- Oliver (Song of Roland, Scott-Moncrieff tr.) [E.]; Olivier (ch. de Roland) [OF];
Olivier [mod. F.];
Oliuir, -uire(n) (RL),
Olivier, -viere, -vieren (KdG) [MHG];
Oliver (Kms) [ON]
- Halteclere (Song of Roland, Scott-Moncrieff tr.) [E.]; Halteclere(n) (ch. de Roland) [OF];
Hauteclaire, Haute-claire [mod. F.];
Alteclere (Konrad, RL),
Anticlêre(Stricker, KdG 6928), Anteclêre(ib. 7319) [MHG];
Hatakler, Hatakle (Kms VI), Hatukleif, Aatukleif (Kms VIII) [ON]
Altachiara ( L'Aspramonte, Il viaggio di Carlo Magno) [It.]
[meaning: "high and pure".]
- Sword of Oliver.
- It was crafted by a smith named Munificans (Girart de Vienne and Fierabras) in Rome (GV).
Closamont was the name of the
Roman Emperor who previously owned it (GV), although Victor Hugo makes ⇒Closamont out an alternate name by which Hauteclaire was called by some men.
It was kept in Rome until Pepin the Short took it and gave it to Buevon the bearded (Buevon le barbé, Bueves li barbés [OF]), an ancestor of Oliver's family (GV). But in Italian tradition, the former owner was not
§ Girart de Vienne (ca. 1190-1217)
The extended family of Girart, the title character of the chanson, revolts against Charlemagne. To settle the feud, it is decided that Oliver, who is Girart's nephew, should have to duel with Roland.
Olivier's sword breaks, and he begs for a truce while he replenishes his weapon. This Roland grants, and asks for some wine to quench his thirst while at it.
Girart sends out word over all of Vienne, the city (in southern France) which he governs, that he is in need of a fine sword. The call is responded to by Joachim
the Jew, who came calling and offers various equipment for Oliver to wear.
Just as Oliver was arming himself in preparation for the duel, there shows up a
graybearded ("o le flori grenon
") Jew named Joachim (GV E, Laisse CXXXV~VII, ll.4875ff)
(Joiachis (GV T, p.127 ,128)
, Joachim (p.128)
, Joachins (p.144)
, who makes his residence in Girart's city of Vienne. He has come to provide Oliver with equipment: shoes that are the finest made since the time of Solomon; spurs clustered with gems that he bought from a Slav (paien Aragon
in T) for 100 pounds of mangon gold coins; and a coat of Eastern mail (haubert jaserant
in T) that Aeneas had won from a Greek warrior named Eliné in the Trojan War. ()
Quant li Juis entandit la criée
Et la novele, que cil out aportée,
Que Olivier ot brisiée s'espée,
A son ostel s'en vait sans demorée
Une en aporte que molt fut onorée
Plus de .c. ans l'ot li Juis gardée;
fut, qu'iest de grant renommée,
Li Emperères de Rome la loée
Il la perdit el bruel, soz la ramée
En la bataille ke molt fu redotee,
Lai ou l'ocist
Maucon de Valfondee:
jus quant la teste ot copee;
Fors de son fuere colat
la bonne espee;
L'erbe fu drue
ke dessuz fu versee
Apres lons tans l'orent faucheor
Une des faus
lor ot par mi copee.
Kant il la virent, si l'ont sus relevee,
Si l'ont a l'apostole de Rome presantee.
Il la vit bele et de lettres doree,
Et le point d'or dout el fut enhoudee
En l'escriture ke il at regardee
Trovat escrit (c'est verité provee)
avoit a nom l'espee
Et dedans Rome fut faite et compassee
l'avoit faite aduree
Ce fut uns maistres de molt grant renommee.
Li Apostoiles fist bien forbir
Enz ou tresor S. Piere l'at gardee;
Pepins l'en traist, de France la loee,
Kant corone ot premieremant portee;
Au duc Beuvon
la donat en sodee
Et li dus lot a celi Juis donee,
Car il en ot d'avoir une mule troussee.
Des lor que ci l'ot li Juis gardee;
On puis n'oist nus parler de l'espee
Jusqu'a cele oure ke il l'at presantee
A Olivier, ou fut bien aloee,
&nbps; Li fil Renier de Genes.
— Roman de Girard de Viane, p. 144*1
[≈ Gerard de Viane, v.2671, Bekker*1]
(manuscript of B.N.F. fr. 1448 [= Bibl. de Roi 7535 (old numbering)])
When the Jew heard the cry|
And the new tidings it brought,
That Olivier had broken his sword,
He went to his lodging without tarry,
And brought [a sword] of great honor,
The Jew had kept it one hundred years or more;
It belonged to Closamont, the greatly renowned
Emperor of Rome, the famed [city].
