See an interview with Dr. Poole.
American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain
The Medieval Review
Bulletin of Spanish Studies
eHumanista 29 (2015): 677–80
Kevin R. Poole nos presenta en este libro una traducción cuidada de la Crónica del Pseudo-Turpín, realizada a partir de su original latino presente en el Codex Calixtinus. A ello se añade un excelente estudio inicial donde el autor introduce al público general de habla inglesa en los vericuetos del Codex y sus cinco libros, amén del contexto general histórico, literario y de debate y/o polémica religiosos en que entenderlo. A ello sigue un elaborado índice explicativo de nombres que ayuda al lector a navegar por este libro, como también lo hacen las cuidadas notas que acompañan a la edición.
La crónica del Pseudo-Turpín, en palabras de Poole, “attempts to pass itself off as historical reality and as a moral guide to readers willing to enter into the narrator‟s world, and those able to do so find within it a world more akin to our own than expected” (ix). De esta obra existía una versión anterior inglesa de 1812, difícil de conseguir, y que justifica (amén de por el estilo demodé de su inglés romántico) con creces la realización de este volumen. Anterior a ella existía una primera traducción inglesa (en inglés medio) de la segunda mitad del s. XV, aunque omite un episodio escabroso en el cap. 21. La de Thomas Rodd de 1812 también contaba con algún error y omisión de bulto.
La crónica (en inglés History of Charlemagne and Roland o Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpin) es la pseudo-memoria de arzobispo Tylpin o Turpín de Rheims, un intento de “document the historical events related to the miraculous appearance of Saint James to Charlemagne and the subsequent battles against the Muslims that he and Roland endured in Iberia as a result of the saint‟s commission” (xi). La cónica es asimismo el cuarto de los cinco libros que componen el códice hoy conocido como Liber Sancti Jacobi (Catedral de Santiago, CF-13). El Libro I contiene textos litúrgicos y sermones atribuidos a Calixto II y relativos a la celebración de festividades dedicadas a Santiago; el Libro II narra en boca de dicho papa 23 milagros jacobinos; el Libro III contiene cartas atribuidas a los León III y Calixto II sobre el traslado del cuerpo de Santiago de Jerusalén a Compostela; el Libro IV narra una serie de batallas entre cristianos y musulmanes en la Península Ibérica, así como la creación del camino de peregrinación compostelano a Santiago por Carlomagno; el Libro V contiene una guía de viaje a Compostela. Siguen doce folios con textos varios, incluyendo una carta de Inocencio II certificando la autenticidad de las cartas de León y Calixto.
Poole pasa a continuación revista a las teorías sobre la composición y agregación de partes en el códice. Recuerda a Díaz y Díaz, que indica que se trata de un “aglomerado de escritos” con la nota en común de exaltar al apóstol. Según este crítico, los libros IV y V, que tienen características léxicas y lingüísticas en común, se han escrito con el Camino de Santiago en mente, “cannot have been written to accompany the first three,” y su último propósito era el de “provide evidence for Charlemagne’s role in the foundation of the pilgrimage route and the construction of the basilica at Compostela” (xiv). Poole piensa que, aunque no pueda pensarse en un autor único, sí en un compilador, con la responsabilidad de “choosing the appropriate texts for the codex, tasking a scribe or scribes with copying them and ensuring that additional texts would be added in order to create a semblance of textual and narrative unity” (xv). La identidad de este compilador ha sido también debatida por la crítica y se han señalado como candidates, entre otros, all papa Calixto II y Aimeric de Picaud. Poole concluye de modo sumario diciendo que “until more evidence arises that proves, without a doubt, who the writers and compiler of the codez were, I am of the opinion that we cannot accept the authorship of Aimeric Picaud” (xviii).
La Crónica de Pseudo-Turpín se presenta como la obra del arzobispo Turpín, compañero de Carlomagno en su viaje a España en el siglo octavo. Sabemos que tal afirmación no puede ser verdad, tanto por lo que conocemos de dicho arzobispo como por la inclusión de personajes fantásticos (cristianos y musulmanes) en la obra. Al final de ésta se presentan tres cartas falsamente atribuidas a Calixto II: sobre el descubrimiento del cuerpo incorrupto de Turpín tres siglos tras su fallecimiento; los castigos físicos que Dios inflige a Almanzor por invadir Galicia y la basílica jacobea; y el recordatorio a todos los sacerdotes para que prediquen la Cruzada en tierras hierosolimitanas e ibéricas.
