HOME > Fantasy Items Index > Charlemagne cycle >

Murgleis [weapon:sword] & Tachebrun [bestiary:horse] [charlemagne]

Ganelon, the Count [normalized E.]; Guenes (li quens), Guenelun (Ch.R Oxford ms.),
(Roland R Ganelon, Ganellon, Gainelon, Gaynelon, Gainellon, Guanelon, Guanellon, Guenelon, Guenellon, Guenelont, Gueinelon, Guennelon, Guennellon, Ganelos (Ch.R and various) Ganes, Gane, Ganne, Guanes, Gaines, Gaynes, Guenes, Guenez, Guennes, Guennez, Gueines. Ganon. Guenon. Guenles. Gainelon l'Aleman. Gaines de Maiance, Gueines de M. . Ganelon [OF];
herzoge Genelun(e) (Rolandslied), Genelun, Genelûn(e) (dem herzogen) (KdG) [MHG];
jarl Guinelun [ON];
Gaino di Maganza (Il viaggio di Carlo Magno); Gano di Maganza (L'Aspramonte) [It.]

Murgleis (Ch.R.) [E.,F.] Murglies (Ch.R. 346), Murgleis (Ch.R. 607) [OF] ; Mulagir (RL) [MHG]
Muragleis, Miragiuais (Kms VIII, 7) [ON]
[meaning: Langlois considers this the same name as the sword of Boeve de Haumtone (Morglay of Bevis of Hampton) ]

Tachebrun ;
Taskprun(RL), Taskprun(KdG 1649) [MHG]; Taskabrun [ON]; Morello (Il viaggio di Carlo Magno) [It.]
[meaning: "brown spot" ]

Murgleis is the sword of the traitor Ganelon, Roland's step-father; it was a sword "with a gold pommel" (par l orie punt, Ch.R 466), crafted to contain unspecified "holy relics"(reliques, 607).
According to German sources it was a short sword (sachs*1) with a carbuncle on the hilt, forged by a smith named Madelger in Regensburg, and which Duke Naimes had brought out of Bavaria. Ganelon while acting as emissary to the Saracens.

Other equipment of Ganelon:

[another sword, given as gift:]
«Sword from Valdabruns (with a hilt worth a thousand mangon gold pieces)»
espee. . de Valdabruns. . entre [dunt] helz ad plus de mil manguns (Ch.R l.617-) [OF];
«helm-cleaving sword from Valdabruns (given him by the king of Tielsarke)»
swert.. uon Ualdebrun. . (daz) ain helm.. sluoc in almitten cetal.. daz gab [in] der kuonc uon Tielsarke (RL l.2517-) [MHG]

[helm given as gift:]
«helm that Climborins gave»
helme [que Climorins at dunat] (Ch.R l.627-) [OF];
«helm (from) Oliboris» helm (uon) Oliboris (RL l.2543-) [MHG];
Klimboris [ON]

After he swears to help the Saracens, Ganelon receives a sword from Valdabron (Valdebrun[OF]). In the German version, the sword from Ualdebrun [MHG] "can cut a helmet in two without harming the sword in the slightest." (J.W.Thomas tr.). In the Norse version, Valdibrun gave sword on which "was marked an image of Makon" (Kms VIII, ch. 13 Hieatt tr.). (*Makon is a heathen god, and may well refer to Mohammed, but the occurrence of the phrase "Makon and Mahumet" in ch. 9 confounds this identification.)

Guenelon also receives a helm from Climborins, Oliboris [OF]

An ouch or "brooch" (Anglo-F.. nusche OF nouche) which Queen Bramimunde gave to Ganelon is amethyst and jacinth.