He lost it in the woods, under foliage,
In the battle that was fearsome,
In which Maucon of Valfondée slew him.
[Closamont] fell, just as the head was cut off;
The good sword slipped off its scabbard,
Grass grew dense; it was covered underneath.
A long time after, haycutters found it,
One of their scythes was spliced in the midst,
They saw it and lifted it out,
And presented it to the Pope in Rome,
He saw the fair and gold-lettered [blade]
Pommel of fine gold attached,
Looking at the inscription
He found there (it is proven truth)
That Hauteclaire was the name of the sword,
Made and sized in Rome,
Fortified by Munificans,
A master of great renown.
The Pope had it polished well,
And kept it in St. Peter's treasury.
Pepin took it away, Pepin of France, the famed,
Wore it when crowned for the first time,
Then gave it to Duke Beuvon to weld [alliance]
And the duke yielded it to this Jew,
To obtain a mule loaded with treasure,
Since then the Jew has guarded it,
And since then no one spoke of the sword,
Until this hour when it was presented
To Olivier, the son of Regnier of Genoa, which made it glorious.
— tr. mine
Tarbé, Prosper 1809-1871 ed.,
Le Roman de Girard de Viane, par Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube (Reims, 1850)
This is also the "GV" text used by Langlois's
Table des noms...
Tarbé (page xij) refers to the manuscript he and Bekker used by the old numbering,
"Bibl. nationale 7535" but that it has since been renamed "ms. 1448" (see Catalogue des manuscrits fran. (1868), Tome 1er, p.230 to confirm this).
Regarding the sources of GV, see P. Meyer in Romania "Fragments de manuscrits français," Romania 35 (1906): 22-67 (In the compendium volume, 445-446).
Passages from the same manuscript is transcribed by Immanuel Bekker in the preface, pp. XII-LII, to his edition of Der Roman von Fierabras, provenzalisch (Berlin: Reimer 1829 / the provençal version of Fierabras). The passage, designated "Gerard de Viane v.2671" can be obtaind second-hand from Génin, François 1803-1856, ed. Chanson de Roland (1850), p.390- )
Newth, Michael A. tr.,
The song of Girart of Vienne by Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube : a twelfth-century chanson de geste / translated by (Tempe : Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 1999.) [Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies (Series) ; v. 196. ].
Based on text edited by Van Emden, Wolfgang, Girart de Vienne (Paris: Société des Anciens Textes Français 1977, from the British Museum Royal 20. B xix. ms. of the 13c.
For citing Laisse and line number of the verse, this work will be used, since Tarbé fails to structure his text in this way.
§ The Italian prose romance L'Aspramonte
Although Boiardo (1440/1-1494), Ariosto(1474-1533) and Francesco Berni (1497/8 -1535), the authors of the Orlando ~ opuses,
seemingly fail(?) to mention the sword belonging to Oliviero by name,
their precursor Andrea da Barberino (b. ca. 1370.) provides
lore on Ulivieri's sword Altachiara in his
L'Aspramonte, which has formerly been described as a yet "unpublished book of I Reali di Francia"*2, uses material corresponding to Chanson d'Aspremont (providing origins of Durendal), as well as covering
material from Girart de Vienne*3.
Below is an excerpt of the truced intermission during Ulivieri's duel with Orlando:
*1 Boni, Marco, ed., Andrea da Barberino, L'Aspramonte, romanzo cavalleresco inedito
(Bologna, per i tipi dell'Antiquaria Palmaverde, 1951.) lxxxvi + 373pp.
*2 Catalogue of Romances. . in the British Museum,
vol. 1 , p.602- for
ASPRAMONTE, Additiona 10,808 ff.1-63b. Citing Leopold Ranke's
1837 article in Abhandlungen der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin1835,
part iii ,pp.401-485.
*3 That is to say, the French Ch. d'Aspremont covers a much narrower span of time and events: although Girart d'Eufrante (≈ Girart de Vienne) fights alongside Charles against the saracen kings Agolant and his son Aumont/Eaumons, Oliver does not make an appearance there.
- ¶ Sendo Ulivieri tornato in Vienna, si presentò a Gherardo con la spada rotta, e disse
- come ella s'era rotta al secondo colpo e come Orlando per sua gentilezza l'aveva la-
- sciato tornare; « ma se io avessi buona spada, per Dio, io fareri nostra vendetta».