Según el relato, Luitprand, deán ficcional de la catedral de Aachen, pide a Turpín que le informe de la campaña de Carlomagno en Iberia para liberarla del poder musulmán. Turpín le cuenta la aparición de Dios al emperador en sueños, comandándole que peregrine a Santiago y la libere, entreverado todo ello de lecciones geográficas, milagros, debates doctrinales, una descripción pormenorizada de la batalla épica de Roncesvalles, lecciones sobre las artes liberales y relatos milagrosos centrados en las muertes de Carlomagno y Turpín. Para complicar el asunto, en el siglo XVII el archivero Alonso Rodríguez de León removió el libro IV del Codex y cambió su comienzo, quizá para eliminar lo que se consideraba ficción del relato verdadero de la llegada del apóstol a España. Al eliminar o remover dicho libro, según Poole, el Liber Sancti Jacobi “lacked the historical dimension that it had before” (xxi) y que tiene hoy en día tras su restauración.
Poole pasa acto seguido a ofrecernos un análisis histórico (siglo XII) contextual adecuado a la crónica que explique su aparición, su propuesta doctrinal y su difusión. Incide en particular en el influjo y recepción del Liber contra sectam sive haeresim Sarracenorum de Pedro el Venerable y su intento fallido de refutación del Islam, dentro del clima de confusión existente entre los especialistas sobre la naturaleza de la religión islámica con respecto a la cristiana. El relato en la crónica de la estatua de Hércules en Cádiz, reinterpretada como estatua de Mahoma con una llave en las manos, puede insertarse en esta polémica, y Poole lo ve como un “deliberate act of fictional polemic against Islam” (xxvi). Así ve el autor igualmente el retrato del Islam como religión politeísta que aparece en los diálogos entre Carlomagno y Aigoland, y Roldán y Ferragús, en la crónica. “Those newer versions of history [la historia del siglo VIII reinterpretada en el XII por pseudo-turpines] became accepted truths that reflected the beliefs and desires of a people and a time” (xxix).
La presencia de Carlomagno en España parece haberse convertido en uno de los caballos de batalla de la crítica a lo largo de los siglos. Poole recuerda que aparece mencionada en no demasiadas fuentes. Su apologista (y coetáneo) Einhard dice que el emperador llegó hasta el Ebro, y que su retaguardia sufrió un revés por los vascos al cruzar los Pirineos, sin mencionar la ida de Carlomagno a Galicia. La Historia Silense, con acerada acritud, relata la avaricia del emperador en su ayuda a Zaragoza, motivo del ataque contra su retaguardia, pero tampoco menciona su ida a Santiago. Para el siglo XII Carlomagno había venido a ocupar un puesto de relevancia como héroe nacional francés y su derrota por gentes vascas se había substituido por derrotas (y luchas) contra sarracenos. “Despite one chronicler’s bias against Charlemagne [la Historia Silense], the altered image of the historical events in which he had supposedly participated, as presented in the more widely distributed chansons de geste, contained the basic elements needed to convert him into the liberator of Galicia and the founder of the pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James” (xxxiv).
Pero más importante que el cómo el Pseudo-Turpín usa la leyenda carolingia es su porqué para Poole, motivación que tiene que ver con las luchas por la primacía de la sede compostelana sobre la toledana y la alianza de ambas con Roma (particularmente visible en el cap. 19 de la crónica, que relata la consagración de la basílica y el concilio que en ella celebró Carlomagno), y que tiene como base un documento usado por el magno y combativo arzobispo compostelano, Diego Gelmírez, en el siglo XII para reclamar la independencia de Compostela de Toledo y Roma (Diploma de Ramiro I), así como “the founding of the pilgrimage church at Compostela and the payments due for its perpetual maintenance” (xxxix).
Pero no acaba la historia del Codex con los sucesos de Gelmírez. Dos sucesos de importancia siguen inmediatamente a los años en que se ultimó el proyecto del Pseudo-Turpín ca. 1140 y que explican que la crónica siguiera leyéndose y copiándose: la coronación de Federico Barbarroja como emperador (1155) y la canonización de Carlomagno (1165). Del mismo modo que Carlomagno había descubierto los restos de Santiago por intervención divina, ahora Federico “descubrió” los restos “perdidos” de Carlomagno en una época de dificultades políticas y a tiempo para la ceremonia de canonización. Asimismo, la Vita S. Karoli muestra paralelos innegables con el Pseudo-Turpín. Como en esta última se afirman privilegios para San Denís similares a los jacobeos, se explica así que abundaran las copias producidas en su entorno. A partir de 1179 Santa María de Ripoll también contó con su copia (abreviada), de la que se originaron a su vez más ejemplares. Para el comienzo del siglo XIII se documenta la fama extendida de la obra, pues existen traducciones al francés, alemán, italiano y castellano de este periodo. Igualmente, quizá la cultura de veneración de los antepasados como prueba de linaje, tan abundante en la Edad Media tardía, sea responsable de la difusión de esta obra en esta nueva época, gracias a las largas listas de héroes que aparecen en ella.