*1 Langlois, Table des noms propres.. lists this item as:
Murglais. Épée de Ganelon. R (var. Murgleis, Murgie,Mordée,
Murgie,Morgie, Ro2 249, 250.
where R is the critical edition, Das altfranzösische Rolandslied by Stengel and Ro2 is Fœrster ed. Altfranzösische Bibliothek vol.7
    It is also interesting to note that Langlois apparently considers this "Murglais" to be a different name from the similar forms, namely, "1 Murglaie"= Élias' sword in Béatrix (The Old French Crusade cycle), "2 Murglaie" Cornumarant's sword in Conquête de Jérusalem, and ⇒"3 Murgleie, Morgleie, Morglei", sword of Beuve d'Hamptone.

*2 Lexer: sahs.. langes messer, kurzes schwert

§ The Song of Roland (ca. 1100)

After Ganelon is appointed to go on a dreaded envoy mission to the Saracens, he returns to his mansion to wear his sword and mount his horse.
Guenes li quens s'en vait a sun ostel,
De guarnemenz se prent a cunreer,
De ses meillors que il pout recuvrer:
345   Esperuns d'or ad en ses piez fermez,
Ceint Murglies, s'espee, a sun costed;
En Tachebrun, sun destrer est munted;
(— Ch.R, XXVII ll.342-6)
Guenes(Ganelon) the count goes to his hostel[ry],
Picks up garments to be at the ready,
The best ones he can retrieve,
345   Spurs of gold snapped onto his feet,
Girding Murgles at his side,
Mounted on Tachebrun, his war-horse.
— tr. mine
Guenes the count goes to his hostelry,
Finds for the road his garments and his gear,
All of the best he takes that may appear:
345   Spurs of fine gold he fastens on his feet,
And to his side Murgles his sword of steel.
On Tachebrun, his charger, next he leaps,
(— ll. 342-6 Montcrieff tr.)
During this mission when makes his treacherous pact, Ganelon received many gifts:
  • A sword from Valdabron (Valdebrun [OF], Ualdebrun [MHG], Valdabrun [ON]), the rider of ⇒Gramimond. The hilt of the sword are stuffed with one thousand mangon gold coins (XLVIII, ll.617-)
  • A helmet from Climborins or Climorins (Oliboris [MHG], Klimboris [ON]), the rider of ⇒Barbamouche (XLIX, ll.627-).
  • Two ouches*1 "brooches" (dous nusches[OF]) from Queen Bramimound (Bramimunde), wife of Marsile. They are set with amethysts and jacinths (matices e jacunces[OF])
    In the Old Norse version, the stones on Queen Bamundi's brooch are called matistis and naguntis (Kms VIII, ch. 13).).

Later during the Battle of Roncevaux, there occurs some confusion as to who had given what:
Ço est Climborins, ki pas ne fut produme.
Fiance prist de Guenelun le cunte,
1530   Par amistiet l'en baisat en la buche,
Si l'en dunat s'espee e s'escarbuncle.
(— Ch.R, ll.1528-31)
1485 'Twas Climborins, a man was nothing proof;
By Guenelun the count an oath he took,
And kissed his mouth in amity and truth,
Gave him his sword and his carbuncle too.
(— ll. 1485-8 Moncrieff tr.)
This passage has been emended by other translators, e.g., O'Hagan, who gives "It was Climorin: hollow of heart was he, He had plighted with Gan in perfidy, What time each other on mouth they kissed, And he gave him his helm and amethyst."

*1OED entry as follows: Ouch forms (14-1500s) nouche. . [ME and AF nouche = OF. nouche, noche, nosche, nusche, in ONF. noske nosque; late L. nusca, a. OHG. nuscka, nuscha, MHG. nuske, nusche buckle, clasp. Appp. of Celtic origin. cf OIr. nasc ring nasgaim I knit, tie, Gael. nasg seal.. The form ouch has arisen from the erroneous ME division of a nouche as an ouche (cf. an other a nother, also adder, newt.)
1. A clasp, buckle, fibula, or brooch for holding together the two sides of a garment, hence a buckle or brooch worn as an ornament (the chief meaning in later times).

