Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


This is coolbert:

"Taillefer, qui mult bien chantout,
sor un cheval qui tost alout,
devant le duc alout chantant
de Karlemaigne e de Rollant,
e d'Oliver e des vassals
qui morurent en Rencesvals."

"Taillefer, who sang right well,
Upon a swift horse
Sang before the Duke
Of Charlemagne and of Roland
And of Oliver and their vassals
That died at Roncesvalles."

Here is a description of behavior on the battlefield that will probably never be seen again.

"Legend has it that William's minstrel and knight, Ivo Taillefer, begged his master for permission to strike the first blows of the battle. Permission was granted, and Taillefer rode before the English alone, tossing his sword and lance in the air and catching them while he sang an early version of The Song of Roland. The earliest account of this tale (in The Carmen de Hastingae Proelio) says that an English champion came from the ranks, and Taillefer quickly slew him, taking his head as a trophy to show that God favored the invaders: later 12th century sources say that Taillefer charged into the English ranks and killed one to three Englishmen before suffering death himself."

At the Battle of Hastings, 1066, the Norman troubador Ivo Taillefer, asked for and was given the honor of being first to engage the enemy [the Saxons]. Did so and was successful. Then died in the subsequent larger battle. Won for himself everlasting fame.

OH, Lord, they just don't make them like that anymore. And if they did, conditions to meet the "champion" of the other side just do not exist.

This man would have done well in samurai Japan of the era as described in the "Tales of Genji" [11th Century Japan]!! A minstrel and knight both! Sword and pen together. Sword and song together in this case. Like I said, they just don't make them like that anymore.



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