El encanto lector del autor, Kevin Poole, por un relato repleto de “vivid narration of miracles, of intellectual debates between giants and young warriors, of soldiers’ lances blooming into trees and of angels and demons weighing the souls of the dead on celestial scales,” lo que él llama “the stuff of fantasy,” se trasmite fácilmente al lector inglés, que tiene así acceso a un documento más de valor de la cultura literaria ibérica, necesitada de más traducciones que difundan su esplendor. Ha sido acierto de Poole llevar a buen puerto este cometido.
— Antonio Cortijo Ocaña
University of California
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American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain (AARHMS), August 19, 2015 at: http://aarhms.wildapricot.org/New_Book_Reviews/3488403
The Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpin represents the fourth of five large divisions of the manuscript known as the Liber Sancti Jacobi or Codex Calixtinus, which made headlines in 2011 when it disappeared from its home in the cathedral of Santiago, only to reappear a year later in the garage of a technician who had worked at the shrine. At that time, the popular press focused on the manuscript’s most celebrated part, the Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela. But the narration contained in Book IV is crucial to understanding the motivations of the manuscript’s compiler or compilers, as well as the codex’s role in fomenting what Kevin Poole calls “the Santiago phenomenon” (ix). Poole’s masterful introduction to and translation of The Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpin (the first modern English-language version) should go a long way towards making this fascinating text a staple in the university classroom.
The Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpin purports to be an account of Charlemagne’s deeds in Spain written by Turpin, the sword-wielding archbishop of Reims who, in The Song of Roland, meets his death on the battlefield at Roncesvalles, alongside Roland and the twelve peers. The Chronicle presumes that Turpin has survived and, some time after Charlemagne’s death, sets down for the benefit of Liutprand, a fictional dean of Aachen Cathedral, his memoires of the fourteen years during which he accompanied Charlemagne in Spain. Rounding out the pious fiction of the Codex Calixtinus’s Book IV, appended to pseudo-Turpin’s chronicle are three fictitious letters claiming to have been written by Pope Calixtus II (r. 1119-24): the first, describing the discovery (“in our own time”) of the incorrupt body of Turpin in Vienne; the second, the invasion of Galicia by a “Saracen” conqueror named Almanzor of Cordoba, and his subsequent miraculous retreat thanks to the intercession of Saint James; and the third, proclaiming a crusade in Spain (or rather, as the letter clarifies, extending the crusade already established there by Charlemagne, as recounted by pseudo-Turpin).
Indeed, pseudo-Turpin presents Charlemagne and his armies as crusaders in Muslim Spain, liberating oppressed Christian populations at the instigation of Saint James, who appears to Charlemagne in a dream in the guise of “a knight of splendid appearance” (5), urging the emperor “to do battle with those perfidious pagans, to free my path and my lands and to visit my basilica and my tomb.” (6) Much of the action in the Chronicle revolves around Charlemagne’s battles with and efforts to convert a Muslim conqueror named Aigolande, with whom the emperor holds a protracted, but ultimately unsuccessful, debate about religion. Pseudo-Turpin does not hesitate to call those of Charlemagne’s forces who perish on the battlefield holy martyrs, nor to have the miraculous flowering of their lances foretell their deaths. Also in a crusading vein, the author relates that “I, Turpin, by the Lord’s authority and with our blessing and absolution, pardoned the sins of all [Charlemagne] had admitted to his armies against the infidel nation,” a number totaling the almost apocalyptic number of 134,000 (26).
Charlemagne’s dream of Saint James, which occupies the first chapter of Pseudo-Turpin’s Chronicle, also establishes the text’s second main theme: Charlemagne as discoverer of James’s tomb and instigator of the pilgrimage to Compostela. Before James speaks to the sleeping king, Charlemagne sees a path of stars stretching from the Frisian Sea southwards to Italy and then westwards to Galicia, “where the body of Saint James lay buried and undiscovered.” (5) Immediately after Charlemagne’s first major victory in the Chronicle, he visits the tomb of Saint James and gives thanks to God and the saint for his victory (8). Similarly, we learn that Charlemagne “enlarged” the basilica in Santiago and established an archpriest and group of canons there.
