. dilectio: "love, esteem."
89. vitio: "blemish, sin."
91. ulterius: "hereafter."
92. valet: "is able"; introduced by
quod in the previous line. Main verb in a clause of
indirect discourse, frequently so expressed in Medieval Latin
rather than with an infinitive as in Classical Latin. Governs
disiungere in the following line.
94. claustralibus: "cloistered" <
claustrum, "enclosure," < claudo.
95. susceptio: "acceptance."
97. For the assumption of a lacuna
here, see Introduction.
99. amplectendo: See note on l. 64 above.
99. recuso: "reject."
103. Tali: such as has just been
105. quid: for aliquid, after
si; inner object of normally intransitive
peccavimus. "If we have sinned any (sin)."
107. adeo: "to the same extent." With
quam, "as," in the following line. Both T and R here read
108. laudibus: can be taken with
in omnibus: "in all your praises," or as an
instrumental ablative, in which case in omnibus means, "in
109-132: Those who favor the knights
now speak in their turn.
110. Amoris: See Introduction.
112. nobis sunt memoriae: "are in our
thoughts"; a double dative.
113. lascivia: See
note on l. 49.
114. obsequium: "compliance with,
being agreeable to."
115. pro nostra gratia: "to win our
118. praeelegimus: < prae + e +
lego, "give preference to."
121. sectam: in Classical Latin
usually refers to a philosophical "school" rather than what we
mean by its derivative, "sect." Here perhaps may be translated,
"class of men."
122. habere: Whatever is to be
understood as the direct object of this verb is left vague.
124. This and the following two lines
are omitted in R.
124. magis: sc. placet.
124. psalterium: "a psalter (copy of
the Book of Psalms)."
125. legere: sc. psalterium.
126. parvi pendo: "I little value."
Parvi is genitive of value.
regulam: the Rule by which her
religious order was formally governed.
127. pervium: "accessible, open."
128. congrua: "suitable."
129. exposuimus: "opened to, placed
at the disposal of, made available to." Parking problems are not
an altogether recent phenomenon.
novimus: sc. esse.
130. summopere: adverb, "very
greatly, exceedingly" = summo opere. Magnopere and
tantopere also occur.
131. R omits from here through line
162 Since T does not generally indicate changes of speaker, in
this passage they must be inferred by the editor.
133-153: A representative of the
faction of the clerks speaks in their favor once more.
133. parum: "too little"
133. regnavimus: somewhat obscure;
perhaps, "we have been our own mistresses." The general sense of
the line is clear enough: the speakers are still young and
135. clero: "the clergy, clerks."
137. ad libitum: "at our pleasure, as
it pleases us"; or it may be, "at their pleasure." Most likely
the author intends a little of both.
138. This entire line is in
apposition with debitum above.
viro: T, the only witness for the
text here, reads virgo. Emendation seems to be called for,
although a forced case could be made for the manuscript reading.
141. nos: accusative.
141. mutabimus: "exchange, give up,
143. quaerit studium: The phrase is
probably chosen for the sake of the rhyme, and does not really
yield much sense. Perhaps "seeks excuses," or "demands
144. ridet: "smiles at."
Gaudia is the direct object. The ladies cite no evidence
to support their proposition.
145. rhythmis atque versibus: Greek
and Latin words for more or less the same thing: poems.
147. This line is garbled in T, the
only witness for the text at this point; it reads: Dulcis
amicia clericis est et gloria. In themargin appear the
cryptic letters Dane, and there is extra space left after
the line. The emendations adopted here make sense of the line,
including metrically, but there can be no certainty. The puzzle
of Dane remains.
148. aliae . . . opere: so in both T
and R, producing an intolerably poor rhyme; the first half of
this line is identical with that of line 140, where the rhyme is
correct. Should we here read alterae (that is,
altere)? See Introduction, footnote 4.
149. habilis: "capable, competent,
150. habendo: See
note on l. 64.
152. habeatur irritum: "let it be
regarded as null and void."
153. absque: "free of"; preposition
154-171: The Cardinalis Domina
calls for the Council's verdict. They pronounce
emphatically on the side of the clerks.
156. quarum: subjective genitives.
157. gratia: "favor, good will."
158. quibus: antecedent is
militum, although a case could be made for notitia et .
. . gratia.
159. detegere: < de + tego,
161 odibiles: "hateful" <
odi. Here feminine.
164. It seems probable that the
lacuna at this point includes a change of speaker; there may be
other unmarked changes of speaker in this passage as well.
166. sed neque: See
note on l. 6. R here omits neque.
168. vitando ducimus T; vitando
dicimus R. Emendation seems called
for, although some sort of sense can be wrested out of the
readings of either manuscript, perhaps by the application of the
procedure noted on l. 64. As here emended, with vitandos
understand esse, and ducimus has the sense of "we
consider, regard as."
169. sapere: parallel with bonum.
