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Early Indo-European Texts

Old French

Brigitte L.M. Bauer and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Old French with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Old French Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Old French language and its speakers' culture.

Villehardouin, Histoire de la Conquete de Constantinople: cap. 345, 346

Or conte li livres une grant mervoille:
que Reniers de Trit, qui ere a Finepople,
bien .IX. jornees loing de Costantinople,
et avoit bien .VIXX. chevaliers avec lui,
que Reniers ses fils le guerpi, et Giles ses freres,
et Jakes de Bondine, qui ere ses niers,
et Achars de Vercli, qui avoit sa file.

Et li tolirent bien .XXX. de ses chevaliers,
et s'en cuidoient venir en Costantinople,
et l'avoient laissié en si grant peril com voz oez.

Si troverent la terre revellee encontre els,
et furent desconfit, si les pristrent li Grieu,
qui, puis les rendirent le roi de Blakie,
qui puis aprés lor fist les testes trencier.

Et sachiez que mult furent petit plaint de la gent,
por ce que il avoient si mespris vers celui
qu'i ne deüssent mie faire.

Et quant li autre chevalier Renier de Trit virent ce,
qui si prés ne li estoient mie,
cum cil qui en doterent mains la honte,
si le guerpirent, bien .LXXX. chevalier tuit ensemble,
et s'en alerent per une autre voie.

Et Reniers de Trit remest entre les Griex a pou de gent:
que il n'avoit mie plus de .XV. chevaliers a Phynepople et a Stanemac,
qui ere uns chastiaux mult fort que il tenoit,
ou il fu puis longuement assis.

Translation

The book relates a great remarkable event:
the fact that Renier de Trit, who was at Finepople,
at least a nine-days journey away from Constantinople,
had at least one hundred and twenty knights with him,
and the fact that Reniers, his son, abandoned him with Giles, his brother,
and Jake de Bondine, who was his nephew,
and Achar de Vercli, who was married to his daughter.
And they took away from him at least thirty of his knights,
and they thought of going to Constantinople,
and they had abandoned him in such great danger, as you well understand.
And they found the country in revolt against them,
and they were defeated, and thus the Greek took them prisoner,
who subsequently handed them over to the king of Blaquie,
who afterwards ordered their heads to be cut off.
And you should know that they were very little mourned by the people,
because they had been misbehaving that much towards the one
to whom they should not have behaved that way.
And when the other knights of Renier de Trit saw that,
those who were not that close to him,
as people who were less afraid of shame,
they abandoned him, at least eighty knights all together,
and they went away via another road.
And Renier de Trit stayed among the Greek with few people:
because he did not have more than fifteen knights at Phynepople and at Stanemac,
which was a very strong castle that he held,
and where he subsequently was besieged for a long time.