Students familiar with The Song of Roland will also doubtless be interested to read pseudo-Turpin’s account of the battle of Roncesvalles in chapter 21. There, the Franks’ defeat is attributed both to Ganelon’s treachery and to the fact that “many of the men had become drunk on the Saracen wine and had fornicated with the pagan women — as well as with the Christian women who had accompanied them from Gaul” (60). As Poole points out in one of many useful annotations, this discrepancy from traditional legends helps to further the narrator’s crusading theme, as crusaders were to take up the cross having confessed their sins and received the Eucharist, not in a state of sin, as were the randy members of Charlemagne’s army. Pseudo-Turpin’s Chronicle also adds a charming scene in which Roland battles and defeats a giant named Ferragus (a descendant of Goliath), but not without first debating him on the basics of Christian theology (chapter 17).
Poole’s lucid introduction, notes, and glossary help to situate this puzzling Chronicle in its political context in the mid twelfth-century. Deftly distilling a number of scholarly debates, Poole clearly shows the Chronicle’s ulterior propagandistic aims: mainly, to shore up the authority of Compostela over the archbishopric of Toledo, after the Pope Gregory VII’s 1086 re-assertion of Rome’s jurisdiction over the Spanish church, with Toledo as its provincial head. According to Pseudo-Turpin, in council, Charlemagne had determined “that all Christian prelates, princes and kings — both Spanish and Galician — would now and forever obey the bishop of Santiago de Compostela” (53). Santiago, in Pseudo-Turpin’s words, was an apostolic see, just like Rome or Ephesus; in fact, of these three, it ranked second only to Rome. Additional moments in the Chronicle could provide legitimation for other groups. For example, because of Pseudo-Turpin’s description of Charlemagne endowing the basilica of Saint-Denis in Paris, the monks of that abbey amassed several manuscript copies of the Chronicle. Scenes from the Chronicle show up in the dramatic miniatures illustrating the Grandes Chroniques de France (which originated at Saint-Denis), as well as in stained-glass windows in Chartres, some of which are reproduced here. Likewise, the Chronicle’s description of Charlemagne’s death — including Turpin’s dramatic vision of Saint James interceding for Charlemagne’s soul and his subsequent characterization of the emperor as a martyr — helped to support Charlemagne’s canonization, at the request of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, in 1165.
Poole’s smooth translation of the often ungrammatical Latin of the original makes this unusual Chronicle truly a pleasure to read. With its excellent introduction, judicious notes, helpful glossary, and affordable price-tag, this English Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpin would make an excellent addition to courses on medieval Spain or France, chivalric culture, or the Crusades.
Laura Ackerman Smoller
University of Rochester
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The Medieval Review (January 2016)
This is a welcome English translation of one of the most popular Latin epics of the Middle Ages about the exploits of Charlemagne in Spain and the death of Roland at Roncesvalles. A mixture of historical fact and fabulous fiction, falsely attributed to the authorship of an eye-witness, Archbishop Turpin of Reims, the text is extant, with variants, in more than two hundred manuscripts dating between the mid-twelfth and fifteenth centuries. Key elements were inserted into many more histories like the Speculum historiale of Vincent of Beauvais and the Grandes chroniques de France, while Pseudo-Turpin’s account, as it is generally called, was translated in whole or in part into most European vernaculars. Thomas Rodd (who acquired one of the fourteenth-century copies in Spain and sold it to the then-British Museum, now London, British Library, Additional MS 12213) published excerpts from the text in English in 1812 and there has not been an English version since.  So the present translation fills a lacuna. But the many complexities surrounding the text, its origins, transmission, and reception, its various versions, and its “errors,” deliberate or accidental, are presented at a rather superficial level, misleading in places, and sometimes plain wrong.