172-204: The Cardinalis Domina
accepts the verdict, and declares that violators are to be
172. iure consulitis: "duly give as
173. eas: that is, those who favor
173. consortio: "companionship."
175. paenituerint: This verb does not occur with a
personal subject in standard Classical Latin; but see ll. 212 and
239 below. This is the reading of T. R has respuerint,
which is unmetrical, but may easily be emended to
resipuerint < re + sapio, "come to one's
senses," the opposite of desipere (see l. 195). The
reading of R, with this emendation, may well be preferable.
176. talis: "the following."
177. ne sic peccent amplius: This
clause defines the condicio of the previous line as an
indirect command: "the following condition, that they should . .
178. Hoc . . . obedientiam: "We
charge you to obey the following as well."
180. Uni soli: dative singular (all
181. banno: This is the only word
without classical roots in the entire poem (unless we wish also
to count amen, ll. 214 and 241). The Germanic bann
was a public proclamation, often, as here, a denunciation. It
survives in English "ban" and "banish," and it is still familiar
in the archaic phrase, "posting the banns," publicly announcing a
184. sed non sub silentio: "not bound
by a rule of silence."
185. vos: nominative; an emphatic
subject. The object of detis is tactum in the next
185. vilibus: < vilis,
"lowborn." A separate group from the militibus farther on
in the line.
186. vel coxae vel femoris: It is a
little puzzling why the Cardinalis Domina should here be
so explicit anatomically. The reading of the rather inappropriate
coxae ("hip") is not perfectly clear in T; colli
and cordis have been suggested as emendations.
Femoris may be chosen simply for the sake of the rhyme.
189. For the assumption of a lacuna
here, see Introduction.
191. cum non creditur: "(even) when
one does not expect it."
192. quorum: antecedent is
militum in l. 190.
194. sapientia: ablative.
195. totum quicquid: "absolutely
195. desipimus: < de +
sapio, "relax, seek pleasure."
196. Causas...regere: "to act on our
behalf and manage our affairs." Causas nostras agere in
Classical Latin would mean "to plead our cases"; but causa
has here acquired its Medieval Latin sense as virtually the
equivalent of res (reflected in modern French chose
and Spanish and Italian cosa).
198. abdita: < abdo, -ere
< ab + do, dare, "secrets."
201. haec: subject (feminine
singular). The line is garbled in R: Et si cui his placeat hos
205-241: The Cardinalis Domina
pronounces an awful curse on all who fail to conform to
the new orthodoxy.
206. alias: could be construed with
ecclesias, but is most likely to be taken as the adverb,
208. vetitum: T here reads
210. T for this line has only Non
ullo sophismate and then breaks off. R reads Cum nostro
sophismate sint sub anathemate. The line may plausibly be
reconstructed as here by combining the two sources.
sophismate: ablative case of
sophisma, a Greek word; best taken as truncated ablative
absolute ("there being no . 20. 20."). If the reading suggested
in the preceding note is adopted, sophisma would have its
common meaning of "subterfuge, specious reasoning"; freely,
"mincing words." If the reading of R is accepted, then it has its
literal meaning, "wisdom."
210. anathemate: < anathema
211. rationabiliter: The line as it
is in T is metrically faulty. R reads rationabile, which
scans and can be made to yield a kind of sense, but does not
rhyme. Probably the -tio- is to be pronounced as one
212. paeniteant: See note on l.175.
212. clericis ut: See note on intus et above.
213. Huius . . . consilio: = let this
ban be ratified by your wisdom.
214b (Subhead). REBELLARUM: Since
rebellis belongs to the third declension, this form is an
outright solecism. (Only in T; R reads simply EXCOMMUNICATIO.)
215. Vobis: like ceteris at
the end of the line, dative of disadvantage with maneat in
subditis: < sub + do,
"subject (oneself)." Present indicative.
217. The curse that runs breathlessly
from here almost to the end of the poem is like an operatic
patter song. Some of it seems to be mere sound and fury (for
example, what is the meaning of cultus inconstantiae in l.
220?) but it is all amusing.
220. faex: "dregs."
222. species: "appearance."
223. famula . . . vernula: Both mean
"servant." Vernula (masculine of the first declension)
refers to Phoebus, the sun, and suus refers back to
226. dies celebris: "special day."
227. caelitus: adverb, "from heaven."
227. penitus: adverb, "utterly."
231. obviam: "when they encounter
236. Laboris . . . taedii . . .
pudoris: These genitives are all partitive with si
quid: "But if anything remains (if I have omitted
anything) of hardship," etc.
237. si quid: For the position of
these words relative to the partitive genitives they govern, see note on intus et above. T here
reads: si quid residuum (without sed), and R reads
unmetrically sed si quid est residuum.
238. spretis: < sperno,
239. paenituerit: see note on l. 175.
241. For the two lines that conclude
the poem, see above, Introduction.