Aimeric de Peguilhan


Born: 1170; Toulouse, France   Died: 1230; Lombardy, France  
Aimeric de Peguilhan, sometimes shown as "Pegulhan," was one of the last of the great troubadours, in his day considered second in stature only to Bernart de Ventadorn. Although his name suggests that he hailed from the Albigensian commune of Peguilhan, by his own account Aimeric was born in Toulouse to a family of textile merchants. His surviving portrait, drawn from a miniature, shows him dressed in a smart habit of a kind not common to most Read more troubadours. Raimon V of Toulouse was likely the first nobleman to employ Aimeric's services in court. According to his Provençal "Vida," Aimeric took a fancy to a noblewoman in the court, whose name is given as "the lady Beatriz" in his verses, and she became his muse, inspiring his finest creations in verse. However, the nobleman to whom she was married took offense, and during an altercation, Aimeric wounded the jealous, but consequential, husband with a sword, prompting Aimeric's swift disappearance from Toulouse. Aimeric turns up in the court of the King of Aragon, and remained there for a long time, ultimately following the Spanish court to its residences in Florence.

Aimeric's date of death has not come down to us, and at one time literary scholars advanced the theory that as an Albigensian, Aimeric may have perished in Toulouse during the Crusade against the Cathars in 1221 or 1222. There is no evidence that Aimeric ever returned to Toulouse, and some of his verses that take the form of dialogues with other troubadours refer to events that occurred in Florence, at the very least, one in the mid-1220s. From his itinerary, it appears that Aimeric never had trouble finding favor in Royal courts throughout Europe, but his fellow troubadours record that this became more difficult as he aged; one of them jokes that Aimeric seems a bit over the hill to practice the art of courtly love. Two poems from 1266 and 1242 once attributed to Aimeric are considered inauthentic, and while the former date is certainly too late, in recent years a document from the year 1242 has been uncovered where Aimeric's name appears, signed as a witness. He would have been in his seventies, and even though none of his extant and fully authenticated lyrics is datable past 1230 and many being much older than that, this does re-open the matter as to whether Aimeric might have lived to this advanced age.

Aimeric's output consists of 54 surviving lyrics, of which four are doubtful and only six exist in musical settings. Some of Aimeric's verses were extremely popular, appearing in more than 20 medieval manuscript sources. Aimeric's Qui le vi en ditz, extant in two distinctly different versions, is one of the earliest chansons known, and is likewise notable in the second version for being, for its era, an extremely florid and long musical composition. Read less
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  • 1.
    Dante And The Troubadours / Sequentia
    Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 77227 Release Date: 11/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnaut Daniel,  Giraut de Bornelh,  Aimeric de Peguilhan,  Folquet de Marseille  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Thornton,  Benjamin Bagby,  Elizabeth Gaver,  Elisabetta de' Mircovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sequentia
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