As is reasonable in the absence of a comparative edition of the Latin, Poole bases his translation on just one of many copies, namely the Jacobus manuscript kept at the Archivo Catedral of Santiago de Compostela, where it has been since at least the third quarter of the twelfth century (an abridged copy was made directly from it in 1173 by a monk of Ripoll). This copy, generally held to be the oldest and best version, says it is called Jacobus (Jacobus iste liber vocatur), but is generally known as the Codex Calixtinus after the purported author of large parts of the compilation, or the Liber sancti Jacobi. In the Santiago manuscript and in eleven copies from the twelfth to the eighteenth century, the Pseudo-Turpin forms book four of a five-book compilation in honour of St. James, apostle of Spain, containing the liturgy of the feasts on 25 July, 3 October, and 30 December (book 1); the twenty-two miracles of St James (bk 2); the translation of the body of St. James from the Holy Land to Spain (bk 3); The Pilgrim’s Guide (bk 5); and various additions including a false bull, more miracles, and pilgrim songs. Debate surrounds key issues of authorship. The texts are full of attributions to fictitious and genuine authors — Pope Calixtus II, Pope Innocent II, Cardinal Robert, the patriarch of Jerusalem, Fulbert of Chartres, Aimery the papal chancellor, Aimery Picaud, and many others—including, for book 4, Archbishop Turpin. But the Pseudo-Turpin also enjoyed a robust manuscript tradition without the rest of Jacobus. 
The various editors of the Latin have struggled with the manuscript tradition and its implications. The sheer numbers of surviving copies have so far deterred anyone from attempting a critical edition: despite the claim on the title-page to be an “edition and translation,” the present work is a translation and introduction, not an edition. Most editors have chosen Jacobus as their base manuscript, notably Meredith-Jones, Whitehill, and Herbers/Santos Noia; the Spanish translation by Abelardo Moralejo is also based on Jacobus.  But the earliest editor of the Pseudo-Turpin, Ciampi, used a manuscript in Turin (BN I.V.36); Castets used copies preserved in Montpellier, primarily H 31 with variants from five other copies held there; Smyser used a short version (Paris, BNF lat. 17656); Thoron used Città del Vaticano Arch. S. Pietro C 128, an early fourteenth-century copy of Jacobus with variants from another fourteenth-century copy of Jacobus (London, BL Add. 12213), Thomas Rodd’s manuscript referred to above.  The complexities of the manuscript tradition are extensively discussed in Hohler, Díaz y Díaz, and Brown, and reviewed in Stones and Krochalis.  Also available is a facsimile of Jacobus published by the Xunta de Galicia in 1993, with offprints of books 4 and 5 in 2004, so there is every reason to choose it as the basis for this English translation. Nevertheless, a resumé of the complexities of the manuscript tradition would have been desirable in the introduction to Poole’s translation. There is work to be done on questions surrounding the numerous “errors” found in the Jacobus version: which of the other copies also transmit them? might there be a better version? what might the archetype have looked like?
Another issue neglected by Poole is the sequence of scribal hands in the Jacobus manuscript; four scribes participated in the writing of the Pseudo-Turpin and their participation could have been marked in the translation and discussed in the introduction. It is not so much a question of “slight variations in the otherwise elegant handwriting” (xv) as clear sections written by four different scribes at different times; the reasons for this are not altogether clear, but it may possibly have been to replace pages that originally contained illustrations, as suggested by Díaz y Díaz and Herbers. Only two narratives and three portrait initials are preserved in the manuscript, but they all pertain in one way or another to the Pseudo-Turpin and should all have been reproduced. Missing are the portrait of James (which admittedly is found in the liturgical part, book 1, on f. 4) and the dream of Charlemagne which begins the Pseudo-Turpin. Restored at the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid in 1966, Charlemagne’s sleeping head was painted out so the picture now shows St James in bed; but the original configuration can be seen in the two fourteenth-century copies referred to above, in the Vatican and the British Library. Either would have provided an image closer to the original in Jacobus than the late fourteenth-century copy of the Grandes chroniques de France, Paris, BNF fr. 2617 (reproduced on p. 7). The scene with warriors in two registers is reproduced on the dust jacket but not in the body of the volume. Very welcome on the other hand are the pages from the Nota Emilianense, Madrid, Real Academia de la Historia, Codex 39, f. 245 (p. xxxiii) and the beautifully written English Turpines Story, San Marino, CA, Huntington Library HM 28561, f. 326 (p. xlv), both of interest in relation to the origins and reception of the Pseudo-Turpin.