- Non pensò el rinegato alla nobiltà d'Orlando, ma disse e fece dire per Vienna: « Se
- 5 la spada non si fusse rotta in mano a Ulivieri Orlando era morto» e questa nomi-
- nanza era per tutta la città, salvo che nel padre, che conosceva chi era Orlando, e andò
- a pregare il figliuolo che non tornasse più alla battaglia; ma Ulivieri non lo volle
- udire. Gherardo faceva cercare per la terra d'una buona spada, e uno giudeo andò a
- Gherardo e disse: «In casa mia è una buona spada molto grande e bella, ed è gran
- 10 tempo che noi l'abbiamo auta, e non sappiamo donde ella si venisse in casa nostra ».
- Gherardo la fece recare, e, leggendo certe lettere ch'erano in su la spada, fu ricono-
- sciuta ch'ella era la spada che fu di messere Lanzilotto dal Lago, e fu chiamata Ga-
- stiga-folli, e poi fu di Buovo d'Antona als uo tempo e chiamata Chiarenza. Gherardo
- le pose nome Altachiara e, rifornita d'adornezze, la cinse a Ulivieri e disse: «Sia
- 15 franco e valente come furono costoro che l'ànno portata». Cinto, Ulivieri, tutto allegro,
- come fu aparita la mattina, s'armò, e montò a cavallo, e venne a domandare battaglia.
—L'Aspramonte, III, xciv (pp. 290-291)
When Ulivieri returned to Vienna, he was presented to Gherardo holding his broken sword; and he told how it snapped broken from [Orlando's] blow, but that [Orlando] had the courtesy to let him go back; "But if I had a decent sword, by God, I would have accomplished our vendetta".
The renegade [that is to say Gherardo], rather than reflect on the courteousness of Orlando,
went on to say, and for Vienne's sake [*township in S. France] he had to say this,
"If the sword had not broken in his hand, Ulivieri would have Orlando dead," and this was the univeral opinion[?] of all the city, except for the priest who knew Orlando, and he pleaded with the youth not to resume this duel; but Ulivieri would hear none of it. Gherardo conducted a search throughout the land for a good sword, and a Jew went to Gherardo and said:
"In my home is a good sword, mighty large and beautiful, and we have kept it a long time,
and no one knows from wither it came into the house of ours ". Gherardo made him bring it, and, reading some letters on the sword, recognized that it was the sword that was of master Lancelot of the Lake
and was called Gastiga-folli
, and then was that of Bevis of Hampton
which during his time was called Chiarenza
. Gherardo gave it the name Altachiara
, had it refitted, girt it onto Ulivieri and said: "This comes free-of-charge
[?] and [yet so] valuable. It is like the ushering in of a new year[??]". Thus girded, Ulivieri, with all due haste, as the morning was approaching, armed himself, mounted a horse, and returned to the duel.
Luigi Pulci (1432-1484) composed along poem Morgante
which incorporates many other chansons.
Ulivieri owning Altachiara:
44 E non poteva ancor romper la calca
che tuttavolta si facea più stretta;
pur sempre innanzi a suo poter cavalca,
e 'n qua e 'n là come un leon si getta,
e molti colla spada ne difalca
della turba bestiale e maladetta,
e tristo a quel ch'aspettava Altachiara,
che gli facea costar la vita cara.
"King Carador's request, to say the least, 139|
is strange indeed and takes me by surprise."
"Why should we bear all this?" said Oliver,
unsheathing Altachiara as he spoke.
Wise Namo grabbed his arm, and said to him,
"My friend, you're not too prudent, I'm afradid;
this giant's just as fierce as he was born:
that's why he spoke with arrogance and scorn.
Luigi Pulci, Morgante (there are other sites that have this digitize but some lack the strophe-numbering). Digitized image of the edition by Pietro Sermolli, Il Morgante Maggiore (Firenze: Felice Le Monnier 1833) avail. Books.Google.com.
Eng. tr. Joseph Tusiani,Morgante: The Epic Adventures of Orlando and His Giant Friend Morgante
(Indiana University Press 1998) (xxxiii, 975 p.) [Books.Google / Limited Preview] $27.95 ISBN: 0253214076.
§ The Saga Accounts
In the first branch of the Karlamagnús saga
the duel between Rollant and Oliver is called off before it takes place.
Thus we fail to find the tradition according to Girart de Vienne
, of how Olivier
obtained his sword from a Jew in Vienne.
That tale has instead been coopted into the story of how Chrlemagne
got three swords from a Jew in Viana (see Almace
Oliver's sword is named Hatakler
in Kms Branch VI, Otuel
); and Hatukleif, Aatukleif
in Branch VIII, Runzivals bardaga
(≅ Chanson de Roland
See Unger's texts, Hieatt's translations.