La Légende des Siècles eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 268 pages of information about La Légende des Siècles.


Bivar, in Spanish Vivar, was the name of the ancestral home of the Cid.  It is a castle near Burgos, in which the Cid was born in 1040.

patio (Spanish), a court or open space in front of a house.  The ti is pronounced as in French question.

buenos dias=good day.

l 18.  The full name of the Cid was Rodrigue Ruy Diaz de Bivar, or in Spanish Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar.

campeador.  The Spanish word campeador, derived from campear, to be eminent in the field, signifies excellent, pre-eminent, and was the title given to their champion by the Spaniards, The Moors called him the Cid, i.e.  Seid, an Arabic word for chief.

pavois, an old word for a large shield, which protected the whole body, and on which the Franks raised the king whom they had elected.

richomme, from the Spanish ricohombre, a title given to the Barons of Aragon.

servidumbre (Spanish), an establishment of servants.  In Spanish the last syllable is sounded.


As far as is known, the story is of Hugo’s own invention.  The epoch may be supposed to be the later Middle Ages, the place anywhere in Teuton lands.  The proper names are mostly of Hugo’s own invention; some are, however, echoes from German mediaeval history.  The poem and another called Le Petit Roi de Galice form a section of the Legende called Les Chevaliers Errants.

l 1.  There was a Ladislaus, King of Poland, in the fourteenth, and a Sigismund, Emperor of Germany, in the fifteenth century.  But the personages of the poem are in reality wholly imaginary.

stryge (written also strige), a vampire or demon that wanders about at night.  Derived from Latin striga, a bird of night, or a witch.

lemure:  Lemures (the singular is very rare) is the Latin lemures, the disembodied spirits which haunted houses and caused terror to the living.

val, valley, The word is now little used and only in poetry, except in the phrase par monts et par vaux.

preux.  See note on AYMERILLOT, l 54.

munster (German), cathedral.

bauges, properly the lairs of wild boars.

Amadis, commonly called Amadis of Gaul, the hero of a celebrated mediaeval poem, written originally in Spanish, which recounts his heroism in war and constancy in love.  He is the typical knight-errant and true lover.

Baudoin.  This is Baldwin, brother of Godfrey of Bouillon.  He became King of Jerusalem and died in 1118.  During the Crusade he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy City.

Sir G.Young in his Poems from Victor Hugo suggests that Corbus may stand for Cottbus, the capital of Old or Lower Lusatia.

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La Légende des Siècles from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.