As to the division of scribal hands, Díaz y Díaz has demonstrated that the quire structure for the Pseudo-Turpin section of Jacobus (ff. 162v-191v) consists of quaternions which include several reinserted cut leaves and an added bifolio (ff. 186-187, by a thirteenth-century scribe, writing about the Liberal Arts on the walls of Charlemagne's palace at Aachen). The divisions of scribal hands can be clearly seen from the facsimile and would certainly be worth indicating in the translation as they do not correlate with the chapter divisions and they shed light on the history and reception of the text — as Díaz y Díaz has noted.  And the chapters do not each begin on a new folio as Poole’s page layout misleadingly suggests. Again, it would have been better to add the folios in the margin at the point where the changes occur, as Herbers and Santos Noia did in their transcription of the Latin. The work of scribes 3 and 4 are clearly later additions (thirteenth and fourteenth centuries); the work of scribe 2 and his flourished initials are late twelfth-century work, quite different from the work of scribe 1 and his decorator who most likely worked c. 1145. All this recopying (assuming that is what it is) bears important witness to the history of the manuscript and its manipulation between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries; and there are innumerable marginal annotations, analysed by Díaz y Díaz, which attest to continued interest in the text in later centuries. The separation of the Pseudo-Turpin and its reinsertion into the rest of the codex are summarized by Díaz y Díaz and alluded to by Poole (xxi). The sequence of scribes is as follows:
ff. 163-167v (ch. 1 to half-way through ch. 8, Poole, p. 20, line 6)
ff. 172-175v (ch. 13, line 4, to one page and seven lines short of ch. 18, Poole, p. 47, line 8)
ff. 188-191v (ch. 22, one page and twenty lines short of ch. 23 to the end of Turpin, Poole, p. 79, line 19, to p. 92, line 10)
ff. 168-171v (half-way through ch. 8 to four lines into ch. 13, Poole, p. 33, line 4)
ff. 176-180v (one page and seven lines short of ch. 18 to fifteen lines into ch. 22, Poole, p. 74, line 18, except for ff. 181-182v, an added bifolio by scribe 4, Poole, p. 62, line 31, to p. 67, line 21)
ff. 186-187v (ch. 22, line 16, to one page and twenty lines before the end of ch. 22, Poole, p. 74, line 18, to p. 79, line 19)
ff. 181-182v, an added bifolio by scribe 4, Poole, p. 62, line 31, to p. 67, line 21
Scribe 3 wrote the section about the Liberal Arts, and in it each paragraph begins with the name of an Art, marked with a pen-flourished initial alternating red and blue; that format should have been retained in the English.
The question of “author” or “compiler” is another issue that needs clarification. Poole follows Moisan  in confusing the papal chancellor Aimericus, a historical figure well known from other contexts, identified in the rubrics of Jacobus as the author of book V, ch. 9, along with Calixtus and, perhaps the same person, simply named as Aimericus, as the author of book V, ch. 5. It is Aimericus the chancellor who is the first signatory of the false bull of Innocent II, not Aimericus Picaudus (p. xvi). The name Aimery Picaud does occur twice in Jacobus, first in the text of the false bull of Innocent II as one of those who gave (dedit) the codex to Santiago, and secondly in the titulus to one of the songs (Ad honorem regis summi) at the end of the volume. However there is nothing to suggest that Aimery Picaud is the same person as Aimericus the Chancellor (who came from Bourges), and there is no reason to suppose that Aimery Picaud wrote, or compiled, Jacobus as a whole. Poole does not mention the other contender for compiler, Rainerius (also known as Robertus), schoolmaster at Santiago according to the Pistoia manuscript, and held by some to have played a part in the composition of the Historia Compostellana.  He fits the bill in most ways as compiler of Jacobus and vindicates in some measure Hohler’s contention that the Pseudo-Turpin with its many grammatical errors was a teaching tool.  Finally, the exhibition catalogue focusing on Diego Gelmírez, bishop then archbishop of Santiago, should be included in the bibliography. 
Some points of translation I find perplexing: why translate heros as “knight” (5)?  The iconographic tradition of this very popular scene never shows James as a knight and the Latin does not justify the word; Smyser’s version gives vir for heros; the anonymous Old French version gives uns granz sires...de grand biauté; and le Turpin I gives uns sires qui plus ert beaus qu’en ne peust dire.  It is only (so far as I know) in the Johannes version that James appears as a un bel home molt grant tot armé sor son cheval.  But this is not in the Latin and ought not to be in its English translation. I note that Moralejo’s Spanish translation uses caballero.  For de itinere yspanie in the chapter list for ch. 26 and in the rubric and text of the chapter Poole uses the anachronistic term “crusade” rather than the more neutral term “journey” (iter in the Latin). Again, Moralejo translates this as cruzada.  This would surely be the place for a discussion of the origin and use of the term “crusade” and the circumlocutions used for it in the Middle Ages. The book, then, has some flaws but is a useful jumping-off point to stimulate a wide audience to ask further questions.