§ Das Rolandslied (ca. 1130)

  Der herzoge Genelun legite an sich
einin roch harte zirlich
1570 uone guotem cyclade,
mit golde uile wahe
gesmelzet dar under
diu tier al besunder.
da woneten lichte uogele
1575 unden unde obne,
si schinen sam der lichte tâc.
umbe sinen hals lac
ein bouch uile waehe;
daz werc ‹was› seltsaene
1580 uzzer golde unde uzzer gimme.
den sante ime ze minnen
der kuonc uon den Britten.
ia begurte in inmittin
Mulagir daz beste sachs,
1585 so uober al Franchen en was
sin turer nehein
uonem houbte do schein
ein edel karuunchel:
des tages was er tunchel,
1590 er luchte alle die nacht
sam der sunne umbe mittin tach.
iz enwart nie niehein keiser so here
geboren an der erde,
er enzeme ime wol cetragene.
1595 lanc ware û ze sagene
waz man wunders dar ane uant.
Naimes der Beiere wigant
uuorte iz uone Beieren.
daz urchunde wil ich û zeigen:
1600 der smit hiz Madelger,
daz selbe swert worchte êr
in der stat zu Regensburch:
iz wart maere unde gout.
du sin Naimes der herzoge phlach,
1605 waz der heiden da uore erstarph!
er gab iz Karle sinem herren;
iz rouwin sit sere:
Genelun brachte iz inder heiden gwalt,
uile manich cristin des sit engalt.
(— Rolandslied, ll.1585-8)
The Duke Genelun put on himself
a very seemly tunic,
1570   of fine ciclatoun [scarlet or gold cloth],
very artfully smelted
with plenty of gold underneath
done into [shapes of] all-exotic beasts;
inhabited by bright birds
1575   over and under,
that shone like the bright day.
Around his neck was a
dainty bee [neck-ring or brooch]
of wondrous work,
1580   made of gold and gems,
which was sent to him out of amity
from the king of the Britons.
E'er girt in the midst with
Mulagir the best sax [short-sword],
1585   in all of France there was
none dearer [more precious];
in its head [pommel] shone
a noble carbuncle:
during the day it remained dim,
1590   and brightened up all night long,
like the sun at midday.
There has never been an emperor so lordly
born on the earth
who was [more] befitting to wear it.
1595   Long would it take to tell
of all the wonders to be found therein.
Naimes of Bavaria the gallant
brought it out of Bavaria.
And its hallmark I will tell you:
1600   the smith was called Madelger
(— tr. mine)

*1 Thomas' translation pp.12-13 "Duke Genelun donned an elegant silk coat that was trimmed with graceful beasts of gold and between them, above and below, with bright birds that shone like the sun. Around his neck hung a wondrous gold chain with jewels that the king of the Britons had given him as a mark of friendship, and at his waist was girded an excellent short sword, Mulagir; there was no finer in all France. From the hilt shone a carbuncle that was dull by day but glowed throughout the night like the sun at noon. It would have been a suitable ornament for the most exalted emperor ever born. To tell how wonderful the sword was would take a long time, but I'll give its history. The Bavarian warrior Naimes brought it from his homeland. The smith Madelger forged it in the city of Regensburg, and it became famous when wielded by Naimes. What a host of heathens died by this sword! The duke gave it to his lord, Karl, which later he sorely regretted, for Genelun brought it into the possession of the heathens. As a result many Christians came to grief.
While golden spurs were fastened to his boots, the emperor — to please him — had a charger led up that a bold Roman warrior named Mantel had given to Karl. Ganelun would have nothing to fear when he rode it, for no steed in all France could cross mountain and valley so fast. On its back was a golden saddle;
Then Genelun mounted a splendid steed named Taskprun and, ..

§ Karlamagnús saga

Kms VIII, ch. 7.

In Ch. 13, matistis is used in Kms VIII, ch. 13 , in a translation of the abovementioned section of Ch.R)



Passato Assoluto: Uggeri il Danese


  • HOME > Fantasy Items Index > Charlemagne cycle >