1. T. Rodd, History of Charles the Great and Orlando, 2 vols. (London, 1812).
2. The most comprehensive list of manuscripts is still the one by André de Mandach, Naissance et développement de la chanson de geste en Europe. Vol. 1: La Geste de Charlemagne et de Roland (Geneva and Paris, 1961).
3. Cyril Meredith-Jones, Historia Karoli magni et Rotholandi ou Chronique du Pseudo-Turpin (Paris, 1936, repr. 1972); W.M. Whitehill, Liber sancti Jacobi, Codex Calixtinus. Texto del manuscrito del Codex Calixtinus conservado en la catedral Compostelana, 3 vols. (Santiago de Compostela, 1944); Klaus Herbers and Manuel Santos Noia, eds., Liber sancti Jacobi, Codex Calixtinus (Santiago de Compostela, 1998); Abelardo Moralejo Laso, Casimiro Torres, and Julio Feo, trans. Liber sancti Jacobi. Codex Calixtinus (Santiago de Compostela, 1951).
4. Sebastiano Ciampi, De Vita Karoli magni et Rolandi. Historia Joanni Turpino archiepiscopi remensi vulgo tributa (Florence, 1922); Ferdinand Castets, Historia Caroli magni et Rotholandi (Paris, 1880); H.M. Smyser, The Pseudo-Turpin, edited from Bibl. Nat. Ms. 17656 (Cambridge, MA, 1937, repr. 1967). Ward Thoron, Codex quartus sancti Jacobi de expedimento et conversione Yspanie et Gallecie editus a beato Turpino archiepiscopo after MS. C. 128 of the Vatican Library (Boston, 1934). Harvard’s Hollis catalogue (no. 006606996) lists a collection of photostat reproductions of thirty-seven manuscripts used by Thoron.
5. Christopher Hohler, “A Note on Jacobus,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 35 (1972), 31-80; M.C. Díaz y Díaz, El Códice Calixtino de la Catedral de Santiago. Estudio codicológico y de contenido (Santiago de Compostela, 1988); Elizabeth A.R. Brown, “Saint-Denis and the Turpin Legend,” in John Williams and Alison Stones, eds., The Codex Calixtinus and the Shrine of St. James (Tübingen, 1992), 51-88; The Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela, Critical Edition, eds. Alison Stones and Jeanne Krochalis, with Paula Gerson and Annie Shaver-Crandell, 2 vols., (1998), vol. 1, p. 39, n. 19.
6. Díaz y Díaz, El Códice Calixtino, 148-153, 273.
7. André Moisan, “Aimeri Picaud de Parthenay et le Liber sancti Jacobi,” Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes 143 (1985), 5-52.
8. Emma Falque Rey, Historia Compostellana (Corpus christianorum continuatio medievalis 70) (Turnhout, 1988), xviii.
9. Hohler, “Jacobus”; Stones and Krochalis, The Pilgrim’s Guide, vol. 1, pp. 22-24.
10. Compostelle et l’Europe. L’histoire de Diego Gelmírez, ed. Manuel Castiñeiras (Santiago de Compostela, 2010); also published in Spanish, Galician, Italian, and English.
11. Herbers and Santos Noia, Liber sancti Jacobi (cit. n. 3), p. 201 (Jacobus, f. 164v, lines 10-11), heros quidam obtimam ac pulcherrimam...habens speciem; Castets, Historia Caroli Magni (cit. n. 4), p. 3, lines 8-9.
12. R.N. Walpole, An Anonymous Old French Translation of the Pseudo-Turpin Chronicle (Cambridge, MA., 1979), p. 40, lines 19-20; id., Le Turpin français, dit le Turpin I (Toronto, 1985), p. 4, line 15.
13. Id., The Old French Johannes Translation of the Pseudo-Turpin Chronicle. A Critical Edition (Berkeley, 1976), p. 131 (ch. II, lines 11-12).
14. Moralejo, Torres, Feo, Liber sancti Jacobi (cit. n. 3), p. 408.
15. Ibid., pp. 405, 492.
Reviewed by M. Alison Stones
University of Pittsburgh
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MBR Bookwatch (January 2016)
Synopsis: The twelfth-century Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpin (also known as the History of Charlemagne and Roland) offers an “eye-witness” account of events during the late eighth century. Charlemagne’s compatriot, Archbishop Turpin of Rheims, describes the miraculous appearance of Saint James to Charlemagne and the battles against the Muslims that he and Roland fought in Iberia as a result of this vision. The chronicle is one of the fundamental texts in the literary legend surrounding Charlemagne, Roland, Compostela and St. James. It served as source material for a large number of other chronicles as well as for French chansons de geste and other forms of heroic literature, including the Song of Roland.
This Chronicle comprises Book IV of the “Liber Sancti Jacobi” (Codex Calixtinus), a twelfth-century manuscript from the archives of the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the burial place and shrine of St. James. This site, along with Rome and Jerusalem, was one of the three major pilgrimage destinations of the Middle Ages. This key manuscript also contains The Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela, the Miracles of St. James and the “Veneranda dies” sermon (all previously published by Italica Press), a collection of liturgical texts and other sermons associated with the cathedral and its saint, and a series of letters surrounding the fate of the body of St. James and its burial in Spain. In his introduction to this first modern English translation of the chronicle, Kevin Poole investigates the issues of fiction, legend and authorship and the relationship between the false chronicle and its wider literary tradition. He also highlights the possible connections between the work and its contemporary political and religious environment. His introduction elucidates the differences between “textbook” history and the history created within the false chronicle.
Critique: A core addition to any academic library Medieval History reference collection and supplemental studies reading lists, this outstanding edition of The Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpin: Book IV of the Liber Sancti Jacobi is enhanced with the inclusion of ten illustrations, an informative introduction, ninety-two pages of notes, a six-page bibliography, a twenty-four-page glossary, and a six-page index. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpin: Book IV of the Liber Sancti Jacobi is also available in a paperback edition (9781599102900, $20.00) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).
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Bulletin of Spanish Studies 94.3 (July 6. 2017): 536–37
The Codex Calixtinus is one of the great surviving medieval manuscripts.… The Calixtinus includes as its Book IV the Historia Turpini or Pseudo-Turpin freshly translated here.…
Italica Press has now published translations of three of the major components of the Codex Calixtinus: an English version of Book V, the Pilgrims’ Guide, with admirable apparatus (1993); and an equally rich translation of the [Miracles of Saint James] in Book II along with the “Veneranda dies” sermon from Book I (1996). Kevin Poole’s rendition provides another substantial text long inaccessible except in Latin, French or Spanish.
Poole’s edition is largely successful. The sheer volume of medieval Carolingian literature is daunting, to say the least, and the historical record is caked with nationalist disputes about French heroism and Spanish passivity, not to mention Muslim perfidy. Poole provides a studious forty-eight page Introduction surveying the facts and myths of the period, evaluating the lumpy composition and eager dissemination of the Pseudo-Turpin, followed by his serviceable edition in English. As he repeatedly reminds us, this account of the broadly fictitious Spanish campaigns and their aftermath is clumsily composed and the Latin middlebrow at best, so Poole judiciously makes no effort to polish his translation into something more eloquent than the original and at times makes casual choices (“May it be” for Latin “Amen”).…
Poole’s repeated complaints about the Pseudo-Turpin’s inept Latin may deserve reconsideration. The prose style is not that much worse than many medieval Latin chronicles and suggests that the authors and compilers were not trying their hardest because the anticipated readership would not be that critical of an exuberant chronicle. Stylistic precedents for this sort of narrative were not as firmly established as for sermons, miracles stories and the poetry of hymns. The Latin of the Codex Calixtinus does display a sort of decrescendo from the high styles of the authoritative opening books to the cobbled episodes of Charlemagne’s fanciful Iberian adventures, and down to the roughhewn and utilitarian Pilgrims’ Guide, a cranky sort of Baedeker to encourage wary Frenchmen.
…A telling feature of the Santiago Codex Calixtinus is its luxury format. The volume is handsomely prepared with all the pretensions of an altar missal. The illuminations are colourful and stately, above all for the facing pages that open the Pseudo-Turpin whose magnificent letter ‘T’ echoes the conventions for the “Te igitur” which announces the canon in many medieval Mass books. The whole is a bulky affair that would have been even bulkier in its original, untrimmed state between sturdy wooden boards. The Codex Calixtinus was rather deliberately too heavy to travel, and despite the many copies derived from this Liber Sancti Jacobi, it makes for a highly inconvenient source copy for a working scribe, so it is reasonable to assume that there was a fair copy used to produce derivative copies, in particular of the Historia Turpini.
Poole’s translation is a welcome entry to fill a gap in our teaching resources on Jacobean studies, Charlemagne and Roland.
George D. Greenia
College of William & Mary, Virginia
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